Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ulterior Motives

I didn’t spend 3 hours boiling the hell out of a piece of beef just to make sandwiches. What I really wanted to do was make corned beef hash. There are so many variations out there, but in its simplest form it’s leftover corned beef and potatoes. I like to add fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, parsley, cilantro or basil. I also add mustard or hot pepper sauce to give it a kick.

Corned Beef Hash:
  • 2 cups boiled potatoes, roughly mashed
  • 2 cups cooked corned beef, diced to your preferred size
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • a few (about 4) sprigs of thyme (oregano or basil is fine too)
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard (or a few splashes of hot pepper sauce or Worcestershire to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
However you embellish this recipe, just remember to use a 1:1 proportion of corned beef to potatoes. Mix everything together and, if possible, let it sit for half an hour for the flavors to meld together. I mixed it the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The key to a good hash is patience. I like my hash to be crusty and “loose”, and that takes time. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom (about 1-2 tbs). When the oil is hot, add the mix and flatten it out in the skillet. Don’t be tempted to turn it. Give it about 4 or 5 minutes to form the first crust. Flip and spread the mix back out in the pan and wait another 4 or 5 minutes. Keep doing this until you get the level of crispiness you like. For me, it took about 20 minutes. Season with fresh cracked pepper. I like it served with fried over-medium eggs, but poached eggs work as well.

When I lived in Denmark, I would make hash with whatever leftover meat we had. Sometimes it was steak and/or sausages. I’ve even done one with salmon. And we never ate it for breakfast, just lunch or dinner.

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