Sunday, July 01, 2007

Red Flannel Hash

A couple of months ago I attended a cooking class at a local supermarket. This was one of the recipes we did. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted, given that it contains beets. We never ate beets when I was growing up, except for (rarely) canned ones, which I think are ghastly. I tried this recipe at home yesterday, and was satisfied with the results. I'm not sure where the "flannel" part of the name comes from, but the dish is certainly a cheery red color.

This is probably more of a wintry recipe, given that it includes potatoes, beets, and corned beef. Speaking of corned beef, another ingredient I've never used before: the recipe calls for "fresh cooked" corned beef. Does that mean you're supposed to cook it beforehand? How? I wasn't sure, and I couldn't remember what we'd done in the class that night, so I diced it and heated it through in the pan with the onions.

To reduce the number of dirty pans, I boiled the potatoes and beets in the same pan. The potatoes picked up some of the red color from the beets, so the finished product was even redder.

You're supposed to cook the hash so that it's one large "cake" with a crust on both sides. However, our instructor admitted she had trouble turning it over once it was done on one side. If she couldn't do it, I decided I wasn't going to worry about it. So, after cooking the onions and beef, I added the cooked potatoes and beets, and the other ingredients. I found that their advice to mix the ingredients in a bowl first is good; it was hard to mix everything thoroughly in the skillet, because it was so full. I pressed everything down, let it cook through well, and left it at that. It didn't brown, and probably would have been even tastier if it had.

The original recipe calls for a poached egg to be served over each section of hash, but I've left out that part.

Verdict: This is pretty good - I may well make it again.

Red Flannel Hash
(source: ShopRite Culinary Workshop)

2 tbsp butter
1 cup finely diced white onions
1 lb. fresh cooked corned beef, diced
1 1/2 cups diced cooked potatoes
1 cup diced cooked beets
1/2 cup bias-cut sliced green onions
3 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
pinch thyme
2 tbsp oil

1. Heat butter over medium heat in saute pan until melted; add white onions and cook until soft and translucent. Remove onions to large bowl.

2. Add corned beef, potatoes, beets, green onions, parsley and thyme to bowl with cooked onions; stir carefully until well combined.

3. Heat oil in a cast-iron pan or heavy stainless pan over high heat. Add hash mixture and press it into an even layer; reduce heat to medium.

4. Cook hash until browned crust forms on bottom; turn over and repeat browning process. Remove from heat; cut into wedges and serve.

Recycle: oil bottle

Compost: vegetable peelings and trimmings