Posts Tagged ‘Wagon Wheel Restaurant’

Have Some Hash (or, I Love Leftovers)

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

beforehashweb

 
Today’s recipe is what one might term a post facto rather than a regular post. It actually uses leftovers from a dish I made last week for which I haven’t yet posted the recipe.
 
The dish is Lillian Hellman’s Pot Roast—ideal food in chilly January. I want to think about Hellman a little more before I post the recipe so you’ll get that post in a few days.
 
In the meantime here is the simple hash I made from the leftovers. I adore leftovers, which my friend Mary Stuart likes to call “planned-overs.” Stretching a meal over several days saves time and money, two of my favorite commodities.
 
Alas, by night three my dog Truffle won’t eat pot roast–or anything else–in its original form. Turn it into hash (or soup or stroganoff), however, and she thinks she’s eating something new.
 
You may of course use regular roast beef, corned beef, or even lamb instead of pot roast if you happen to have any of those lurking in your larder.
 
Some cooks worry if their hash doesn’t completely adhere to itself. If you are one of them, make the meat and vegetable pieces a little smaller and/or scramble some eggs into your hash. I don’t mind it if my hash wanders around the plate a little as long as it’s warm and has plenty of onion!
 
I learned my best hash tip from Carolann Zaccara, the chef and co-owner of the Wagon Wheel restaurant in Gill, Massachusetts.
 
According to Carolann the secret to good hash (and she makes good hash indeed, throwing in a little cream instead of the gravy to bind the assorted ingredients together) is neglect.
 
“You just pretty much have to leave it alone,” she says.
 
If you’re ever in the area, the Wagon Wheel is worth a visit. Carolann and her husband Jon Miller have recreated an old-fashioned drive-in restaurant and bill their menu as “the way road food should be.”
 
The decor suits the couple’s homage to the drive-in. A small room has paint-by-number pictures on its walls. The larger room’s walls feature commemorative state plates, kitschy collectible clocks, and tins and pots from the 1950s and 1960s.
 
Carolann calls the decorations “cozy and corny at the same time.”
 
If you can’t get to the Wagon Wheel be sure to serve this hash on any commemorative plates you happen to have around.
 
Ingredients:
 
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter, olive oil, or (for the fearless!) bacon fat
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices cooked beef, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large potatoes, cooked (but not too soft!) and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 carrots, cooked (again, not too soft) and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1/2 cup meat gravy
several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
chopped parsley for garnish
 
Instructions:
 
Sauté the onion and garlic in the fat until they soften. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
 
In a bowl combine the beef, potatoes, carrots, and sautéed vegetables. Stir in the thyme, gravy, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.
 
In a 10-inch frying pan heat the hash over medium-high heat until it is crispy. You may add a TINY bit more fat if you need to, but don’t overdo it.
 
When the first side is crispy you may flip the hash if you like. Do not despair if it doesn’t completely hold together. It will taste great anyway. The hash should cook somewhere between five and ten minutes.
 
Dish up and sprinkle parsley on top. Serves 4.
 
afterhashweb

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