A wise man once said that "You know, this is a breakfast so good that it's almost worth making the corned beef and cabbage just for the leftovers." If you have read this blog before I am sure you should already be jumping to the conclusion that Alton Brown said this and you would be right. My wife is definitely on board with though. She is a huge lover of corned beef hash.
Making corned beef hash is one of those recipes that doesn't need a recipe. It's more of following procedure than exact ingredients. You don't want raw potatoes and burned cabbage in your hash now. I am going to talk about how I put my latest hash dish together.
Cast Iron is the Best Choice for Hash
When making a hash you want the food to brown evenly. The best choice of pan for that is cast iron. It is really good at evenly distributing heat. You will need some fat, I used about 3 tablespoon of grape seed oil but you can also use another cooking oil or butter. Set your heat to medium. High heat will blackened the food before cooking it.
Start with the Potatoes
I started off my hash with cooking the potatoes. If you have leftover potatoes from your St. Patrick's Day feast then you can use those. But for hash I would prefer cooking the potatoes a fresh. I peeled some Russet potatoes. cubed them and put them in my skillet until cooking through and browned.
Add the Peppers or Other Vegetables
Next I add the peppers. You want to do things in order of how long they take to cook. If I put the peppers in with the uncooked potatoes you will overcook or burn the peppers before the potatoes are done. Plan out ahead of time how long each ingredient should take to cook. Already cooked ingredients can go in at the end. Besides peppers you could also use mushrooms, onions, shallots, garlic, celery, carrots, herbs, etc. With hash the sky is the limit, use what you have on hand.
Season Along the Way
Make sure you are seasoning each ingredient as you add it. This will keep you from over salting in the end or at the table.
Adding the Corned Beef and Leftovers
Once all the raw ingredients have been cooking I add in my leftover corned beef and cabbage. Mix in thoroughly to combine.
Adding a Weight
In order to get that nicely browned hash you want you need to weight down the hash. I use my cast iron dutch oven on top of the skillet. It mushes everything down and helps that even browning. Make sure you oil up whatever you uses a weight or a good portion of your hash might end up attached to the bottom of your weight.
A nice addition to a hash is some cooked eggs. I got this idea from Giada and her salami & spinach hash. You just break some eggs directly onto the hash and cover with a little until the eggs are cooked. We had some quail eggs that we were given so we decided to use those.
Hash making is not like baking. It's not a science. It about using leftovers to create a new, fresh meal. Hopefully with the tips your read about today you will be prepared to use this dish with your leftovers.