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Remains of the day

164622_mediumThere’s nothing like the New Year for a good clear out be it the cupboard under the stairs (Maybe I’ll do that next week) or a ruthless purge of the fridge. I opted for the latter as I knew that at least my efforts would be rewarded with a decent meal.

Amongst the items that were consigned to the bin was a batch of home made mincemeat which, instead of maturing nicely until next year like Delia said it would, decided to grow a thick white winter coat of mould. Lets hope thats not some kind of culinary omen for the coming year.

However, much to my delight nestling between the jars of out of date pickles and a forlorn looking lump of cheese was the leftovers from Sunday’s roast. A handful of roast potatoes, some sprouts that had been cooked with chunks of chorizo, a couple of carrots and a little bit of stuffing. All the perfect ingredients for bubble and squeak.

It’s said that the name originates from the noise the vegetables make as they sizzle away in the pan but I’ve been making it for years and I’ve yet to get a squeak out of mine. That said, it’s a fantastically satisfying dish to both make and eat and if your New Year’s resolution involves anything vaguely connected to cutting back you will be left feeling smug long after the leftovers have been used up.

Bubble and squeak can never really be distilled down to a recipe as, by definition, it depends on whatever you have left over. It should ideally contain left over roast potatoes and some kind of cabbage but even that is open to interpretation. I do think that a heavy cast iron pan is necessary though as this encourages a nice crispy bottom which will be further enhanced by cooking what ever vegetables you are using in a small dollop of duck fat.

Heat some oil or fat in a heavy cast iron skillet and add the vegetables. As the veg begin to sizzle take a potato masher and roughly mash the whole lot together. Pat down lightly so that the mixture fills the pan neatly and place in a pre heated oven (200 deg C) for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Serve in wedges or simply dollop out onto the plate. I like to serve it with a runny yolked fried egg on top and lashings of brown sauce

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