Red Flannel Hash: A Classic American Breakfast

December 23, 2023
Red Flannel Hash
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With its eye-catching deep red color speckled with veggies, red flannel hash is a comforting and unique winter breakfast. This classic stick-to-your-ribs meal has long been a staple in New England and beyond. Let’s delve into the history, ingredients, and best cooking methods for fantastic red flannel hash.

What is Red Flannel Hash?

Red flannel hash is essentially a hash made of corned beef, beets, and potatoes. It likely originated in New England as a hearty, budget-friendly meal to feed families during cold weather months. The deep ruby red color comes from the addition of shredded beets.

Some key features of red flannel hash include:

  • Primary ingredients are corned beef, potatoes, and beets
  • Shredded raw beets provide the signature red color
  • Also contains onions and often carrots
  • Has a scrappy, mixed texture
  • Hearty, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food
  • Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dinner

There are many variations on red flannel hash with families and regions each having their own recipe twists. But the essential combo of corned beef, potatoes, and raw beets makes this classic hash recognizable everywhere.

Ingredients for Red Flannel Hash

Making great red flannel hash starts with gathering the right ingredients:

  • Corned beef – Either leftover cooked corned beef or raw corned beef brisket. If using raw, cook until tender first.
  • Potatoes – Russet or Yukon Gold work best. Dice the potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Beets – Fresh red beets, peeled and shredded or diced finely.
  • Onions – Yellow or white onions, diced.
  • Carrots (optional) – Grated or diced carrots add more color.
  • Oil or butter – For cooking the hash.
  • Salt and pepper – To season each layer.

Keeping the potatoes, beets, carrots, and onion pieces all around the same small size ensures the hash will have the right texture.

How to Cook Red Flannel Hash

Making delicious red flannel hash involves building the ingredients in layers:

  1. Cook the potatoes. Boil the diced potatoes until just tender but not fully cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook onions and carrots. Heat oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions first and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add shredded beets and carrots and cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Layer the hash. Start with a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the skillet. Top with a layer of the cooked onion/beet mixture, then a layer of chopped corned beef. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used up.
  4. Cook the hash. Using a spatula, press down on the layers of hash to compact them together. Let cook on medium heat untouched for 5-10 minutes to form a crust on the bottom. Then flip sections of the hash and let cook another 10 minutes, pressing down periodically with the spatula.
  5. Serve warm. Slide the hearty red flannel hash onto plates and enjoy immediately!

The key is building defined layers, letting them sear and crust, and mixing the layers together as you cook it. Play around with the layer order and ratios to customize your perfect hash!

Cooking Variations

There are many ways to modify red flannel hash to suit your taste:

  • Use pre-cooked corned beef or cook it ahead for super tender beef.
  • For crispy hash, cook the potatoes and onions separately before layering.
  • Add herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary for extra flavor.
  • Use chicken stock or milk when cooking for extra moisture.
  • Fold in shredded cheese like cheddar or Swiss after cooking.
  • Top with a fried egg, avocado slices, or yogurt for added protein.
  • Make it vegetarian by using mushrooms instead of corned beef.

Red Flannel Hash FAQ

Here are some common questions about red flannel hash:

1. Where does the name come from?

The deep red color from beets resembles classic red flannel shirts worn in New England. The “hash” refers to the diced mixture of ingredients.

2. Is red flannel hash Irish?

It’s more accurately considered a New England American dish, but uses Irish-influenced corned beef.

3. Can you freeze red flannel hash?

Yes! Allow to cool fully then freeze portions in airtight containers or bags. Reheat frozen hash in the oven or skillet.

4. Why are the potatoes undercooked?

Pars-cooking the potatoes ensures they will finish cooking through when you sear the hash. Fully cooked potatoes would turn mushy.

5. Can I use jarred beets?

Yes, you can use canned pickled beets or jarred cooked beets. But drain them well and adjust seasoning, as they will be saltier than raw beets.

So in summary, with its hearty ingredients, satisfying texture, and warm red hue, red flannel hash is the perfect comforting breakfast. Dig into this classic American regional dish on a cold winter morning, or enjoy it any time of year for stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction. Forget the flannel shirt and cuddle up to a warm plate of red flannel hash instead!

You Can Also Read Here Chicken Marinara Pasta: Elevate Your Pasta Night

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