The Best Damned Hash

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Serving of hash The Best Damned Hash

James (AKA MauiJim) has always hated hash with a passion. “That awful, mushy stuff,” as he puts it.  “Tastes just like dog food smells,” is another of his customary remarks when the hash subject is broached. This man doesn’t mince words. And he knows what he likes.

Ingredients for hash The Best Damned Hash

Well, one evening with little in the refrigerator for inspiration but a dozen steamed new potatoes, one spritely green bell pepper, and a pound of ground pork, I concocted this gutsy dish in less than 20 minutes and served it forth with a green salad and corn muffins.

Sausage pork sausage bell peppers and onions1 The Best Damned Hash

“Wow, this is great,” he says, as he heads back to the skillet for thirds. “What is it?”

Dulcet peppery moroccan ketchup The Best Damned Hash

The Best Damned Hash

I have no idea how this simple dish, with only a few staple ingredients, a couple of herbs, and a few spices, thrown together in under 20 minutes, can taste this gutsy and satisfying. But it does!

3 pounds White Rose or Red Pontiac boiling potatoes (about 12 medium-small potatoes)

4-6 tablespoons extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound ground pork *
1 tablespoon Gebhardt’s chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less if you can’t stand the heat)

1 green bell pepper, seeded, and chopped (or ½ green bell pepper and ½ red bell pepper)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

* INGREDIENT NOTE You can substitute ½ pound each ground pork and ground pork sausage (my favorite combo), or ½ pound each ground beef and ground pork for the ground pork specified above.  Each combination produces its own unique hash. Each is tasty.

SERVING NOTE This is one of those rare dishes for which I don’t mind a bottle of good ketchup on the table. Really, you can’t buck tradition. Note, however, that I happened to have on hand a bottle of Dulcet Peppery Moroccan Ketchup. Now that’s SERIOUSLY good ketchup.

  1. Steam the potatoes over boiling water for about 40 minutes, until they are just tender but still quite firm.  Remove from the steamer, cool, then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.  This step may be done hours or even days ahead. Just before beginning the hash, dice the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. In a large, preferably nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sauté the onions over brisk heat to lightly brown and soften them, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the ground pork, chili powder, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes and brown the pork well, breaking it up into small bits with a fork while browning.
  4. If necessary, drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet. Add bell pepper and garlic, toss to combine, and heat through for about 3 minutes. Turn heat down to low and keep warm.
  5. In another large, preferably nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add half the potatoes, and toss lightly to combine. Sauté until nicely browned and season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add to the pork skillet. Repeat with the remaining half of potatoes.
  6. Turn the heat up on the pork skillet and heat everything through. Taste and season with salt and black pepper as needed. Serve right away.

Serves 2, if James is at the table; but 4 otherwise.

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

Comments

  1. Sounds good, having mentioned damned. I met someone who thinks we’re all more or less damned. Check out the link below.
    RichardAlois´s last blog post ..Slightly Damned At Speaker’s CornerMy Profile

  2. I’ve never made hash. Maybe now is a good start. Very funny comment on serving suggestion if James is at the table. hehe
    .-= Baking is my Zen´s last blog ..Merry Christmas 2009 ~ Cookies for Santa =-.

  3. That hash looks really good and it would go well with that ketchup!

  4. One of the best dishes my late mother would make was hash with leftover pot roast instead of the pork. She also omitted the chili powder and red pepper flakes, but everything else was the same as your recipe. Oh, and our bottle said “Heinz Catsup.” I’ll have to try your version very soon.

    • That sounds delicious, Dani! It’s surprising in retrospect that hash of any knid was not part of my grandmother’s or mother’s repetoire of everyday dishes. There was the ocassional can of corned beef hash of course, but I seemed to be be only one who would eat it. I’m sure the canned stuff is the memory MauiJim has of hash from his childhood. The chili powder and other herbs and spices really give this dish a flavor boost. I think you may be surprised.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Thew Best Damned Hash | LunaCafe Add the ground pork, chili powder, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes and brown the pork well, breaking it up into small bits with a fork while browning. If necessary, drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet. Add bell pepper and garlic, toss to combine, and heat through for about 3 minutes. Turn heat down to low and keep warm. In a large, preferably nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sauté the onions over brisk heat to lightly brown and soften them, about 10 minutes. In another large, preferably nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add half the potatoes, and toss lightly to combine. [...]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by pdxbreakfastguy: Looks darn good! RT @LunaCafe: THE BEST DAMNED HASH: Just posted. Super easy and very tasty. http://tiny.cc/H5NXJ #foodblogger…

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Davey Hill, PDX Breakfast Guide. PDX Breakfast Guide said: Looks darn good! RT @LunaCafe: THE BEST DAMNED HASH: Just posted. Super easy and very tasty. http://tiny.cc/H5NXJ #foodblogger [...]

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