Most of us salute bubble-and-squeak as a British great, but I'll wager even the most smitten don't tackle it more than twice a year. Not least because it owes its existence to leftover cabbage and potatoes, a double act few of us regard as a weekly staple these days. So it is no bad thing to dish up a reminder.
I have been tasting my way through Waitrose potato varieties, and there are one or two that stand out as a reawakening of how a good potato should taste. Forty Fold is mealy and aromatic, and boiled has the depth of flavour of a potato baked in its skin. Red Duke of York is a fine tuber and tattie of the moment: M&S make excellent crisps with the same variety.
750 g maincrop potatoes, peeled and cut up if large
Half small Spring cabbage (approx. 300 g), outer leaves and tough stalk removed, quartered and sliced
30 g unsalted butter
3 tbsp groundnut oil
1 Spanish onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
sea salt, black pepper
Lea & Perrins sauce
Bring two large pans of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes to one, bring back to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes until just tender. Add the cabbage to the other pan, bring back to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain it into a colander and press out as much water as possible. Drain the cooked potatoes into a colander and leave for a few minutes for the surface water to evaporate, then coarsely chop on a board and place in a large bowl.
Heat half the butter and oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy frying pan (about 27 cm) over a medium heat and sweat the onion for 7-10 minutes until tinged with gold, stirring occasionally. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and cook for another few minutes, again stirring occasionally. Mix the vegetables with the potato in the bowl and add a little more seasoning.
Heat the remaining butter and oil in the same frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the cabbage and potato mixture, press down and sauté for 15 minutes until golden and crusty on the base. Turn it using a spatula and cook for a further 25 minutes, turning it every 5-7 minutes, for an evenly crisp crust. Serve with lashings of Lea & Perrins. Reuse content