Bubble and Squeak with Wow Wow Sauce

Bubble and Squeak-Potatoes and Cabbage with Cheese

I’m not a fan of boiled cabbage and potatoes but I do like cabbage and potatoes prepared other ways, like Bubble and Squeak. The first time I had Bubble and Squeak was at The King’s Arm Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia when I was a kid. While I remember many of the special meals I’ve eaten during my life the reason why I remember this meal is because I had peanut soup (I love peanuts) and this strange named vegetable dish, Bubble and Squeak. So when it comes to a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner why not make this dish to go with your corned beef?
I adapted the recipe from a great cookbook I’ve had for many years, Tastes of Liberty, A Celebration of Our Ethnic Cooking which was published by the Chateau St. Michelle Winery in 1985. This book is a tribute to American ancestors who came through Ellis Island. This dedication is found on the opening pages of the book, “This book is dedicated to the memory of millions of immigrants who brought America a vivid, joyous appreciation of good food and fine wine” and the rest of the book has recipes from the immigrants. Every recipe I’ve made from the book has turned out perfectly. This book one of my favorite cookbooks!

Taste of Liberty Cookbook

So the name Bubble and Squeak supposedly comes from the sound it makes as it is cooking….it is bubbling and the cabbage is making a squeaking noise. It just sounds like a hot skillet to me…but let your imagination run wild. There are other dishes similar to this such as Colcannon which is an Irish dish with onions, cabbage, potatoes, and kale. Bubble and Squeak was/is a staple in England and Ireland because it is so economical and made with ingredients that are always available.
The basic recipe calls for mashed potatoes so if you have some leftover you can easily make this dish. Last week I didn’t have left over mashed potatoes so I cooked red Yukon gold (yes, you read that correctly red skinned, Yukon gold potatoes) in the same pot I was making my corned buffalo …which was simmering in Guinness Stout. I cut the potatoes in half so they could absorb some of the sumptuous broth of the meat and beer. I cut the cabbage into quarters and put it the pot with the corned buffalo for about 3 minutes until just slightly wilted.

The Red Cabbage Adds Color to the Dish

Now for the Wow Wow sauce. Not sure how that got its name but it is an old English recipe that was created by Dr. William Kitchiner (1775-1827) an optician and well known cook who authored several books on cooking. He wrote Cooks Oracle (1822), a book containing recipes and cooking information. The book was a “best seller” in England and America. The sauce is a basic roux with vinegar, broth, mustard and horseradish added. I also like this sauce on steak, pork chops, and baked potatoes!

Recipe: Bubble and Squeak


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound (approximately) cabbage, I use a combo of green and red, cut into quarters
  • 1 pound (approximately) potatoes, I recommend Red, or Yukon gold. (Or you can use leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Boil the potatoes if not using leftover mashed potatoes. I boiled mine in the pot with the corned buffalo which was being simmered in Guinness Stout.
  2. Place the cabbage quarters in the pot with the simmering meat. Cook for about 3 minutes until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Drain in a colander. Slice the cabbage into strips.
  3. (NOTE) If you aren’t making corned meat or boiled meat you can boil the potatoes in regular water and add the cabbage in during the last 3 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage and potatoes to the skillet stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in the cheese and stir, pat down the  mixture. Let the pan remain on the heat for about 10 minutes so the bottom becomes brown.
  7. When done, invert the mixture onto a serving plate and cut into wedges. Serve with Wow Wow Sauce.


You can add in other vegetables such as carrots, peas, kale, brussel sprouts, etc. Also if you have leftover meat such as turkey, beef, pork you can add that in too. This is a very versatile dish!

Number of servings (yield): 6

Recipe: Wow Wow Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup broth (I used the broth from the corned buffalo I was making)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (you can use red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (try to use a Dijon or hearty mustard, regular yellow mustard is okay if you don’t have the others)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until the onion is soft.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. This mixture will be very thick so you’ll need to stir this constantly so it doesn’t burn.
  3. Add in the broth and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Boil the mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the parsley and serve.


You can use with meat, potatoes, fish, etc. This is a yummy sauce.

Mixing the cabbage, potatoes and cheese

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4 Responses to Bubble and Squeak with Wow Wow Sauce

  1. Lea Ann says:

    What a great cookbook. Never had Bubble and Squeak and I’ve got to do an Amazon search for that book. I’ve been to Chateau St. Michele, but it must have been before I was a cookbook addict. Can’t remember seeing any books there.

  2. Yes. Thanks for the introduction of that book and these new dishes. FYI, I love cabbage in just about any form – give it to me pickled, boiled, sauteed or raw. Ireland is also on one of my place to visit for its natural beauty. I’d like to do some hiking there.

  3. This is the first time I’ve heard of wow wow sauce – sounds amazing. Lately I am really liking anything that has to do with horseradish.

  4. Pingback: St. Patrick’s Day – Celebrationg with Food and Fun | No Plain Jane's Kitchen

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