Corn Beef Hash

In college, my friend would order corn beef hash at the local diner and I could not understand why she would pass up eggs with home fries or a luscious omelet.

After trying it in adulthood, I have come to realize that corn beef hash, although a laborious process is worth all the effort. Every opportunity I have I will order some turkey or corn beef hash. Salty corn beef, crispy potatoes and pepper mixture with a runny egg on top is the ultimate breakfast.

Adapted from Alton Brown

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 pounds ice
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brineinto the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Check daily to make sure beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.

After a day, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. Set over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.

  • 1 lb baking (russet) potatoes, grated
  • 1-lb piece cooked corned beef, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • eggs (optional)

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until just tender, about 3 minutes, then drain. Grate parboiled potato.

Sauté onion and bell pepper in butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in corned beef and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.


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