I love the concept of hash: a big messy delicious jumble – heavy on the potatoes – bits of tasty onion & bell pepper strewn around, shreds of salty meat in every bite, the yolk of a soft cooked egg dripping down over a crispy brown hunk of potato…. mmmm. Leftover corned beef is my inspiration for this dish but there is no need to limit yourself to St. Patrick’s Day. Make this any time of year for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Use ham or bacon instead of corned beef for an equally delicious hash!
I decided to throw some veggies into the mix – carrots and zucchini. Might as well make it a full, well-balanced meal. Shredded brussels sprouts would also be great!
The hash is cooked in two stages. First you sauté the vegetables to get them softened and starting to brown. The shredded corned beef is tossed in and browned for a couple of minutes. Then everything is transferred to an ovenproof dish and kept warm while you brown the potatoes.
The whole mix can stay warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve.
Now that you have a delicious pile of hash, the crowning touch, in my opinion, is a poached egg. There’s a lot of debate about how to poach the perfect egg. Some swear by adding vinegar to the poaching water. Others say it gives the eggs a bad taste. I scoured the internet and my cookbooks to learn the best method. I thought Julia Child’s method might be good – it usually is – but her recipe requires too many specialized gadgets: an egg-pricker to prep the egg for a 10-second boil in the shell, followed by poaching it in a specially-designed egg-poaching cup.
Finally I landed on a very interesting video on “How to Poach Eggs” from Serious Eats. I used their method and poached a bunch of eggs their way. Every single egg was perfect! Here are the key tips for perfect poached eggs: One: Use very fresh eggs. Two: Before cooking the egg, crack it into a mesh strainer and jiggle it around over the sink to let the liquid part of the white drain out. Turns out it’s that liquid that causes cloudy, messy poached eggs.
Number three: keep the water just under a boil during the cooking process. Lower the strainer into the hot water and tip the egg out into the water. Cook the egg for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes, swirling the water gently from time to time to keep the egg cooking evenly. Remove the poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon. Eggs can be poached in advance, kept in the fridge and reheated in hot water just before serving. That’s the overview but I still highly recommend watching the video!
Of course corned beef hash is great for breakfast or brunch. But I think it’s also the perfect “breakfast for dinner” recipe – especially with all the veggies included. Enjoy!
- 4-5 boiling potatoes (2 pounds), such as yukon golds or red-skinned new potatoes, scrubbed or peeled, cut in half, crosswise.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow Onion, diced (1½ cups)
- 2 carrots, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced in quarters lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 green or yellow pepper, seeded and diced
- 10 ounces cooked corned beef or cooked bacon or ham, cubed or shredded
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 fresh eggs, if you're serving the hash with eggs on top
- Preheat oven to 225ºF. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are just cooked through. Drain potatoes in a colander. Let them cool. Cut them into ½-inch dice, set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. (You can also use a non-stick skillet, but keep a close eye on the heat to ensure the veggies and potatoes don't burn) Add onions, peppers, zucchini and carrots. Push them down into the pan in a single layer and leave them undisturbed for 3 minutes to brown. Flip them and leave them for another 2-3 minutes. Add corned beef and cook, tossing everything in the skillet for another minute or two. Sprinkle with thyme and a few grinds of black pepper. Transfer the mixture to a casserole or heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Add potatoes. Press potatoes down into the pan into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, for 7-8 minutes, until a golden crust is formed on the bottom. Sprinkle potatoes with ½ teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper and toss. Transfer potatoes to the casserole or bowl with rest of the mix. Put it in the oven to keep warm until you're ready to serve.
- Poach eggs, if using. Divide hash among 4-5 plates and serve with poached eggs on top, if you like. Pass around extra salt and pepper.