Breakfast hash is traditionally a dish that’s meant to use up leftovers from the night before. The thing is, hash is so good that’s it’s a shame to only make it when you happen to have leftover meat lying around. Personally, I’ve been known to set pot roast or pork loin aside at dinner to insure that I have leftovers for hash the next morning.
The greatest thing about hash is that it’s supposed to be thrown together, not made according to a strict recipe. Almost any combination of meat, eggs and root vegetables qualifies as hash. As far as root vegetables go, potatoes have long dominated the breakfast scene, which is a shame. Turnips, rutabagas, parsnips and even beets are all root vegetables worthy of taking a potato’s place. You can use any one of these root vegetables, or all of them at once, to make hash with extra flavor, color and nutrients.
The meat in hash can be anything from leftover turkey, pork, buffalo or beef to traditional breakfast meat like sausage and bacon. If you want to cook meat specifically for hash, consider a pork loin or shoulder or a beef chuck or round. The simple cooking method below will add flavor to any of these cuts.
2 turnips or rutabagas
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons oil (bacon fat and melted butter also work well)
1 pound cooked meat (about 3 cups of meat shredded or sliced)
Cut the carrots, parsnips, turnip/rutabagas and beet into small squares or wedges. The shape doesn’t really matter but try to cut all the pieces the same size so they cook evenly.
The smaller the vegetable pieces, the easier it is to form a browned crust on the hash that is similar to hash browns. Larger vegetable pieces, like the ones in this photo, won’t become as crispy in the pan and won’t meld together like hash browns, but the hash will still taste great.
Add the vegetables to a boiling pot of water and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan. Slice the onion into thin pieces and sauté it in the oil until soft. Add two more tablespoons of oil, the root vegetables and whichever type of meat you are using. Sprinkle with cumin and salt to taste. Keep the burner on a medium-low heat so the hash will brown slowly. Stir as little as possible, but every so often, flip the vegetables on the bottom up to the top, so more vegetables have a chance to brown. Browning the hash to your liking will take between 15-30 minutes then it’s time to add the egg. The eggs can be scrambled and cooked right in the pan, you can crack eggs on top of the hash and cover the pan until the eggs cook, or you can fry eggs in a separate pan. Like I said, there are many variations to this recipe, but all will result in delicious hash. Serves 4-6.
Meat preparation for hash
1 pound pork or beef
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
Heat oven to 325. Sprinkle paprika and salt on meat. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan. Brown the meat on all sides then transfer to a baking dish. To the pan on the stove, add beef stock, vinegar and bay leaf.
Simmer 3-5 minutes, scraping up any bits of meat still in the pan. Pour liquid over the meat, cover the baking pan with foil and put meat in the oven. Cook until the meat is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork. A one pound piece of meat usually takes two hours.