What a fun weekend: first we celebrated St. Patrick, then St. Joseph!
And how else to celebrate a holiday or two than with lots of great food!!
Corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick and Żeppoli for St. Joseph are a nice break from Lent type food.
Especially if you’re also raising a glass or two of ale or wine.
But, just like every other holiday, this weekend presents us with the eternal problem: what to do with the leftovers?
What else? Make Corned Beef Hash.
Hash is a recipe dear to any frugal cook’s heart.
Some leftover roasted meat - yes, you can make hash using beef, pork or lamb - and leftover potatoes, and, if you have them, a bit of leftover vegetables.
What’s not to love?
An English variation of hash is bubble and squeak, made with leftover vegetables from a roast dinner. The vegetables are usually potato and cabbage, but carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts can also be added. They used to add chopped leftover roast, but now a vegetarian version is more popular.
Hash can be served for breakfast, as a nice change from bacon or sausages.
It’s delicious with eggs, and fried potatoes, toast or biscuits.
If you want to keep the Celtic flavour, serve Corned Beef Hash with Irish Soda Bread, or Irish Cakes, or Welsh Cakes.
In the southern United States, hash can be two other dishes:
Leftover barbecue pork mixed with barbecue sauce and served over rice.
A thick stew made from leftover pork, chicken and beef and served with cornbread.
Do not use leftover corned beef in Maltese Corned Beef Pie.
If you do, well, don’t invite a Maltese person to eat it.
Trust me, it’s not the same as canned.
The name hash comes from the French verb hacher which means ‘to chop’. A hash recipe first appeared in Mrs Rundell's A New System of Domestic Cookery in 1806.
Bubble and squeak got its name from the bubbling and squeaking sounds that the cabbage makes while it’s being cooked. It is usually served with leftover cold meat, with pickles or brown sauce, and can also be served as part of a full English breakfast.
National Corned Beef Hash Day is September 27.
Canned corned beef can be used in hash if you really have to substitute.
But NEVER use leftover fresh corned beef in Maltese Corned Beef Pie.
You’ve been warned.
Hash is a way to use leftovers, but try to keep the ratio to 2 parts meat to 1 part potatoes, with just a bit of vegetables.
You want your hash to be on the dry side so that it will brown well and have a bit of crunch. An excess of vegetables can make the hash mushy.
If you have a lot of leftover vegetables they might be better in a pot of bubble and squeak, and served on the side.
Back to the crunch… don’t crowd the meat and potatoes in your pan.
It’s like frying doughnuts.
They need space to get browned. Without the space they’ll get stewed.
If you’re serving a crowd, it would be better to cook in batches.
When you flip the hash cake it will break apart. That’s fine.
The bits will get more browned and add to the texture.
Corned Beef Hash
Chop leftover corned beef, enough to make 2 Cups
1 small onion
1/4 Cup leftover cabbage (optional)
1 Cup leftover boiled potatoes
1/4 Cup leftover rutabaga (optional)
1/4 Cup leftover carrot (optional)
Place in a large bowl
the potatoes and corned beef
Toss together lightly with a fork.
Place in a large skillet
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
Over medium high heat melt the butter or heat the oil.
the onions and optional vegetables
Stirring often, cook until lightly browned.
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
the meat and potatoes
salt and pepper
Gently shape the mixture into a flat cake.
Let the mixture brown on one side, about 10 - 15 minutes.
Flip the mixture and let it brown on the other side, about another 10 - 15 minutes.
WHILE THE HASH IS COOKING:
Cook 2 to 4 large eggs (poach, fry, scramble, boil - your choice)
When the cake is nice and crispy, scoop half and place it in a plate.
Top with half of the eggs.
Repeat for the second serving.
About the sky this week and next, thanks to the folks at The Farmers' Almanac…
March 20 – The Spring Equinox at 6:29 a.m. The last quarter Moon at 11:58 a.m. In this phase, the Moon appears as a half Moon in the sky.
March 27 – New Moon at 10:57 p.m. In this phase, the Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight and is completely invisible to the naked eye.
March 30 – Look to the western sky as darkness falls to see the the tiny waxing crescent Moon just eight degrees from Mars. Look low to the horizon and you might be able to spot Mercury with binoculars an hour after sunset. The Moon is at perigee, which means that it is at the closest point to Earth in its cycle.