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What Are the Different Types of Corned Beef Hash?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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While there are a number of variations on corned beef hash recipes, most follow a somewhat basic ingredient list that includes corned beef, potatoes, and various spices or seasoning. In the US, for example, these are typically cooked together in a hot pan, often made from cast iron, and topped with a fried egg when served. Corned beef hash in the UK, on the other hand, is often made from canned meat and is not necessarily served with eggs. This use of canned meat is quite in contrast with American recipes that typically use fresh, leftover corned beef for the dish.

Corned beef hash is a fairly simple, yet popular, dish often served at breakfast or brunch, though it can be served any time of day. The basic structure of the hash consists of corned beef, usually chopped or minced, that is cooked with other ingredients such as onion, potatoes, and various herbs and spices. These are typically cooked together in a large skillet or pan until crispy and brown, and then served. Corned beef hash is often found in diners or home cuisine, and is quite popular due to both its flavor and affordability.

In the US, corned beef hash is often made with leftover ingredients from a meal, such as corned beef and cabbage. While this does not need to be made using leftovers, it does typically feature fresh corned beef, similar to pastrami. This corned beef is diced or cut into slices, and is combined with cubed, boiled potatoes and diced onion. These are allowed to brown together in a pan — though sometimes the potatoes are left out and cabbage is used instead — and the corned beef hash is served with a fried egg for breakfast.

Corned beef hash in the UK is often made using canned meat, rather than fresh corned beef, known as salt beef. This tradition dates back to times of war, such as World War II, when fresh meat was often scarce and rationed due to the military effort. Canned meat was more readily available, and the use of canned meat in the hash enhanced the flavor and texture of the meat itself. This sort of hash is not as frequently served with a fried egg, as the texture is often somewhat wetter than American hash, and can include broth or gravy added to the hash while cooking. Other variations on corned beef hash might alter what the hash is served with, such as some Danish recipes that call for pickled beets.

What Is Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash is a comfort meal comprised of leftovers made in many parts of the United States and other countries. It is a mix of leftover corned beef, potatoes, and vegetables with a fried egg on top. This recipe may vary depending on the part of the country that you live in or, even, which country you live in, but, generally, the recipe involves a base of fried leftover meat, egg, and potato.

Corned Beef

Before you can genuinely understand corned beef hash, you have to have a firm grasp of what corned beef is. Corned beef is a cut of meat that has been cured in a salt solution. In the United States, corned beef is typically made from a flat brisket cut of beef. The salt curing process can take up to ten days, depending on what traditions and recipes are followed.

Corned beef begins with about a three to four-pound flat piece of brisket. The next part involves submerging the brisket in a saltwater solution, known as brine. Brine mixes for corned beef mixes are sold pre-mixed in supermarkets, but delis, restaurants, and many home cooks make their own. You can make your own corned beef brine and submerge your brisket for five to seven days before cooking.

Corned Beef Brine Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ c. kosher salt
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 4 tsp. curing salt
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  • Add to 6 cups of water
  • Bring to boil
  • Let cool
  • Combine with beef brisket

Cooking Corned Beef

After your brisket has brined for five to seven days, it’s time to make the corned beef. Plan to spend about six to eight hours watching the brisket cook and checking the temperature. The meat will need to be tender before the brisket truly transforms into corned beef. Ideally, 160 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature for doneness, but the optimal tenderness of brisket is 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ingredients

  • 1 quartered white onion
  • 1 large carrot coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 three to four lbs. brined brisket

Directions

  • Pat brisket dry
  • Add to a pot just large enough to hold meat
  • Place all vegetables and garlic on top
  • Barely cover with water
  • Bring to boil
  • Reduce heat to simmer for six to eight hours
  • Check temperature and firmness every hour
  • Remove and slice against the grain

What's in Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash is traditionally a leftover-based food, and people love it so much because it brings back memories and is based on nostalgia. The initial meal is either corned beef and cabbage, corned beef and noodles, or corned beef prepared for Reuben sandwiches. Corned beef may be served on St. Patrick’s Day or other festive holidays throughout the year. The second or third-day meal is corned beef hash. So, the short answer to the question of what’s in corned beef is leftovers.

Traditional Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups chopped leftover corned beef
  • 3 cups boiled or leftover potatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fried eggs
  • Optional: Hot sauce

Directions

  • Heat large cast-iron skillet or griddle to medium-high heat
  • Add butter
  • Add onion and cook until translucent
  • Add potatoes and cook until sides are crisped brown
  • As potatoes are cooking, make space for eggs to cook
  • Crack as many eggs as you will have servings
  • Cook sunny side up
  • Add corned beef to potato and onion mixture and cook until just hot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce optional

Is Corned Beef Hash Healthy

Before being in its hash form, corned beef is not the worst food that you could have. A one-cup serving of corned beef is only about 250 calories and 10 grams of fat with zero carbs. However, once you add in all the other hash ingredients, including potatoes and several tablespoons of butter, the nutritional count changes dramatically.

With an egg on top, the nutritional content of one cup of corned beef has is as follows:

  • Calories 490
  • Total fat 30
  • Sodium 1033
  • Carbohydrates 34
  • Protein 28

While the protein count is a positive addition to your daily nutrition, the fat and sodium are a bit high for people who have dietary restrictions to enjoy corned beef hash regularly. Substitutions such as air frying the hash rather than using butter would bring down the fat content. Choosing cauliflower over potatoes would reduce the carbohydrates while still creating a delicious corned beef hash.

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