Boxing Day Brunch – Ham and Bubble and Squeak
I hope your Christmas day was a wonderful day, filled with good food, wine, friends and family…..as mine was. Today, the 26th December, is Boxing Day in the UK and St Stephen’s Day…….The exact etymology of the term “boxing” is unclear, but it appears to have originated from custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for the 19th December 1663. The custom is also linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food. Boxing day is a day of sales, sport and leftovers……of which the most delicious is Bubble and Squeak, a “fry up” of leftover vegetables from Christmas Day, and usually made from sprouts, potatoes and carrots.
I am being very brave, I am showing you my “bubble and squeak” frying pan…..it’s old, battered and very much non-stick! It’s the best frying pan for bacon, eggs and all fry ups……and it is absolutely essential that there is a “crust” of fried vegetables left on the base of the pan, for “prising” off the crispy brown bits. I served this Boxing day feast with some slices of home-baked York Ham that I made for our Christmas Eve buffet and a goodly dollop of English mustard.
Excuse the quality of the photos, but this was very much a cook, serve, shoot and eat kinda brunch…….and then a brisk upload to my laptop to share with you today. It’s also a very naughty recipe for bubble and squeak too, as I added some cubes of cheese from the festive cheeseboard – farmhouse Cheshire and mature Cheddar cheese were dropped in and stirred to a gooey mess for this dish today.
To call this a recipe is rather grand, as it is more like an assembly job with whatever leftover veggies you may have to hand, but, I have shared my recipe idea below…..just add and adapt to your mood and whatever you have left over. The recipe for my rather special York Ham will follow later, along with some New Year nibbles ideas, more 5:2 diet recipes and some festive photos……That’s it for today, see you later and have a LOVELY Boxing day, Karen
This amusingly named dish is basically traditional British fried leftovers, and probably enjoyed more than the original vegetables were I think. In fact, I have been known to cook the vegetables in order to make Bubble and Squeak. The name is thought to originate from the noise it makes whilst cooking in the frying pan ~ bubbling and squeaking, whatever the reason, this simple dish is delicious and a wonderful way to “fry up” your leftover spuds and greens. I like to season mine with lots of freshly ground black pepper. This is a traditional post-Christmas breakfast dish ~ but don’t wait until then to make this. Excellent if served as part of an English breakfast with bacon and eggs, or as a light supper dish.
I am entering this into Kate’s No Waste Food Challenge for December 2012!