What a Combination

Saturday 17/9/2005

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Diary and Notes

"He's at it again!" They all shout, "Mixing his dishes like he just doesn't care - what's this fusion food business, who's he think he is, Gary Rhodes?"

Yes my brave internaughts, it's another daring combination of the English and French. A bit like that great 'British' engineer, Brunel, who had a French mother and English father - and look what an impact he made.

Today I cranked up my Anglo-French nonsense by making two absolutely classic dishes from different sides of the Channel-Manche, that old great Monday breakfast classic bubble and squeek, served with a simple navarin au fenouil.

Now I know that bubble and squeek is best made with cold roast potatoes but I didn't have any. So, and in order to make some regardless of the normal bubble and squeek rules, I fried some potatoes first, let them go cold and then made some really quite superb squeek with these. The navarin is an old housewife's standard from La France. It's normally a turnip based stew with lamb but the fennel variety is not unheard of over there and I had some fennel in which needed eating.

As a combination it was superb. The navarin was tender and not overly aniseed tasting and the bubble and squeek was crispy and delicious. Maybe we should all have a go at mixing up dishes from around the globe.

Chilli con carne with made with haggis for instance. Now there's a challenge.

Cake Blog

Rasperry Cream Turnover: Again from Sainsbury's. It's hard to go wrong with fruit, pastry and cream and this didn't disappoint.


  • Navarin au Fenouil
  • Bubble and Squeek


    Navarin au Fenouil
    250g Lamb (cut into chunks)
    1 Onion
    2 Cloves Garlic
    2 tsp Olive Oil
    1 Stick Celery
    1 Bulb Fennel
    200ml Chicken Stock
    1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
    Bouquet Garni
    Salt & Pepper
    Bubble and Squeek
    150g Cold Roast Potatoes
    75g Cooked Cabbage
    1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
    Black Pepper


  • Navarin: Slice the onion, celery & fennel and mince the garlic. Sweat in a little olive oil. Add the chunks of lamb and brown all over. Pour over the stock, add a bouquet garni, stir in some tomato puree and simmer gently for an hour or so. Season and serve.
  • Bubble and Squeek: Chop the cold roast potatoes into pieces. Fry in a little oil. Add the cabbage and keep frying, moving and mashing all the time, until it is all turning crispy. Grind in loads of pepper.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person