Hash up!

I do a big shop every month or six weeks online with Sainsbury’s. As a non-driver, it’s actually cheaper and easier than getting a taxi with my bulky essentials and I find it easier to stick to a budget and avoid impulse purchases this way. Occasionally though I discover I haven’t been paying full attention when filling my basket and get the odd surprise. This time it happened to be a random tin of corned beef…

I contemplated keeping it in the cupboard until needed in a post-apocalyptic scenario, but not wanting to encourage 2012 to be the end of the world, I decided to use it up. None of my cookbooks offered any advice (Can you imagine Nigel Slater telling you what to do with anything tinned?) so I turned to Google. Even allowing for the fact that corned beef is different in the US, there seemed to be only one recipe on the agenda. Corned beef hash it was then!

I diced some potatoes and put them on to par-boil while I fulfilled a rather dubious childhood ambition to open a can of corned beef with the key provided. This moment of giddy joy was immediately quashed upon realising I had basically unleashed a can of premium catfood. I hoped that the judicious addition of mustard and Lea & Perrins would break the association.

The potatoes and onions went into a hot pan to crisp up round the edges and looked pretty darned tasty. I added in the diced beef and turned my attention to frying an egg. The beef began to melt and coat the vegetables evenly even if it did remain an odd pinkish colour. I reminded myself that anything involving fried spuds is a good thing and plated up.

This was surprisingly palatable. The rich egg yolk bound it together nicely and the mustard gave it a tasty kick that disguised just how mind blowingly salty corned beef really is. (Yes, I know that the corns of the name relate to salt not grains, but it still surprises me). I enjoyed this as a hearty Saturday brunch far more than I expected, but think it would be better if the beef was less prevalent and more like a dressing on the crispy potatoes. This would make it an excellent dish to feed about 6 people heartily without costing more than pennies. I’m not sure I’d bother cooking it again unless this scenario arose. Sadly I still have half a can of corned beef to use up though. Maybe I’ll feed it to the squirrels…

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3 replies
  1. mister_north
    mister_north says:

    you brave girl! i still have traumatic flashbacks to being forced to eat corned beef hash as a kid at my mate’s house… I had to smuggle it off the plate in a napkin.

    i was converted a few years ago at the wonderful mr sam’s chophouse in manchester, where they salt their own beef and make a handsome plateful of victorian goodness and call it hash. however it will take a lot to make me hanker after a plate of the tinned stuff again :)

  2. Meghan
    Meghan says:

    Oh sweet jesus, when you said it was a can of premium cat food, I was like “oh ha ha,” then scrolled down, and NO REALLY, THAT’S CAT FOOD. Glad to hear it ended up being palatable, though.

    I’m impressed with your ability to accidentally buy things when getting groceries online. I do the same thing, but I usually end up with seven bottles of wine rather than random tinned goods.

  3. miss_south
    miss_south says:

    Meghan, seriously. It looked like the only thing missing from the can was a cutesy tagline about I ♥ my cat…I’m slightly scared that it was edible to me.

    Mister North, I’ve sampled Mr Sam’s plate of heaven. There is no comparison. My corned beef bete noire is in sandwiches. I have childhood memories of sliced corned beef on Mighty White with margarine and a Capri-Sun to wash it down. Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel faint and must lie down immediately!

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