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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Corned Beef # - My Way

Let's take a break from the red and black pics today, though I am wearing the combo again as I type.  It's blowing a hoolie out there (54 mph, 3-4 degrees) and we've got a fire going here in the lounge.  What better time is there to talk comfort food?

Corned Beef # (see what I did there!).  Such a beautiful comfort food to enjoy at this time of year, when it's cold, dark and wet outside :-(.  Or if for medical reasons you're following a soft food diet.  Or maybe you've just had braces fitted and only soft will do.

Traditionally, corned beef hash is made with cubed potatoes.  I make mine with mashed potatoes. 
This is how I was taught to make it in my teens and I have felt no reason to change to the traditional cubed method.

Here's my recipe.  The measurements are rough, as you make what you feel comfortable eating.

So, tadaah,
Corned Beef Hash Mash!

What quantities are given will serve roughly 4.

1) Cut your peeled floury potatoes into roughly equal sized pieces or thick slices and boil in salted water until soft.

Whilst the potatoes are cooking,
2) halve 2 large (white) onions and slice them fairly thickly.  Heat some oil and fry the onions slowly, so that they soften but don't burn.  As they start to go a pale amber, start adding small quantities of water, allowing each addition to be absorbed by the onions before the next.  Do this 3-4 times. 
This gives a nice slushy and delicately caramelised onion which is a bit sauce-like.

Someone asked me what the "secret ingredient" was to my hash.  The "saucey thing" she elaborated.  I was flummoxed.  I had no idea.   There was no sauce in it.  It was only when next I made the hash that I realised that it was this water stage that makes a sort of "sauce", the secret ingredient.

3) Whilst the onions are cooking, cube the contents of a tin of corned beef.  The cubes should be about 3/4 inch square.

4) When soft-cooked, drain and then mash the potato, then season to taste with salt and white pepper and add a splash of warmed milk and some butter.  Beat with a large wooden spoon till creamy, adding more milk as required. 
The beating is important; I picked it up in a 1940s rations cook book.  The book had some excellent simple dishes.  Unfortunately, I lost the cook book but I remember this tip for getting fluffy mash - beat it!

5) When the potatoes are mashed, add the corned beef to the onions and gently warm through with the onions using a wooden spoon.  This will take just 1-2 minutes.

6) Serving.  You have two choices, according to preference.
a) per person, pile a serving of mash on a plate, top with the corned beef and onion mix and serve.
b) Add the mash to the corned beef and onion mix.  Gently blend together and serve.
We keep this meal simple by adding warmed and seasoned baked beans.  And HP sauce :-).

Now here's the thing. I forgot to take a pic of the Hash made on Monday which inspired this post.  What am I like?!!
And I discovered that nobody else makes it like this.  Nobody.   The only pics on the net are of the cubed potato variety.  Am I really alone in the world on this one, the mashed hash?

Left overs
(I did remember to take a pic of Tuesday's lunch!)

I tend to cook enough for 4,  saving the leftovers (including baked beans) for a second lunch meal the next day. 

Lunch leftovers: scrunch together the hash and beans with your hand.  Form patties.  Fry in rape oil until golden brown on both sides, turning gently just the once during cooking.
I like these patties served with sliced pickled beetroot.  And HP.

Simple, satisfying - comfort food at its best!

Well this has been cosy.   Talking through a recipe with you (and with a few digressions) whilst the wind howls down the chimney and the rain lashes against the window.

A bad Kindle shot of cosy fire.

Keep snug.

A la perchoine.


  1. Mr Him makes a hash (of things) mashed. He introduced me to hashes. I like the sound of yours. It's more mashy then his by the addition of the sauce. I'll try that at the weekend. It sounds comforting as you say. What brand of corned beef do you use?

    1. Oh so pleased I'm not alone! I used Prince's but I think they're all of a muchness. Enjoy. Hope you find it smooth enough.