August 4, 2012

This creation we call "Hash"

Nooo, not that kind of hash! Silly, this is the yummy kind. Hash is basically any kind of meat, fried up with some potatoes. Sounds simple, yes? It is. And it can be glorious. My mom would often make a hash with a bunch of leftovers in our fridge, and 90% of the time, it was awesome. But I do have some opinions on it. First, pork works best. Chop up a leftover ham, pork chop, some bacon, etc... My dad certainly has no problem with beef, but then, he'll eat just about anything. He's awesome that way. :) I think pork rules, hash-wise. Second, there must be cheese. And finally, don't EVEN bother trying to make this healthy. It just plain isn't.

A few weeks ago, Stephen noticed a meat stand at the farmer's market! This is unusual, as farmer's markets are generally full of produce, homemade jewelry, and baked things. He went to investigate. Turns out, there is a relatively local farm around here somewhere that raises BERKSHIRE hogs. Oh my. Who here doesn't know what Berkshire hogs are? Raise of hands? Berkshire is the Kobe Beef of pork. If you don't know what Kobe beef is... why are you reading this?? Just kidding!! It's the best. Ever. There is a specific breed of hogs, raised in a specific, very happy way, that makes literally the worldwide acknowledged best pork there is! Now, I am not a HUGE meat enthusiast, like my hubby, but the best is the best! So we got something called "fresh side", which just said "uncured bacon" when I looked it up, but in reality it's super-thick bacon-slash-pork belly. Woah. So how do you cook it? They suggested marinading in maple syrup, but that sounded too sweet to me, so I let it sit overnight in maple syrup, a few tablespoons of brown mustard, and some pepper. Then Stephen fried it up, went into raptures, dubbed it "Nuggets of carmelized celestialness", ate about a third of it, and we made hash!
First, we put some new potatoes and a lone russet potato to roast in the oven. (See my recipe here! We skipped the rosemary and used seasoned salt this time) This is where you could use some leftover baked/roasted potatoes, instead of making some. Any kind of potato works. Just cut your leftover ones into chunks.
When they were done, I heated some of the bacon grease and a bit of butter. Bacon grease ROCKS for hash. Great flavor!
Then added a bit of diced onions, sprinkled with a pinch of salt. Our boys aren't huge fans of onion, if you like them, saute up a bunch! You can also add peppers, mushrooms, etc. What's in your fridge?
When the onions are done to your liking, add the potatoes. Stir occasionally, let them gain some crispy brown edges. (See the garlic clove? I left those in too. YUM!)
Toss in your meat, in our case this bacon stuff, and stir for about a minute, letting the meat warm through, but not burn. We're assuming your meat is already cooked/fried. Again, I may prefer pork, but you can use whatever you've got, or whatever you like best! 
Add a handful or two of cheese. We used sharp cheddar, you can use what you want! Seeing a pattern here?
Stir a few times as the cheese melts, then remove from heat and serve, or dump the whole thing into your serving dish. (I put it back in the dish I roasted the potatoes in. Quick cleanup!) Sprinkle a little bit more cheese over the top.
YUM. Best hash ever. Best bacon, side, WHATEVER. Oh, it was so good. There were too many onions for the boys... oh darn... you mean us grown-ups have to eat it all? Gee... *snatching child's leftovers*
This is one of those rare times when I am okay with that. Talk about nuggets of celestial yumminess...
Vegetarians, sorry. I'm a carnivore tonight!

PS- if you ever have the opportunity to purchase Berkshire anything, try it. Just once. It's worth the price tag, trust me!


  1. I was lucky enough to have been shown around Jimmy's Farm here in the UK last summer and got to see all of his Berkshires and Old Spots in person and they are fabulous animals. Good tasting too! You can't beat the old breeds! We love hash in this house. Hash rocks! I have never tried cheese on it. Over here there is a very famous hash, called Bubble and Squeak. It sounds like something spectacular . . . but it's hash! (Which is pretty spectacular anyways!) xxoo


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