Monday, April 8, 2013

Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash is one of my favorite leftover meals. Dare I say I love it even more than corned beef and cabbage? Every year after our annual St. Patrick's Day feast I use the leftover corned beef, cabbage, and boiled potatoes and them into a hearty breakfast. In fact, sometimes I get nervous at dinner if the corned beef is being gobbled up too fast. God forbid I don't have enough the next day for the hash! I've wised up in recent years and am always sure to put just enough aside for the following morning.

Traditionally, a hash is a hodgepodge of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. In a quick wiki search, I learned it became popular during World War II when fresh meat was hard to come by due to rationing. In some countries, corned beef could be bought in tins, making it a quick and thrifty breakfast or dinner when added to leftover vegetables. Corned beef hash has since become a breakfast classic.

Corned beef hash is comforting, rustic, and resourceful. It's nearly impossible to mess up; you can add all kinds of veg to it and it's delicious every time. It's a great way to use up any fresh herbs you happen to have in the fridge too. A fried egg on top creates perfection. If you've any leftover Irish soda bread, it makes the best toast to sop up the runny egg and delicious hash. 


1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh red bell pepper (or 1/2 cup chopped canned roasted peppers)
1 small leek (white and light green parts only), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked corned beef, diced
1 cup boiled cabbage and onion 
2 cups boiled potatoes, roughly mashed with a fork
½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. dried oregano 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large eggs
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet, or other large saute pan. Add the bell peppers and leeks, sprinkle with salt and cook until tender, but not browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the corned beef, potatoes, cabbage and onion, and herbs. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Use a spatula to press the ingredients down into the bottom of the skillet. Cook until slightly browned on the bottom, then using the spatula, flip in sections and press down again to lightly brown the other side.

Meanwhile, fry the eggs in a separate skillet or pan and set aside. In the last few minutes of cooking sprinkle the hash with grated cheddar cheese. Divide the hash into four equal servings and top each serving with a fried egg.

Yield: 4 servings

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