I consider the first woman who ever mixed leftover meat with vegetables and seasonings before frying it a domestic revolutionary. She is on my list of ‘Most Inspiring People’. I picture her standing over the blistering hot skillet, hand on her hip, a slight smile playing around the mouth that was more familiar with pursing in serious concentration.
”Wait till he tries *this*.” She thinks, and I see the smile breaking out now, bright as dawn. Perhaps her burly man had sighed over the soups that were the usual destination for left-overs. Being the thrifty and ingenious matron that she was, she probably set her busy mind on the predicament while scrubbing linens or spinning yarn until she had her solution.
I can see her grating, chopping, adding a little of this and that to scraps of cured pork or beef or mutton, mincing them together with potatoes, cabbage, carrots… what ever her fancy landed on, making her hash and thereby answering her problem. The hot, black pan was made ready for the newborn culinary creation with a swipe of lard and then, just as the man of the house returned from his work, the hash was slapped on and cooked up. He was, I am sure, enticed by the fragrant promise of a good dinner and she was well pleased.
That is as far as I dare conjecture. I know, I went pretty far as it is, but I won’t presume to know whether she served it with eggs, gravy or a sturdy, home made biscuit. We’ll leave that to her….
I made a very simple hash the other night for the Man of this home, and like that woman so long ago, I made it as an answer to a masculine request… “Can we get some canned hash sometime to eat? I love hash.”
Call it Pride (go ahead, I did already and have since repented of my wickedness) but I decided there and then to Make Hash for my husband, Good Hash. Homemade Hash, The Old Way, the Right Way, and if he still desired Hormel, then I would gladly fry him up a can of the stuff and say no more, but please – let me try my hand at it first. Hormel is no fit competition for a woman with a mind and a frying pan. I will hold to that.
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 pound leftover, cooked corned beef
salt and pepper
I am sure our matron didn’t have a food processor, but I do. This makes a simple meal even simpler. I minced the potato, carrot, onion, garlic and corned beef in a matter of minutes with the food processor. Some recipes I have read have you add broth to the mix, but I didn’t have any broth and so didn’t find it necessary to use it. This truly is an ‘as you like it’ sort of meal, so you could do wonderful things; add peppers, broccoli, use roast beef or chicken instead of corned beef- it’s up to you!I spread the hash out in a layer on the bottom of a hot, lightly greased cast-iron frying pan and let it cook, covered, for five minutes or so before stirring it, flattening it back out and cooking it some more. Once the raw vegetables are well cooked, it is ready to serve. At the very last, when the hash was technically ‘done’, I spread it out once more and cracked three eggs on top, covered it and let it cook until the egg whites were opaque but the yolks still liquid. Let me tell you, the hash, dripping with melting egg yolk is one of the best things I have ever eaten – In My Life.We will not be needing to purchase any Canned Hash in the near future, in fact, I heard some unflattering words launched at the canned stuff while my dear man was happily eating up his dinner.Real Food, once more, wins the day