weekend pleasures: a hash in the pan! (perfect corned beef hash)

corned beef hash
Corned beef hash is one of my guilty pleasures; I tend to make it when I have leftover spuds. While it is relatively frugal, my version tends to be less than virtuous. I have found that using leftover potato salad or dauphinoise, makes a brilliant hash. (Although the mayonnaise in the spud salad and the cream in the dauphinoise can make this hash greasy, so you will need to use less cooking fat.) Still delicious.

Actually, it was using potato salad as a base that has led me to often throw in a chopped gherkin or two. I like the contrast of creamy potatoes, meaty beef and the tang of pickled gherkins. But a hash is a forgiving dish and you should leave out anything you don't like and include anything you do . . . within reason of course.

Why a weekend pleasure? Because I like a crust on my corned beef hash and this takes a little time to build up. Perfection can not be rushed. It is probably best to use a non-stick frying pan if you like your hash with a crust. I know to my cost that trying to clean the crust off a non-stick pan is a bit of a faff ;. . . it was worth every minute though!

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy (ridiculously so!)

2.3 tbsp cooking fat (preferably dripping or lard, but vegetable oil will do)
2 x onions, chopped
4 x chestnut mushrooms, halved and sliced (optional)
1 x tin of corned beef (about 225g) cut into chunks
8 x mi cuit tomato halves (optional)
1 x pickled gherkin, diced
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
about 400g cooked potatoes, preferably cubed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Fry the onions in about 2 tablespoons of the fat. Fry on a high heat for about 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and sprinkle with a little salt. Put a lid on the pan and continue to cook for 10 minutes. The onions should be translucent and beginning to brown.
  2. Add the mushrooms. Stir and return the lid to the pan. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and begun to cook through.
  3. Add the corned beef, tomato halves and diced gherkins (if using) and the Worcestershire sauce. Give it a good stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the potato. Stir again to ensure well mixed and gently flatten the hash in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake every so often to keep the mixture loose. A crust will start to form slowly. (This cannot be rushed.)
  5. When the crust begins to form on the bottom of the pan, you will need to turn the hash over (very much like turning over a Spanish tortilla). Put a large plate over the frying pan (it needs to be big enough to cover the entire pan). Then holding the pan and plate together, turn the whole thing over so that the hash is now on the plate.
  6. Add another tablespoon of fat to the pan and heat up. Return the hash to the pan, by sliding it in gently, with the crust now on the top of the hash. Cook for another 5 minutes, shaking occasionally until a crust has formed on the bottom of the hash put a large flat plate over the frying-pan and turn the whole thing over.
  7. Serve immediately with a large mug of tea or a good Bloody Mary!
  • Some good things to add to a hash are in no particular order, a small garlic clove, fried mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, chopped parsley and fresh or frozen peas.
  • Many people like their hash served with a fried or poached egg. A case of gilding the lily perhaps, but delicious nonetheless.
  • Some people think that tomato ketchup is essential with corned beef hash, but I would prefer more Worcestershire Sauce or Henderson's Relish. HP Sauce would work too, for a little piquant tang.

1 comment:

MaryMoh said...

Gosh..I am drooling looking at the picture and reading through your post. Sounds like everything that I want...even as a midnight supper :D Thanks very much for sharing.