Saturday, March 19, 2005

Corned Beef Hash

James Beard said it best: "For many people this is the best part of corned beef. It has been a breakfast dish for generations."

I agree. Although I didn't grow up on corned beef hash, I could count on beef hash each time mom made roast beef and potatoes. She'd grind the leftover roast and potatoes through a hand-cranked meat grinder with onions and bake. Catsup and poached eggs would garnish the hash at the dinner table.

Hash is a great dish when you're burdened with leftover meat and potatoes in camp. Camp cook and cookbook author C.W. "Butch" Welch prepares hash when faced with such a dilemma. On last night's airing of Dutch Oven and Camp Cooking, Cee Dub prepared a "wide-eyed" breakfast with corned beef hash and baking powder biscuits in Dutch ovens.

Cee Dub makes his hash by cleaning out the chuckbox. He uses whatever is available, including a leftover leg of lamb on one trip. He seasoned the lamb with curry powder to create a "brand new breakfast."

Cee Dub used the basic technique in the show to prepare the hash. He heated a large Dutch oven over a camp stove, then sautéed chopped onions and minced garlic in olive oil. He added leftover diced cooked meat and baked potatoes to the oven. Cee Dub used 1-cup meat to 1-1/2 cups potatoes. To finish the hash, he stirred it and adjusted the seasoning.

To make the "wide-eyes," Cee Dub pressed a coffee cup into the hash to make several indentations for the eggs. After breaking one egg into each indentation, Cee Dub placed a pre-heated lid over the Dutch oven and baked the hash with top heat for several minutes to set the eggs. Don't forget to season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Dutch Oven and Camp Cooking airs on RFD-TV each Friday at 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The show is repeated Saturday at 3:30 a.m. Times are Pacific time. Currently, RFD-TV is available to over 21.2 million homes as a basic channel on DISH Network (channel 9409), DIRECTV (379), Mediacom and NCTC cable systems.


Corned beef hash for 2 hearty eaters or 4 lighter portions. I prepared one-half of the recipe in a 10-inch Lodge chef's skillet. A full recipe fits inside a 12-inch cast iron skillet or 12-inch Dutch oven.

Prepare this camp version of corned beef hash in an uncovered 12-inch Dutch oven over a gas camp stove. Place a pre-heated lid on the Dutch oven to quickly cook the eggs just before serving.

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 slices bacon, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 pound corned beef, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
Hot pepper sauce, to taste
8 large eggs
Black pepper, to taste

Bring potatoes, 5 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cook potatoes for 4 minutes, then drain and set aside. Set Dutch oven lid on lid stand. Place approximately 20 charcoal briquettes on lid to pre-heat.

Cook bacon in 12-inch Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add onion and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in corned beef. Mix in potatoes and lightly pack with spatula.

Reduce heat to medium and pour beef broth and hot pepper sauce evenly over hash. Cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Then, with spatula, invert hash, one portion at a time, and fold browned bits back into hash. Lightly pack hash. Repeat process every minute or two until potatoes are cooked, about 8 minutes longer.

Make 8 indentations equally spaced on surface of hash. Crack 1 egg into each indentation and sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce bottom heat to low and set pre-heated lid on Dutch oven. Cook until eggs are set, about 4 to 6 minutes. Serve 1 egg for each portion. Serve with catsup or your favorite chili sauce.

This recipe is adapted from the charter issue of Cook's Country.

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