My favorite recipes aren’t recipes at all. And if you’ve been hanging out here for any time, you know what I’m going to say next: They’re recipe templates. By template, I mean a series of techniques you can follow with almost any group of ingredients (within reason) to come up with your very own signature dish. In this case, we’re talking hash.
At its heart, hash is really nothing more than some diced meat and potatoes cooked together with some spices. The name hash means chopped up, so technically, any chopped ingredients cooked together and is vaguely breakfasty in nature is a hash. I grew up eating corned beef hash. And not homemade either. The kind in a can cooked in a skillet until crisp. It was actually quite yum, as I remember, but making your own hash opens up a whole new world of spices and yummy additions. As long as its chopped or in small pieces, it’s in.
You can cook a hash just in some oil, but I find that adding some stock or other liquid speeds things up considerably and also helps the flavors to marry. I used some organic chicken stock in mine, but you could just as easily use beef or vegetable stock, some bouillon dissolved in water or just water alone.
Here’s your template:
- Chop ingredients.
- Season to taste.
- Saute in fat; simmer in some liquid.
- Let it get crisp on the bottom. Or not.
- Serve alone or with eggs.
Here’s how I made mine:
- 2 links fresh chorizo, casings removed
- 1-2 Tablespoons oil/butter (if your chorizo is particularly lean)
- 6 medium red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cut in ½” dice (peeling is optional)
- ½ red onion, diced
- 4 white carrots, scrubbed and grated
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- about ½ cup chicken stock
- 1-2 eggs per serving–however you like them. Ours were over medium
- Grated cheese–as much as you think you need. We used pepper jack since our meat was chorizo and we wanted to continue the Tex-Mex theme.
- In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook chorizo until done.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Pour off all but a tablespoon or two of chorizo oil (or add a bit more oil if necessary.
- Add the onions to the pan to start to soften. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Taste and add salt and freshly grated black pepper as necessary. Test the potatoes. If tender, add the chorizo back in. If not, cook another couple of minutes.
- Once you add the chorizo back in, stir well to reheat. If you want crispy bits, turn the heat to medium-high and let cook for a minute or two, undisturbed. Stir and cook for another couple of minutes until the hash is as crispy as you like.
- Serve with eggs and grated cheese.
And there you have it. Hash, your way. If you are wondering what kind of meat you can use, here’s a short list. (And don’t hesitate to chop up your leftovers and toss them in a hash. It’s one of the only ways I can think of to bring leftover French fries back to life). If you’re using a very lean cut, make sure to add additional fat and/or stock to keep things from drying out.
- any kind of sausage
- pork loin
- port shoulder
- leftover pot roast
- corned beef
- leftover turkey from Thanksgiving
- dark meat chicken
- lamb (ground or shoulder or whatever)
- ground beef
- leftover meat loaf
I hope I have opened you up to the possibilities of the Wonderful World of Hash. Enjoy, and have a lovely day.