Friday, March 23, 2007

H*A*S*H Unit

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).


kudzu said...

Aha! So we have the corned beef report, after all. And for some reason I always like the hash even better than the original meat-centric meal. Have you ever used cream instead of milk, making it? As for not turning it all at once, I think you get more wonderful crunchy bits that way, a bonus.

Maybe you can use the pink salt to make a sparkley coating for Easter eggs.

cookiecrumb said...

Me, too, Kudzu. I like the hash and the sandwiches best.
But, OMG! I never thought of using cream instead of milk. In fact, Cranky bought a wimpy quart of 1% milk, so that's all I had... Wow.
Totally yes with you on the crunchy bits, by the way.
(And I'm frankly scared of that salt, but it did good by me... Oh, and I have an Easter prop up my sleeve. When's Easter?)

ChrisB said...

Now an empty plate is always a good recommendation and that meal does sound pretty good to me.

Dagny said...

Yay! Hash. Now you're making me want to cook up some chicken so I can make some chicken hash. Oooo. And crunchy bits. The best part.

tammy said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto on the crunchy bits. God, I wish I had some food in the house.

Anita said...

Oh, yum. We haven't made hash in ages. Cam is a big fan of the patient-waiting method as well... and I can't faut his results:

Monkey Wrangler said...

Corned beef hash, two eggs over medium with sourdough toast please. (The breakfast favorite when I can find it done well, Baghdad Cafe in the Castro used to.)

Soooooo jealous of this CC. I neeeed to try my hand at corning one. A copy of Charcuterie should land on my door anyday as incentive for curing adventures if this hasn't tipped me over the edge already. We'll have to talk more salt.

Speaking of, this coming thursday I just might be heading Tomales way....any interest?

Anna Haight said...

Easter is April 8th, my friends and I are doing a celebration picnic that day. I like the crunchy bits too!

El said...

Isn't everything better with a poached egg on top? You're talking complete hangover fix here, kids. (And I second Monkey Wrangler's sourdough toast, lots of butter.)

Kevin said...

I've never cared for corned beef hash. I don't dislike it, but I don't make it either.

And hey! Have you checked out A Year in Bread yet?

chilebrown said...

Sorry to change the subject,but do you have any tips on making vinegar. I bought a jug of Apple juise. I added a shot of live vinegar. Stir Dailey. anything else, o wise one? Thanks, Peace Paul

cookiecrumb said...

ChrisB: Plus it made for a much better photo opportunity; a plate (or skillet) full of has is just not very pretty. :D

Dagny: Yay, for sure. I've got chicken hash on my radar, some time in the next couple of weeks.

Tammy: Saltines? Ovaltine? Anything else in the 'tine family?

Anita: Good on Cam! I'm going over to take a look.

MW: Aw. It was easy-peasy, no lie. Just five days in the fridge in a salt bath with herbs and spices.
Would you like me to mail you a little baggie of pink salt?
(I'll check back with you on the Thursday trek.)

Anna: Hash for Easter picnic? I could do that. I've got eggs on my radar for the immediate future, too.

El: Poached eggs are cool!!

Kevin: I will check it out; you deserve to hijack this platform for a little self-promotion!

Chilebrown: I'm still waiting for my little bottles of apple cider to get more sour on their own. They improve daily, but it's been weeks. The flavor keeps getting more sophisticated! (I didn't inoculate them; they just fermented on their own.) I also started a little leftover champagne, and it's taking its time, too. Patience, my dear. No need to stir.

Bonnie said...

That. Looks. Fucking. DELICIOUS! 'scuse me it's dinner time and I was thinking tofu, but I must have meat. Meat and more meat. You've inspired me to make my own corned beef soon. Very soon. Unless you have any left, in which case see you in an hour.

Anonymous said...

Yep, everyone loves the hash from leftovers in our house. I always chop and add in the carrots from the boiled dinner along with the onion and potatoes too. Egg on top is mandatory. And I don't even like corned beef.

~ Peggasus

Glenna said...

Oh yum! I love home-made corned beef hash. It's the best.

cookiecrumb said...

Bonnie: I've been avoiding telling you there's a little left, but it's going down the gullet today.

Peggasus: Sort of a shame we only make it once a year... But then there are all those other holiday foods to cook. I'm sure we'll do something Easter-y, and I'm not even religious.

Glenna: The best. Hey, maybe I *won't* just make this once a year.