Bubble-and-squeak, in case you didn't know, is a casserole of sausage meat, cabbage and Béchamel sauce that turns out to be an excellent one-dish meal. It is easy to prepare in less than an hour from fresh ingredients. The best sausage for it is made from the lean minced pork now available in the supermarket. The sausage for this dish does not need to contain as much fat as sausages you fry, so bubble-and-squeak can be a healthy meal. Mix about a tablespoon of breakfast sausage seasoning (available from Penzeys) with a pound of minced pork. You'll need about half a pound for the bubble-and-squeak for two, so you can make the rest into a couple of patties to freeze and use later. Fry the sausage meat in a skillet until all the pink is gone, and transfer to a bowl. Now mince half an onion and sauté it in what fat is left from the sausage until transparent, add it to the meat, and mix.
Butter a glass baking dish, about 8 x 4 inches, and make a layer in the bottom of the sausage meat. Chop about half a head of cabbage into about six pieces and boil it until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and make a layer of cabbage on top of the meat. Prepare a generous cup of white sauce, using a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of flour, in a small saucepan. Make a roux, let it cook a little and become foamy, and add the milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the white sauce has thickened, let it cook a minute and then pour it over the cabbage, covering the top. Put the baking dish in a 350° (moderate) oven for about half an hour. It should come out bubbling and with a little browning on the top, and is now ready to serve.
The "bubble" refers to the bubbling of the white sauce, and the "squeak" was the sound of the sausages in casings bursting. It's better made from crumbled sausage meat, since you can't get proper sausages for it in the U.S.
Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 8 March 2003