Sunday, March 18, 2012

Easy Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash with Fried Egg, Overhead View

Top With a Fried Egg for Extra Flavor

What to do with leftover St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef?

One popular option is just having a whole second dinner — complete with leftover cabbage and carrots. And because cold Corned Beef sliced thinly makes a dynamite sandwich, that’s another idea.

But my favorite way to use leftover corned beef is to make Corned Beef Hash.  It’s delicious served neat, and even better when topped with a fried or poached egg.

And it’s versatile!  You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Or even as a late-night snack.


Corned Beef Hash with Fried Egg on Plate, Skillet in Background

Recipe: Corned Beef Hash 

Traditionally, Hash is a mix containing “meat, potatoes, and spices” that are thoroughly mixed (and often combined with onions and other ingredients — peas or carrots are common additions).  Although you can bake hash, it’s usually pan fried slowly until it develops a deep brown, almost crunchy, crust.

Hash is almost always made from leftover meat — and often leftover potatoes (although if you lack those, you can boil some for the hash).

Ingredient quantities for Corned Beef Hash are flexible.  I like to use roughly equal amounts of corned beef and potatoes (with maybe a somewhat larger quantity of the latter).  For each pound of meat, I generally use one medium onion.

There are several methods of making hash, including some complicated ones that require you to first make a white sauce.  My recipe is about as easy as you can get.  I’ve been making this for so long that I’ve forgotten which recipe I originally used — probably the one the one from James Beard’s American Cookery, which is similar to mine.

This recipe serves 4, and can easily be doubled.  Leftovers keep well for a few days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  It takes about 15 minutes to mix the Hash (another 10 or 15 if you don’t have leftover potatoes and need to boil some), and 30 - 40 minutes to cook.

Ingredients
  • 1 - 1½ pounds uncooked or leftover boiled (or steamed) waxy potatoes (about 3 or 4 cups)
  • 1 pound leftover Corned Beef (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or to taste; optional)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ - 1 cup chicken or beef stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • fried or poached eggs for garnish (optional; 1 or 2 for each serving)
  • parsley garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. If you don’t have leftover potatoes, you’ll need to cook some first:  Scrub, peel, and cut waxy potatoes into ¼- to ½-inch dice.  Cook according to the directions in Potato Salad Basics, or using your favorite recipe. 
  2. If you’re using leftover potatoes, remove skins (optional; I often leave them on) and cut into ¼- to ½-inch dice.  Place in mixing bowl.
  3. Remove excess fat from the Corned Beef if you wish (leaving it in makes the dish somewhat more caloric, but juicier and tastier).  Either slice beef into ¼- to ½-inch dice, or cut into chunks and whirl in food processor until it reaches the desired size, and add to mixing bowl.  (You can blend the corned beef and potatoes together in the food processor until they reach a pasty consistency, but I don’t think the resulting Hash will have as much character or eye-appeal.)
  4. Peel and cut onion into ¼-inch dice, and add to mixing bowl with corned beef and potatoes.
  5. Mix thoroughly and add dried thyme (optional) and salt and pepper to taste.  Add a bit of chicken or beef stock (or water) to help hold the mixture together — usually ½ to 1 cup is sufficient.
  6. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat (cast iron is ideal); when hot, add oil, wait a few seconds until it heats (it will shimmer), then dump contents of mixing bowl into the frying pan (carefully so the hot fat doesn’t spatter).
  7. Press down on Hash with the back of a spatula to form a nice, smooth cake, reduce heat just a bit, and slowly sauté (pan fry) for about 10 minutes until crust begins to form.
  8. After 10 minutes, stir Hash with the spatula (to incorporate the crusty bottom throughout the Hash), pat down again with the spatula to smooth the top, and cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Again stir the Hash to incorporate the crusty bottom into the rest of the Hash.  (You don't have to mix in the crust, but I think the Hash has more flavor if you do.)
  9. Cook another 10 - 20 minutes until Hash is piping hot.  About 5 minutes before serving, prepare your optional fried or poached eggs for garnish, using your favorite recipe.
  10. Either serve the Corned Beef Hash from the frying pan (I usually do) or upend a plate over the frying pan, and turn the plate and frying pan so the Hash will fall from the frying pan onto the plate.  Serve with optional eggs and garnish with minced parsley.
Corned Beef Hash in Skillet, Overhead View

