So I used to think that I didn’t like corned beef. I suspect that’s because my biggest exposure to it had been the canned version when we lived overseas – weirdly textured and overly spiced. Sort of like SPAM but the beef version. Or there were the cans of Hormel corned beef hash that my mother used to fix us for lunch sometimes when I was a kid – mushy and weird tasting. I always made her practically burn mine before I could eat it. (For some reason it didn’t taste as bad if it was crunchy all the way through!)
Then a few years ago I had a Reuben sandwich in New York. A revelation of a sandwich that included piles of thinly sliced, fresh corned beef. Whoa. So delicious. Since then I’ve been a big fan of corned beef and I order it whenever we go out to my favorite deli here in Atlanta.
All of that to say that when I ran across this at my local Publix:
… I had to try it! It’s a pre-brined roast that just has to be cooked with the included spices. I was sort of semi-skeptical, but what the heck. For $10 it’s worth a try.
When I opened the pack, it smelled like corned beef, so that was a solid plus. I put it in my slow cooker, added liquid to cover (as much as I could), and set it to cook on low for 8 hours. (The directions on the pack call for bringing it to a boil and then simmering for 3-4 hours, but I wanted to see how it worked in the slow cooker.)
After 8 hours it came out looking like this:
It had the proper bright pink color that I expected from corned beef, and it was absolutely fork tender. It took no effort at all to go from the whole roast above to a plate full of shredded beef:
Yum!! I could have sliced it (carefully) and made sandwiches, but I had an ulterior motive: I really really wanted to try to make corned beef hash. So the next step was to boil a few potatoes, saute some onion and garlic, and toss the whole mess into a cast iron skillet.
And finally to serve it for dinner with a soft fried egg:
I gotta tell you, homemade corned beef hash? Soooo much better than the canned version of my childhood. Delicious for dinner, and even better the next day for lunch after the flavors had a chance to blend.
Well worth the time and effort. Next time I’m going to try to make the entire thing from scratch myself, though. Stay tuned for that!
Kara’s Corned Beef Hash
- 1 lb corned beef, diced or shredded
- 4-5 yellow potatoes (I used Yukon gold), boiled, peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp oil or fat for frying (I used bacon grease, you can use butter or olive oil, too)
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the fat/oil in a large skillet (I used a 12″ cast iron skillet, but any heavy bottomed, large skillet will do) over medium heat.
Mix together all of your ingredients and add them to the skillet, tossing them to get a light coating of the hot oil.
Spread the mixture out evenly over the bottom of the skillet, press it down, and leave it for 10-15 mins (depending on how crusty you want your hash). After 15 mins, using a large spatula, flip the hash in sections and press it back down, leaving it for another 10-15 mins to cook on the other side.
If you have a smaller skillet, or you want your hash crispier all the way through, you can cook this in two batches to get a thinner layer in the pan.
This is a very basic recipe. I used the 2nd half of my corned beef to make another batch with added cabbage and bell pepper, so feel free to add whatever vegetables you think might make this interesting. Hash is, after all, meant to be a way to use up leftovers, so take advantage of that.