Friday, February 26, 2010

Red Flannel Hash

Here's what Farmer John had for us at the Silver Lake pick-up this week:

Baby beets
Baby bok choi
Tat soi
Curly mustard
Green garlic
Green onion
Stinging nettles
Chicoria (Italian dandelion)

I must confess, I adore beets. They're beautiful and versatile, savory and sweet. There's even a cake I bake with beets! One of my favorite beet recipes is Red Flannel Hash. Making it from scratch can be a bit of a production, but it's well worth the effort.

If you plan ahead, however, you can make Red Flannel Hash from leftovers, since the main ingredients - beets and potatoes - are cooked before assembling the hash. In fact, hash is traditionally made from leftovers. So, the next time you cook up some beets or potatoes, think about Red Flannel Hash and make a little extra so that you can enjoy this delicious treat.

Red Flannel Hash

3 medium beets
3 large red skin potatoes
1 lb deli corned beef, in a chunk, not sliced (optional)
1 large onion
4 T vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 eggs

1. Cut off the beet greens and save them for another use. Wash and dry the beets. Wrap them in foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven until just tender, about 45 minutes. When the beets are done, set them aside to cool. When you can handle them, remove the foil and slip off their skins. Dice the beets and set them aside.

2. While the beets are in the oven, scrub the potatoes. Put them in a sauce pan with water to cover and boil them, peels and all, until just tender. Remove the pan from the heat. Drain the potatoes, set them aside to cool. When you can handle them, dice the potatoes and set them aside.

3. While the beets and potatoes are cooking, chop the onion and dice the corned beef. If you're a vegetarian, you can omit the corned beef, just add another beet or 2 and another potato in order to have enough hash for 4 people.

4. To assemble the hash: in a large skillet over medium-high heat cook the chopped onion in 2 T vegetable oil until translucent. Add the additional 2 T oil and the diced beets, diced potatoes, and diced corned beef. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.

5. Cook the hash, stirring occasionally. Let the hash form a bit of a crust on the bottom before stirring it up, but be careful not to burn the hash. Use additional oil as necessary and turn down the heat if desired. Since the ingredients are already cooked, cook the hash to your desired doneness. I like my hash with a lot of browned crustiness.

6. When the hash is nearly done, cook the eggs. You can poach them in simmering water or fry them in a separate skillet either sunnyside up or over to your desired doneness.

7. To serve, scoop some hash onto a plate and top with 2 poached or fried eggs. Serve hot.

Serves 4



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