This easy British corned beef hash recipe takes me right back to my childhood. This is traditional northern England food at its finest. I think every British household has its own version of corned beef hash, and this is my easy version - made in minutes.
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Corned beef hash is a good old traditional British staple. It's a surprisingly tasty meal, made with a tin of corned beef, onions and potatoes, and a little Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree stirred in for extra flavour.
Back in the day when money was tight, this was a great way to fill hungry tummies. You could make a tin of corned beef stretch to feed an entire family simply by adding extra potatoes and onions. And if payday had just been you could even top it all with a fried egg. Comfort food doesn't get much better than that.
And of course, leftovers can be fried up for breakfast the next day, a bit like hash browns. So there's absolutely no waste with this dish.
Making corned beef hash is simplicity in itself. You simply fry the corned beef until it starts to brown and get little crispy bits on the bottom. The next step is to fry onions and potatoes until they are soft and nicely golden, then stir in the corned beef along with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and your supper is ready.
So what is corned beef exactly? It's simply beef brisket that has been preserved by canning. The 'corn' refers to the large grains or corns of salt that are used in the preserving process. Depending on where in the world you live, you may know corned beef as salt beef or bully beef.
Regular readers will know that I'm not much of a lover of canned food, especially meat. But I have to admit if I've got a tin of corned beef in the pantry then I'm always sure of being able to make a tasty meal. You might like to try these two other recipes using corned beef - crustless bully beef quiche and cheesy bully beef pasta bake.
I know I shouldn't admit to this, but whenever I make a dish using corned beef I'm always assured of hubby having seconds! Mind you - he's got a point. It's not the prettiest of dishes to look at, but it does taste good!
This is how to make it.
What you will need
This recipe will make sufficient corned beef hash to feed 4 people.
Five ingredients are all it takes:
- corned beef - what I will say about corned beef is to buy the best quality available. Good quality corned beef should be marked as 100% beef on the tin. If it is not marked as 100% beef you stand a very good chance of finding an unappealing layer of fat and gelatine around the meat when you open the tin. In the UK I tend to buy a brand called Prince's.
- potatoes and onions - the potatoes should be parboiled so they don't take too long to finish cooking when they are added to the hash. The onions should be peeled and cut into approximately half-inch dice.
- Worcestershire sauce - if you live in the north of England you can substitute the Worcestershire sauce with Henderson's relish (but I'm sure you are well aware of that)!
- Tomato puree - you may know this as tomato paste. Both the Worcestershire sauce and the tomato puree are optional, but they do add an extra depth of flavour.
- You will also need salt (for parboiling the potatoes) and sunflower oil for frying the corned beef and onions).
**See the printable recipe card at the end of the post for the exact quantities**
What to do
Peel the potatoes and cut them into one-inch pieces. Place them in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes then drain and set aside.
While the potatoes are boiling, remove the corned beef from the tin and cut it into one-inch blocks.
Heat sunflower oil in a frying pan (or large saucepan) and once the oil is hot add the corned beef. The oil should sizzle when the beef is added. Fry for 2 - 3 minutes on high heat until the corned beef starts to crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add another splash of oil to the pan (if necessary) and fry the onions on a moderate heat until they start to brown and turn translucent. This will take 3 to 4 minutes. Stir often.
Top tip - when browning the corned beef do not stir it or it will break up. Let the bottom brown then carefully turn the meat over with a spatula and allow the other side to brown. The idea is to let the meat get some crispy bits on.
Add the potatoes to the onions, turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Leave the potatoes and onions for 5 to 7 minutes, then stir and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are soft and slightly brown.
Add the corned beef to the potatoes and onions and stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree. Pat down firmly and continue to cook until the underside is starting to brown. Turn carefully with a spatula and brown the other side. Serve immediately.
Top tip - when browning the potatoes keep the heat on low to medium. Don't keep the heat too high or the potatoes will burn. Keep the lid on while the potatoes are browning and only stir occasionally to turn the browned pieces over.
I like to serve corned beef hash with baked beans (warm them in the microwave). A soft fried egg also makes a nice addition.
A tasty variation to this dish would be to parboil finely shredded cabbage with the potatoes and brown it in the pan with the potatoes.
You could also add a tablespoon of creamed horseradish sauce along with the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree for a little extra tang.
This dish is not suitable for freezing.
Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and fried for breakfast.
Buy the best quality tinned corned beef available. There's not much difference in price between good quality corned beef and cheaper the supermarket's in-house brands, but the difference in taste and texture is amazing.
Corned beef is normally made with brisket.
Yes, this dish can be made in advance and refrigerated until needed. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheat it either in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
Leftover corned beef hash can be mashed with a fork (until the potatoes break down) and then used as a filling for empanadas or even sausage rolls.
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Are you looking for other British recipes? Try these:
British corned beef hash.
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- 12 ounces / 340 grams tinned corned beef
- 1 large onion chopped to half-inch dice
- 1½ pounds / 680 grams potatoes
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce optional
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree optional
- 1 teaspoon salt for parboiling the potatoes
- 2 - 3 tablespoons Sunflower oil for frying
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into one-inch pieces. Place them in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes then drain and set aside.1½ pounds / 680 grams potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt
- While the potatoes are boiling, remove the corned beef from the tin and cut it into one-inch blocks.12 ounces / 340 grams tinned corned beef
- Heat 2 tablespoons sunflower oil in a frying pan and once the oil is hot add the corned beef. The oil should sizzle when the beef is added. Fry for 2 - 3 minutes on high heat until the corned beef starts to crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.2 - 3 tablespoons Sunflower oil
- Add the remaining oil to the pan (if necessary) and fry the onions on a moderate heat until they start to brown and turn translucent. This will take 3 to 4 minutes. Stir often.1 large onion
- Add the potatoes to the onions, turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Leave the potatoes and onions for 5 to 7 minutes, then stir and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are soft and slightly brown.
- Add the corned beef to the potatoes and onions and stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree. Pat down firmly and continue to cook until the underside is starting to brown. Turn carefully with a spatula and brown the other side. Serve immediately.2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- Serve immediately with a side of baked beans and optionally top with a fried egg.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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