6 small potatoes or 3 large ones, peeled and diced
1/3 to 1/2 cup of canned corned beef
Cayenne pepper to taste
1. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with salted water. Boil until the potatoes are just barely tender. Drain. Note: this seems like a lot of potatoes, but will only really serve two adults as a main (and only) course.
2. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil (or bacon fat, think about it) to a cast iron pan and heat on medium high.
3. Carefully add potatoes to the hot pan and season the top with pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper (if using), and a dash of thyme if you wish. Let the potatoes cook undisturbed until the bottom layer is golden brown, between 5 and 10 minutes.
4. Using a metal spatula, scrape up a spatula-sized section of potatoes and flip. If your potatoes stick terribly, sneak some oil in before your flip each section. We’re working to build a nice outer crust and a tender inside. Season the top again with pepper and cayenne (if using).
5. Once the bottom layer is good and brown, flip again, cutting into the layer at an angle to expose more potatoes. Distribute the corned beef evenly across the top.
6. When the bottom layer has browned, flip again, cutting at an angle again.
7. Continue to repeat the cut at an angle move until the potatoes are nicely browned and have formed a crust on the top and bottom.
Optional: Add a 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese and broil to melt; serve with fried eggs on top.
Variation: Add thyme and a whole, peeled and halved garlic clove to the cooking water. Remove the garlic before adding the potatoes to the pan.
For the complete essay and photos, click here: On Cast Iron and Corned Beef Hash
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