Notes
  • I often run the Hash under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown the top.  That way I have a nice crust both on the top and bottom of the Hash.  Don’t do this if the handle of your frying pan isn’t heat proof.
  • If you want to mix the Hash in advance of cooking it, prepare through Step 6, then refrigerate in an airtight container for a few hours or overnight.
  • Instead of using stock or water to moisten the Hash (Step 6), you can substitute milk or cream.
  • You could also use some poaching liquid from the corned beef preparation, if you have reserved it.  I prefer the taste of chicken or beef stock, but try using the poaching liquid if the idea interests you — you may prefer that.
  • I’ve also seen recipes that use whole eggs to help bind the meat, potatoes, and onions together.  (A white sauce does much the same thing.)  This seems unnecessary, but if you value a well-homogenized consistency that is reminiscent of canned Corned Beef Hash, that might be the ticket for you.
  • Speaking of canned Hash, if you ever use the stuff and want nice circles to pan fry, chill the can overnight.  Next day, use a can opener to open both ends.  Put the can on its side and remove the lid from one end.  Push on the other end until you have about an inch of Hash emerging from the can.  Using the edge of the can as a guide, cut straight down with a knife.  Voilà!  A perfect hockey puck of Hash.  Repeat until you’ve used the entire contents of the can.
  • Want to make those perfectly round hockey pucks out of your homemade hash?  Chill overnight and then press some Hash down into a round ring mold or cookie cutter (about a 4-inch size).  Smooth the top of the Hash, remove the mold, and there you have it!  I’d chill again before cooking so it holds together a bit better (wrap each hockey puck in cling wrap), though you may find this isn’t necessary.
  • When you’re cooking your hockey puck, don’t follow the instructions in Step 9 — if you mix the crust into the rest of the Hash you’re going to ruin the symmetry of the circle.  Instead, sauté on the first side for about 10 minutes, then flip and cook until it has heated through and a crust has formed on the second side, and serve. 
  • Although I like the combo of Corned Beef Hash and a fried or poached egg, the Hash tastes mighty good by itself.  Most of the time that’s how I actually eat it.  The egg looks pretty, though.
  • A lot of people like chili sauce or tomato sauce (or ketchup) with their hash.  I prefer mine au naturel, but do whatever excites your taste buds.
Corned Beef Hash on Plate, Skillet in Background

Is Corned Beef Hash Habit Forming?

You can make hash out of any meat — pork, chicken, whatever.  But when we hear “hash,” most of us think “corned beef” — which in my book is the tastiest of the lot. 

Because St. Patrick’s Day is the only time most of us cook corned beef, that means shortly after St. Pat’s is the only time we make homemade Corned Beef Hash.  Too bad.

This dish is so good, you may want to start cooking Corned Beef more frequently — just so you can have the leftovers for hash.  Who could blame you?  One bite of this stuff, and you’re hooked.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Corned Beef
Steamed Cabbage, Carrots, and Potatoes
Ham, Bacon, and Cheddar Frittata
Red Pepper and Onion Frittata
Roast Pork

36 comments:

  1. Wow! That sounds wonderful, particularly this morning, the day after St. Patrick's day. The idea of the yummy egg yolk mixing with the hash is divine.

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    1. Hi Amy, it's good stuff! Corned Beef Hash + Egg is a classic combo. Thanks for your comment.

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  2. This looks amazing. I love a runny egg on top of my potatoes anytime. Great use of leftovers, I'll say!

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    1. Hi Courtney, it tastes even more amazing than it looks! And I agree it's the perfect use for St. Patrick's Day leftovers. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Amazing recipe, reminds me of the Greek Shakshuka

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    1. Hi Chef Basar, interesting idea. The Shakshuka I'm familiar with is more of a liquid (with eggs poached in it), but that's the North African/Israeli version. I don't think I've ever had the Greek version - I'll have to check it out. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. You have no idea how much I want this right now! Homemade corned beef hash is one of my faves ... and put an egg on it? Yes, please!

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    1. Hi Kimberly, :-) It's good stuff, isn't it? And totally addictive. Thanks for taking time to comment.

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  5. Healthy and satisfying dish for the most important meal of the day...Happy Breakfast! This I will give a try!

