Corned beef hash

When was the last time you saw corned beef hash on a menu in the UK?  It’s a de facto standard breakfast offering in cafes the length and breadth of the USA.  Seems crazy that it’s so ignored over this side of the pond.  Admittedly, to do it properly you should use proper “corned beef“, which is closer to salt beef than anything else.  In essence it’s made with brined and cured brisket of beef.  Chopped and flaked it makes a sumptuous brunch or supper dish in many ways, not least corned beef hash.

Sadly it’s not always possible to obtain proper corned beef, though it’s not difficult to make.  However, while canned corned beef is not the same thing at all, for these purposes it works pretty well and makes a decent and tasty end result.  However, it’s a good idea to invest in a top quality product with good solid meat.  Poor canned CB is soft and mushy, courtesy of goodness knows what fillers added to eke out the meaty stuff.

This is very much my recipe, others tending to contain far fewer spicy mixing ingredients, but trust me – this is worth it!

Ingredients (feeds about 4 people):

  • 1 large can of corned beef, chopped into half inch cubes
  • Cold boiled potatoes (yesterday’s leftovers fine), cut into smallish chunks
  • 1 large or 2 smaller onions, sliced
  • Garlic puree (squeeze)
  • tomato puree (squeeze)
  • Worcester sauce
  • Stokes or your favourite brown sauce (optional)
  • Salt & freshly milled black pepper
  • 2-3 drops hot chilli sauce (optional)
  • Fresh eggs to serve – poached or fried when the hash is ready

Take a good solid frying pan, ideally cast iron.  Add some oil and heat til nearly smoking.  Add potatoes and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.  Add the corned beef and stir well into the mixture.  Turn down heat and continue to cook, turning often. The corned beef will break down and the mixture will start to form a crust.

Add purees, chilli and/or brown sauce if used, salt and pepper, and stir well in.  Add worcester sauce to taste and stir into the mixture. Continue to stir and cook until the mixture is brown and well cooked.

Serve immediately with a soft-yolked poached or fried egg on the top.  Delicious!

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