It's always a humble, comforting last meal of winter: Corned beef hash, made from the leftover meat and potatoes we cooked for St. Patrick's Day.
It's homely, simple and filling.
And it's not hard to make, once you know what you're doing.
I had to consult the antique Fannie Farmer cookbook on our bookshelf several years ago before I got it right. (Leave it to me to try inventing my own technique.)
The secrets? Milk and time.
Chop up meat and potatoes in about equal proportions, and then add diced onion to your liking (I used about half the quantity of either the meat or potatoes). Stir in some minced parsley if a tinge of green seems nice, but lay off the seasoning. Your corned beef is plenty seasoned.
Stir this mess together, then place it into a hot skillet with a pat of butter. (I confess to using a nonstick skillet for this preparation; come and get me, kitchenware kops.) Stir it around over medium-hot flame until you get a sense that the onions are losing some of their rawness, then turn down the heat and splosh in some milk. Not enough to drown it; just enough to moisten.
Now let Mr. Time be your pal. Leave the hash over low heat for maybe 45 minutes, until the bottom layer is glossy and brown. I sometimes pour in a little extra milk; it's your call.
I cannot flip this cake as a single unit, no matter how many tricks I try. I usually end up scooping out crumbly chunks onto plates; no clever wedge-cutting here, no sir. Tastes the same anyway.
Leftovers will be good with a poached egg on top.
AND: Best of all, this was made from a beef brisket I corned myself; first time. A resounding success, which I hope to repeat (because, egads, I have a whole jar of pink salt now).