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    1. Hi MyFudo, Corned Beef Hash is great for breakfast (don't forget the egg!). Or lunch. Or dinner. Or . . . I could go for some right now! Definitely worth trying. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. John, this looks amazing. I loooooooooove hash and with a poached egg, heaven on a plate. I'm hoping the leftover corn beef lasts long enough for me to make this!

    Denise

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    1. Hi Denise, Corned Beef Hash is so good, isn't it? It's funny, although I know how to make lots of fancy dishes (and enjoying doing so), it's the really simple things that I tend to crave the most. Thanks for taking time to comment.

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  7. omg this corned beef hash looks so delicious especially with that perfect fried runny sunny side up! I can't imagine how amazing this tasted like!

    I love corned beef and I even bought the canned corned beef before when I was really craving for it. It's a shame that I don't make it often enough because I never knew what to do with the leftovers. But that's not a question any more :)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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    1. Hi Yi, it was delicious! All gone now, alas. I never make Corned Beef enough either - something I intend to remedy. Thanks for your comment.

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  8. I love your kitchen notes. I need to take some lessons from you - it really helps to add your personal notes to a recipe. I'm passing this along to my mom. She made corned beef this year and has plenty left over. :)

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    1. Hi Mother Rimmy, thanks! One of the nice things about the Notes is it's an easy, quick way to add info that people tend to skip over if you discuss it in the recipe head-notes (or at least that's what I keep telling myself). Hope your mom likes the recipe, and thanks for commenting.

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  9. Thanks for taking me down memory lane. I have not had this dish in a very long time. Love the egg on top with the crispy buts of the has. Take care, BAM

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    1. Hi Bam's Kitchen, it's been years since I've made this, too. But I enjoyed it so much I'll be doing it more often in the future (well, at least every St. Pat's Day!). Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. My mother was just complaining because her guests ate all the corn beef and she didn't have enough for morning hash. This is a keeper. Thanks!

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    1. Hi This is How I Cook, oh no! Although the big corned beef dinner is great, the hash is the best part! Maybe next year she should make 2 briskets - one for the guests, one for the leftovers? Thanks for your comment.

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  11. We love some hash around here (sans you-know-what)--your photos are doing this dish proud! I LOVE the suggestion of putting the taters under the broiler to brown them up a bit. Brilliant!

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  12. Hi Kelly, the best part of hash, IMO, is the crunchy brown crust, and the broiler does a great job of that. It's an easy and quick technique that I use all the time. Thanks for stopping by.

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  13. Gotta have the egg on top and love that crunchy crust. Beautifully done!

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    1. Hi Maureen, yup, the egg is the perfect topping. And I'm with you - I love that crust. Thanks for your comment.

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  14. My husband loves corned beef hash but rarely gets to eat it. This looks so much better than any greasy spoon variety! Obviously, it all starts with homemade corned beef :-) Maybe some day...

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    1. Hi Katherine, I've had some pretty good greasy spoon hash, but it's probably more the exception than the rule. I agree the homemade kind is the best; made with your own corned beef, natch. Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. mmm sounds so homey and yummy. you've really put eggs on my mind tonight. all i want is your hollandaise over poached eggs... AS WELL as this lovely corned beef hash!

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    1. Hi Lannie, Hollandaise over Corned Beef Hash is a great idea! With a poached egg too, of course. A nice riff on Eggs Benedict. Thanks for taking time to comment.

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  16. Your corned beef look so comforting and delicious. I love that you added fried egg on top. The runny egg makes everything so nice and tasty!

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    1. Hi Nami, Corned Beef Hash is great all by itself. With the egg? Divine. Really a nice combo. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. I woke up to home made corned beef hash and egg. What a treat. He did saute the onions first. This couldn't be better. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

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    1. Hi Sharon, glad you got some of this! I can definitely see advantages in sauteing the onions first. Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for commenting.

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  18. We had corned beef and cabbage for dinner last night. It is always a favorite, and there are always leftovers. I'm going to try your hash recipe tomorrow evening as it looks like just the ticket for a cold winter dinner. Not to mention that my husband believes that everything is made better with a runny fried egg on top.

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    1. Hi Nancy, I'm pretty sure everything really is made better with a runny egg on top! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I usually mash up the spuds more when I make my hash. But hey everyone is different. We would normally eat this as a lazy night dinner. Yours looks so good, I think I might have to make up another corned beef pronto.

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    1. Hi Liz, I sometimes really mash up my potatoes too, although more often do it this way. But I'll eat corned beef hash any way I can get it! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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