Leek and ham bubble and squeak

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


50g (2oz) butter
2 British leeks, finely sliced into rings
125g (5oz) Savoy cabbage, finely shredded with the tough stalk removed
300g (10½oz) leftover roast dinner or mash potato (potatoes, parsnips, carrots, peas, cauliflower)
150g (5oz) shredded ham (buy a small cooked gammon or you can ask at the deli counter for a nice thick slice)
15g (½oz) chopped flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 large, free-range eggs
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper


  1. Place a large frying pan on the stove and add the butter. Turn the heat to medium and when the butter has melted add in the chopped leeks. Add a pinch of salt and allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the leeks are starting to wilt. When this happens, add the shredded cabbage, stir into the leeks and cook for a further 5 minutes, you may need to add a tablespoon of water if it’s looking a little dry.
  2. If you are using leftovers to bind your bubble and squeak cakes, you will need to now mash these together well in a bowl using a potato masher, you can also do it in a food processor. Remove the leeks form the heat and pour into the bowl with your leftover roast dinner veggies or with your mash potato. Leave to cool slightly while you shred your ham and chop your parsley. Add your shredded ham to the vegetable mix along with the parsley and season well with lots of pepper and a pinch more salt. Combine well.
  3. Now you can shape your mix into cakes. You can make 2 large ones or 4 smaller ones.
  4. Boil the kettle to poach your eggs.
  5. Dust your cakes lightly in the flour, tap off any surplus and heat a large frying pan with the rapeseed oil.
  6. When the oil is hot, lay in your cakes and fry them for 5-6 minutes on each side until golden brown. These can be cooking while you poach your eggs.
  7. Pour the boiling water from your kettle into a medium size saucepan.
  8. Crack eggs into two separate ramekins or small cups.
  9. Using a whisk, gentle stir the water creating a vortex in the centre of the pan.  When the vortex starts to slow down, gently pour in the cracked eggs, one at a time, making sure the water isn’t rapidly boiling, but rather slowly ticking over.
  10. Cook the eggs for 5 minutes, before gently removing from the water using a slotted spoon. Place on to kitchen paper to remove any excess water.
  11. By now the bubble and squeak should be cooked and nicely caramelised.
  12. Serve these on warmed plates with the poached egg on top and a squeeze of your favourite condiment.

Recipe and image courtesy of Sophie Wright and www.britishleeks.co.uk


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