​Corny, But Delicious

andy mueller

corny, but delicious—andy mueller—march 2020

When I was a lad, I thought everybody ate corn, beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. I found out the correct way to say it was "corned" beef and cabbage. Great, thanks for clearing that up, now I'm even more confused. What does corn have to do with cabbage? Turns out, not much at all, aside from the way it's cooked, or cured as the case may be.

The only reason the word "corned" precedes beef in this Irish favorite is the fact that the beef brisket, or eye of round is cured in salt that resembles the size and shape of a kernel of corn—so put that on your Reuben and grill it.

Millions will enjoy corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, usually served with boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage and maybe a little horseradish cream sauce to pick it up on the palate, but I, like many chef's, love the days that follow as we try to utilize leftover corned beef to maximize dollars and push the creative envelope.

The next day may be a Reuben or variation of one, possibly replacing 1,000 island for spicy mustard and change the kraut to some type of crunchy slaw to elevate the profile for the non-kraut contingency out there. I've had good luck with a Reuben soup featuring diced corned beef in a cream based broth with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and topped with dark rye croutons to garnish, but the top of the leftover list happens the very next morning after St. Paddy's Day—corned beef hash!

I'm sure you've had the canned version at some point in your life and may or may not be a fan and I can't blame you. Once you've had homemade corned beef hash you may never go back to the can again—I'll leave that one alone. Slow cooked, quality corned beef costs good money and you want to make sure every morsel is used and, by making it yourself, you know the source and the method of preparation, making the chances of an excellent corned beef hash very good.

I always recommend a cast iron skillet to achieve the best texture of crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, but a good quality non-stick skillet will suffice. Try this one the morning after the big Green Beer Bash and don't fall victim to the corned can O' Blarney. Enjoy!

Corned Beef Hash

In a large cast iron skillet over medium to medium high heat add:

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon canola oil

When the butter starts to bubble add:

1 cup chopped onions

3 cups cooked, cooled and cubed russet or baby red potatoes

2 cups cooked, diced corned beef

Pinch of salt and generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Allow the potatoes and onions to cook, stirring occasionally for about five minutes. When the onions start to sweat, leave the hash alone! This is the part where patience comes into play. You want the hash to form a good crust and it will take a bit of time—five to eight minutes without stirring. As the hash starts to brown nicely and form a crust, use a spatula to turn the hash over in small sections, and repeat the cooking time for the other side. Serve immediately with poached eggs and rye toast and carry that corned beef right on through morning.


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