It's hash, OK? (As if you couldn't tell.)
What's worse, it's meatloaf hash, which is a fancy way of saying hamburger hash (and I just had a dizzying flashback to the junior high cafeteria).
So, yeah, it's ugly.
But as hash goes, it's beautiful. The perfect brown crust. The scattering of freshly picked chopped parsley (and it could have used more). The meltingly soft potatoes — leftover mashed potatoes — that enfold it all.
The meatloaf was made using one Italian sausage, which lent some nice spiciness to the mix. But for this hash, I wanted to see if I could make it reminiscent of corned beef hash, so I sprinkled in some ground allspice. (And some ground cumin, because ground cumin makes everything better.) The meatloaf also contained chopped onion, but I added more to the hash. Not a lot.
In a departure (for me), I decided to cook the hash in olive oil instead of butter. Butter is so very welcoming to food. It says, "Hey, come on in! Let's get friendly." Oil is all stoic, arms folded at chest. "Come in, let's get it over with but then I never want to see you again." In a funny accent, no less.
What I'm trying to say is that I got a crisper result from the oil. Better (and faster) browning. And as one who has stood at the stove for an hour or more trying to get that crust with butter, well, I'm converted.
My final tip, if you're inclined to try hash. Once you get your meat, potatoes, onions and seasonings mixed, splash in a good few tablespoons of milk. Not for the liquidity, but because it sinks to the bottom and makes a brown crust.
(Scientifically, I could be wrong about the milk sinking. Because the other side also browns up beautifully when you turn it.)
Medium-high heat. Leave it alone while you chop the parsley, and then turn it after about five or six minutes. Second side, five or six minutes.
It was very, very tasty. Not like meatloaf at all (and not like corned beef hash). Sweet, creamy, chewy. Hashy.
I might do this again.