Growing up in rural Newfoundland when I did in the 1980s and 1990s, we didn't have a set or traditional menu for every night of the week like it used to be, with one exception. Every Sunday, and I mean every Sunday we had what we would call "Sunday dinner" or "cooked dinner" (of course it was cooked right) and nine times out of ten we had it for lunch, not supper/dinner, even though most Newfoundlanders call lunch dinner, but that's another story. Every Sunday Mom would have the full spread of potatoes, carrots, cabbage and turnip boiled with salt beef or salt spare ribs, peas pudding and all. In the oven there would be a roast of some kind, either a stuffed chicken, a chuck roast or a pork roast, and of course there was gravy to be smothered over the works of it. Making the gravy was actually one of my first jobs in the kitchen at home.
|Finished plate of hash|
Since I moved away from Newfoundland I certainly do not have "cooked dinner" on a weekly basis, however I do try and make it with corned beef (which I love like you wouldn't believe) once every month or two (not enough I know). Last Sunday we did just that and had a huge scoff of boiled dinner with a roast turkey. The dinner was absolutely delicious and was enjoyed by my seven in-laws (one of which is a Newfoundlander herself - my wife's brother's wife) and my wife and I. Luckily there were plenty of leftovers as I was dying for some hash the next day.
While I love my mom's hash, even at a young age I would tinker with mine to make it the way I loved it. My family would be sat down to the table eating away and I'd have my hash slid back into the fry pan trying to get it crispier. Eventually I started making the family hash, and would start off by sauteing some onion, and adding herbs. What I was going for was good texture and flavor throughout the hash. I wasn't looking to just warm up some leftovers, I wanted to get tender onions, crispy potato pieces, caramelized bits of cabbage and carrots, and juicy morsels of meat. With a little bit of TLC it isn't hard to do.
- vegetable oil
|Leftover turnip, carrot and cabbage ready to get hashed|
- Leftover- vegetables from boiled dinner (aka Sunday Dinner, Jigg's Dinner, Cooked Supper, Corned Beef and Cabbage), including: potatoes, cabbage, carrots and turnip.
- Leftover meat, such as: salt beef, corned beef, roast chicken or turkey, pork roast or roast beef.
- Herbs (dried savory, fresh parsley or whatever you like)
- Salt and pepper
- Poached or fried eggs for on top (optional)
- Sides, such as pickled beets, mustard pickled, bread and butter pickles.
You can cook your hash almost however you like and I'm sure it will come out very well. What I'd like to share is how I think you can maximize the flavor potential of your hash and get the best tasting hash you've ever had. Instead of throwing everything is a skillet at once and letting it heat through or get fried on one side, I stage the process to ensure that everything gets well crisped and certain things don't overcook. I like to use a large cast iron skillet to make hash in, but a non stick fry pan will also work great. I'm not giving amounts here, as you have to use whatever leftovers you have. Use the amount of onion according to how much hash you want to make and how much you like fried onions.
|Crispy hash, just waiting for a fried egg|