Here is why we have corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day

March 20, 2016

The reason for corned beef, right here.

The reason for corned beef, right here.

You thought it was to celebrate chasing all those snakes out of Ireland, or as an excuse to drink green beer, didn’t ya? With apologies to my handful of Irish ancestors, ’tain’t so.

It’s so we can have corned beef hash for breakfast (and possibly lunch and dinner) the days following.

There is little I love better than GOOD corned beef hash. There is little that is worse than Bad Corned Beef Hash, but I digress. Today we are reporting and reflecting on the good variety.

Making good corned beef hash is simplicity in itself. First, get out your iron skillet. If you do not have such, shame on you. You can cook it in another skillet, but it won’t be as good. Put just a film of vegetable oil (or peanut oil; some high-smoke-point oil; do not use olive oil) in it and let it get good and hot over medium high heat.

Dice up some cooked potatoes. I used the leftover potatoes I’d cooked with the corned beef, but if you don’t have those hanging around, there’s no reason not to just boil a couple of whole potatoes, cool and peel them, and dice those. I actually had three or four chunks of carrot left as well, so I diced them, too. Then dice up about the same amount of corned beef. I like everything diced in about 1/2 inch dice, but you can go larger or smaller, as you choose. Dump it all in a bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of cream, add plenty of black pepper, and stir it up until  everything’s nicely distributed.

You can certainly dice up onions to go in it as well, and I generally do; not sure why I didn’t this morning. It’s good either way, or with green onions scattered over the top.

I started all this after I made biscuits and put them in the oven. Once I got the hash made, I put it in the skillet, where it commenced to sizzle. Then — and this is IMPORTANT — I Left It Alone for four or five minutes, long enough to get a nice bit of caramelization going on the potatoes and meat.

I turned it to get the unbrowned side down to the iron, and left it alone again while I poached a couple of eggs. (Chech out the yolk color in these babies. That’s why a farm egg is so much better than a grocery store egg. The taste is as much richer as the color is.) Pulled out the biscuits, split one open and buttered it, and scooped out some pear preserves.

Slid the poached eggs out of their poaching cups onto the hash, whereupon one yolk promptly slid off to the side.  Eggs were pretty much perfect — set whites, and not too much of them, and yellow, runny yolks.

And sat down with that and a cup of coffee and proceeded to pig out. Good Lord. I may not eat for a week.

See, I TOLD you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em there’d be corned beef hash this weekend. Didn’t listen to me, didja? Guess you’ll just have to make your own.

 

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