The other day while strolling through the supermarket, I spotted corned beef. I had always wondered why I never ate it outside of St. Patrick’s day because it is one of my more favorite foods. So I picked it up, slapped it in the cart and set out on a multi-day plan.
The only thing that can beat corned beef by itself, is hashing it. The problem is there is usually none left over after everyone gets to it. With just my wife and picky 2-year-old eating it with me, I was bound to have plenty, and I did.
The thing with homemade corned beef hash is: it blows the canned stuff out of the water.
The first time I had real corned beef hash was this little backwater restaurant on the outskirts of Phoenix. It was the kind of place that looked like it carried every kind of bacteria and served it daily. But, the parking lot was absolutely packed and there was a short line. About as good of an omen for a breakfast joint as you can get.
Once we got inside, it was like stepping into a well-furnished Tardis. Was way bigger on the inside and was very well maintained. I still think back on that place and why they never invested a cent into making it look nice on the outside. I guess they just worked on word of mouth and people driving by seeing how popular it was.
In any case, I always look for corned beef hash on the menu; it is easily my favorite breakfast item. It just happened to be the special of the day so I happily ordered and waited.
A few cups of burnt coffee later it was sitting in front of me. It was like nothing I had ever seen. The potato chunks were big, there was onion and the corned beef looked more like pulled pork than corned beef. All of its differences made it shine.
Getting the flavor of corned beef hash with an actual texture that isn’t mush was illuminating.
From that day forward, I try to make it whenever I have leftover corned beef. That used to be maybe once a year but I think it will happen more often going forward.
Corned beef hash
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 cups cut then flaked, cooked corned beef
2 to 3 cups chopped cooked potatoes
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper
1. Sauté onions in butter and thyme: Heat butter in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) on medium heat. Add the onion and cook a few minutes until translucent.
2. Add potatoes and corned beef: Mix in the corned beef and potatoes. Spread out evenly over the pan. Increase the heat to high or medium high and press down on the mixture with a metal spatula.
3. Cook until browned, then flip: Do not stir the potatoes and corned beef, but let them brown. If you hear them sizzling, this is good.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!