NOTE: I adapted this recipe from the version posted on The Garden of Eating blog, so I will not shamelessly repeat all of the good information that you can find there.
The name is unique, that's for sure, and Rumbledethumps is supposedly Scottish in origin. The Scots can't claim exclusive ownership of the dish, though, as pretty much every people group that has adopted the potato as a staple has some sort of similar recipe. In the USA, the closest approximation is colloquially known as "hash" ... but I don't recommend confusing this type of "hash" with the humble # or the psychoactive drug. Glyphs and drug lords make for unhappy bedfellows.
I uncovered this recipe in my ongoing struggle to use up all of the cabbage that grew in my garden this year, before the winter really sets in and kills it all. I really had no idea how far twenty cabbage seeds would go ... until every single one of them sprouted. I planted them because one of my housemates had been given the seeds several years ago, and I thought what the hey, let's give it ago. The moral of this story is: you reap what you sow, especially when you sow something crazy. I don't even really like cabbage all that much, or I thought I didn't, but up until this summer my only exposure to the plant has been in 'slaw. And I don't particularly like 'slaw. At all.
Oh, and hi there! I bet you didn't even remember this blog existed! I have cooked many a near disaster since my last blog post, but I have been loathe to blog about them without a proper camera on hand. It's amazing how unappetizing the most delectable dish can seem when taken on a cell phone camera. Hopefully these photos will do the dish more justice!
6-8 medium-sized potatoes, cubed (I leave the skins on for more texture)
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
4 Tablespoons butter (trust me, you'll need it)
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra
1 teaspoon chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cover the cubed potatoes with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil until completely tender, around 20-25 minutes. Drain and mash. I whipped out my handy-dandy new immersion blender and had the whole lot mashed within 30 seconds. I definitely recommend getting your hands on one of these tools if you possibly can--they're useful for soups and other winter dishes, and are super easy to clean.
While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. I cannot emphasize how important it is that you use a large pan. I did not, and I spent half of my time trying to keep the cabbage from strewing itself all over the stove. Saute your onion in the butter and then add the cabbage, continuing to saute until the cabbage wilts, around 25 minutes.
Combine the cheese, cabbage mixture, chives, and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and spread the mixture out in an oven-safe casserole dish. Smooth the surface and sprinkle with the extra cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are turning golden brown.
I browned some peppered bacon while the Rumbledethumps (isn't that a great name?!) were in the oven, and they brought a touch of crunchiness to the table. Altogether, I think my experiment turned out splendidly! No doubt the calorie count is high, but the cabbage and chives came straight from my garden, and I know for a fact that the deep green of a good cabbage makes for lots of nutrition.