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Happy Corned Beef Day!

For many in this country, Saint Patty’s Day festivities almost invariably include a meal of simmered corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. As many have noted of late, this Irish-American feast has very little to do with how the Irish celebrate Saint Patrick. Believe it or not, corned beef isn’t even considered an especially Irish ingredient, nor is green beer to be found in the pubs of Dublin. So why do we silly Americans persist? Because some misunderstandings can be delicious! If we need an Irish-inflected excuse to brine a brisket and drink Guinness, who’s to judge?

Of course, a whole corned brisket is inadvisable for a party of four (even six or eight!) to polish off in one sitting. What is to be done?

For anyone who knows their sandwiches, the first word to come to mind ought to be “Reuben.” For this magical sandwich, a picture or three says it all:

A few things to remember: 1) the Russian dressing should be made with a strong horseradish and precious little catsup, and 2) every Reuben should be accompanied on the plate by a small mound of spicy brown mustard and a large half-sour pickle spear.

For those who overindulge in honor of Saint Patrick, here’s our hangover-friendly breakfast recipe for corned beef hash, which also uses any leftover cooked potatoes you have around. Word to the wise: if you have any fat on your leftover brisket, cut it off and render it in the pan for cooking the hash! Oh, and diced jalapeño (added with the onions) is delicious here.

Long live Corned Beef Day!

Chunky Corned Beef Hash
Serves 4 hung-over people

This is chunkier than most traditional recipes for corned beef hash, just the way we like it.  If you are not using leftover potatoes: cut 1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes into 1-inch chunks, cover with water, and boil until tender, about 10 minutes.

Heat in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat:
     3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or rendered fat from the corned beef!)
Stir in:
     1 large onion, chopped
     (2 diced jalapeños seeded)
Cook, stirring with a spatula, until the onion is just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in:
     1 pound cooked potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add:
     2 to 3 cups cooked corned beef, coarsely shredded with a fork or cut into ½-inch cubes
Cook, stirring, until the potatoes and meat are browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in:
     3 tablespoons beef or chicken broth or water
     (2 tablespoons catsup or chili sauce)
     (½ teaspoon dried thyme or rubbed sage)
     Salt and black pepper to taste
Turn the heat down to medium. Lightly mash the potato pieces with the edge of your spatula. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the ingredients are nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Firmly press the hash into a cake with the back of the spatula, then cook, pressing occasionally, until the bottom is well browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Loosen the bottom of the cake with the spatula, then slide or invert onto a serving plate and cut into wedges. Sprinkle with:
     2 or 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Serve with:
     fried or poached eggs


Angela neely's picture

Clever "serves 6 hung over people".

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Combine in a large bowl:
   Three 16-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
    One 6-ounce jar pimientos, chopped, with juice