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What Are Rumbledethumps?

Potatoes are a key ingredient in rumbledethumps.
Kale is often used in rumbledethumps.
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  • Written By: Jack Magnus
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 29 March 2014
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Rumbledethumps is a Scottish dish made of boiled potatoes, cabbage and onions. These ingredients are cooked and then mashed together with spices. The mixture is put into a baking dish and covered with cheddar or another sharp cheese. It is then baked until the cheese on the top of the casserole is bubbling and browned. Rumbledethumps can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.

This dish is usually served alongside a main course of meat, though it is hearty enough to be eaten as a meal on its own. Traditionally, it was made of leftover potatoes, vegetables and, sometimes, meats. When it is made from scratch, some recipes call for the vegetables to be sautéed in butter, onions and herbs before they are mixed with the potatoes. Any vegetable can be used in this dish, though cabbage and kale are the most common. Rumbledethumps is an onomatopoeic name that describes the sounds made when the vegetables are mashed.

There are many national dishes that have ingredients similar to rumbledethumps. The Irish colcannon, Scandinavian biksemad and Dutch stoemp are all variations of potato dishes that are cooked in a saucepot. Butter, cream and spices are typically added to the basic ingredients of onions, potatoes and other vegetables.

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Bubble and squeak is a British dish featuring a mashed mixture of cabbage and potatoes that is fried in a skillet until it is crispy and browned. Bubble and squeak usually is served as a side dish for meats and vegetables. This recipe is named for the sounds the food makes while it is cooking.

Catalan potatoes is a recipe for a skillet-size potato cake. It has two layers of sliced potatoes separated by a spicy layer of sautéed tomatoes, garlic and onions. When the bottom layer is cooked, the cake is turned over. It is then pressed down and cooked until tender. The cake is removed as a whole and served in slices.

Potatoes and onions also are used in making potato pancakes and hash browns. Hash browns are potatoes that have been shredded or minced and then fried in oil until they are crispy. Meat hashes, such as corned beef hash, are prepared by adding diced leftover meats to the recipe for hash browns.

Potato pancakes are made of a mixture of potatoes, eggs and flour. They are pan-fried and often are served with applesauce or sour cream. Hash browns, meat hashes and potato pancakes are popular breakfast dishes served with poached or fried eggs.

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