My husband loves corned beef hash. Actually, he loves corned beef any-which-way and there was an infamous occasion some years before he met me when he very nearly killed himself eating some from a tin he didn’t notice had a hole in. It was the only time he ever took a day off work.
How he managed not to notice that it ponged to high heaven is beyond me, although I suspect a night in the pub may have contributed to his downfall.
All of which isn’t a very appetising preamble to this recipe, which I promise will not result in food poisoning (assuming you observe basic hygiene and don’t try to cook it after a boys’ night out). It makes a good brunch or supper dish.
Mrs P's Corned Beef Hash
I used home-made spicy tomato ketchup and hot smoked pepper sauce but I have substituted easy-to-find storecupboard ingredients here. Parboiling the veg helps keep the middle moist and tender. It doesn’t really reduce the cooking time though.
The secret of a good corned beef hash is long, slow cooking, so you get a good golden crust on the outside. In fact I was tempted to call this a hash brownie but I didn’t want to be misunderstood. Or arrested.
350-400g corned beef, chilled and cubed
2-3 large potatoes, peeled, diced and parboiled
2 onions, 2-3 sticks of celery, 2 red and/or green peppers, diced, parboiled and drained
A big handful of chopped parsley
Tomato ketchup, a couple of tbsps
Tabasco, a good dash
Freshly ground black pepper and a little salt
Oil for frying
Bring two large pans of lightly salted water to the boil and parboil the potato cubes in one and the rest of the veg in the second. They won’t need long – just a minute or so once they come back to the boil. Drain them well.
Put the potatoes, the rest of the veg, the cubed corned beef and parsley in a large bowl and stir through just enough ketchup to bind the mix without making it too wet and without smushing up the ingredients.
Add tabasco and cayenne pepper to taste and season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a little salt.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large deep frying pan and tip the mixture in.
Fry slowly over a low-to-medium heat, browning it, scraping up the crispy bits and mixing them gently in, then browning some more. Don’t rush it!
Finally press the hash down into a thick cake and brown the base thoroughly over a low heat without stirring. This will take longer than you think is humanly possible. Best done sober.
Invert it onto a plate, clean out the pan, add a little more oil and once it’s hot slip the hash back in, in one piece if possible. If not, squish it back together. Brown the other side.
Cut into thick wedges and serve, with more ketchup and possibly a fried egg if you’re anything like my husband, or just a crisp green salad. And yes, maybe a beer.