Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Bubble and Squeak (with Oink and Cheep) #Recipe by Leslie Karst


Bubble and squeak is a traditional British dish made with fried cabbage and potatoes—so-called, because of the noise the cabbage makes during the cooking process. (And the name has a surprising source that harkens back to—believe it or not—Homer’s Iliad. See here.)

In this version, since my town of Santa Cruz is famed for its Brussels sprouts, I substitute those for the cabbage, and I roast the veg rather than fry them—which is far easier and makes less of a mess. And to make the dish a complete meal in itself, I’ve added bacon and poached eggs (the “oink and cheep”), as well as grated cheese (the “moo” didn’t rhyme, so I left it out...)


Bubble and Squeak (with Oink and Cheep)

(serves 4)


½ lb. bacon, cut into ½” strips

1 large or 2 small onions, thinly sliced

3 medium Russet potatoes, cut into 1” cubes

3 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half (or quartered, if they’re large ones)

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese (for topping)

8 eggs (for topping)

chopped parsley or green onions (for garnish, if desired)



Place the bacon in a large roasting pan and cook it in a 325° F oven, stirring occasionally, till the fat is rendered and the meat is cooked.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a plate with a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan. 


Raise the oven heat to 375° F. Put the potatoes and the Brussels sprouts in the roasting pan and stir, so they are coated in the bacon fat. Roast for 15-20 minutes, then add the onions, stir them in, and continue to roast another 15 minutes, until the everything is cooked through and starting to brown. 


When the veg are done, stir the bacon into them, turn off the oven, and return the roasting pan to the oven to keep everything warm. 


Poach the eggs. (You could fry them instead, if you prefer.)


Spoon servings of the veg and bacon onto plates or low-rimmed bowls.

Top with grated cheese, then the poached eggs. Garnish with parsley or chopped green onions, if desired. (See photo at top.)


🍋 🌿 🍳

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case
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Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:
“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.



  1. This sounds fabulous, although the SU will certainly balk at the poached eggs. And I'll have to figure out how to down-size it for two people - another challenge in these already challenging times! Thanks for sharing this. pjcoldren[at]tm[dot]net

    1. Just cut all the ingredients in half, and you should be good. The amounts aren't at all crucial for the recipe. And you can use fried eggs (or omit them altogether), and it would still be yummy!

  2. Hi Leslie! I love roasted Brussel sprouts and I'm always looking for a way to incorporate them into a recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, once I learned to roast them--to bring out their sweet, caramelized flavor, I went from hating sprouts to being a huge fan!

  3. I'm like you, Leslie, was not a fan of Brussels sprouts at all until I discovered roasting them! Makes all the difference in the world. I first made Bubble and Squeak in a skillet in the late 70's-early 80's as I remember the house we lived in then, and it was after reading about the dish in a since-forgotten British mystery novel. Just had to try it because of the name, of course! I think I'd like your roasted version better!

  4. Leslie, this sounds like a yummy variation of the bubble and squeak dishes I ate in the UK. Can't say no to either the "oink or cheep" addition. And you might make me enjoy eating brussel sprouts more than I usually do!

    1. Ha! I'd consider that a great achievement, Grace!

    2. Speaking of achievements, Leslie I must admit I was so impressed besides just by your writing, but the real-life story (with pictures!) of your dinner with RBG! OMG. Then today I found out that Grace was a Nobel Prize winner for her work in climatology! Makes me proud, but slightly intimidated. Wow. Some people have amazing stories, if you just listen.

    3. Ha! I'd say a Nobel Prize beats cooking for Ruth, but then again we all need to eat, yes?

  5. This looks really good. I frequently make colcannon. Your version looks so good. I'll have to try it.

    1. I recently read about colcannon in the newspaper--I've gotta try that sometime soon!

    2. Colcannon's basically the same thing as B&S but with mashed taters, and any green like kale if you don't use cabbage. I doctored mine up with the oink, and sometimes leeks, garlic and flat leaf parsley.

  6. I was not favorably inclined towards brussel sprouts. Then I tried roasting them. What a difference from the nasty, over-cooked mush I'd had before!
    I usually give them a touch of olive oil, maple syrup, and soy sauce (actually, Bragg's amino acids).
    This sounds like a perfect combination of flavors.

    1. Ooop...yes! I recently roasted some spouts with a little maple syrup and they were astonishingly good, Libby!