Corned Beef And Biscuits

St. Patrick's Day doesn't have to be about green eggs and ham.

Cookbook author and cooking teacher Tori Ritchie uses classic dishes in a brunch menu that celebrates the spirit of the holiday.

Full Coverage: St. Patrick's Day

She showed the way with recipes and tips on The Early Show Friday, from the Manhattan flagship branch of Williams-Sonoma. On the menu, corned beef hash with poached eggs, buttermilk-chive biscuits, and Irish coffee.

Food Facts

Corned beef: The term "corned," as in "corned beef," is a reference to the coarse salt used in the curing process. In Britain, "corn" referred to any small grain or particle, especially those of cereal grains, such as wheat. These days, corned meat is cured in a briny solution. In the U.S., corned beef is beef that is first pickled in brine and then cooked by boiling. Usually, cuts of meat are used that feature long muscle grain, such as brisket.

Hash: Hash, originally known as hashed beef, is a food popularly eaten in the United States, Great Britain and Denmark. It is composed of finely diced meat and vegetables. Today's hash is made with potatoes and beef, usually corned beef but sometimes roast beef. Other diced vegetables may be included, such as carrots or onions. It is usually served browned, without any liquid added.


Corned Beef Hash

Eggs are a natural partner with corned beef hash. You can prepare them over easy, scrambled, soft-cooked or poached, as suggested here.

1 1/4 lb. Yukon Gold or other waxy yellow potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large mild yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and cut into 1/2-inch squares
1 1/2 lb. unsliced cooked lean corned beef, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus parsley sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with lightly salted cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until just tender enough to pierce with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

Drain the potatoes and place in a bowl. Add the onion and bell pepper; set the fry pan aside and do not wash it. Add the corned beef, milk, chopped parsley and chives to the bowl. Toss to mix well, taking care not to mash the potato pieces. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the reserved fry pan over medium heat. Add the hash mixture, pressing it down with the back of a spatula to form an even, compact cake. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until crusty and lightly browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes. If the hash cake does not move freely, use the spatula to loosen the edges. Invert a large heatproof plate over the pan. Using oven mitts, firmly hold the pan and plate together and invert them. Lift off the pan.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same pan and slide the hash cake, browned side up, back into it, tucking any stray pieces back into place. Cook until the other side is crusty, about 10 minutes more. Unmold onto the same plate and cut into wedges. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve hot. Serves 4.

When poaching eggs to be served with this recipe, try adding a little vinegar and salt to the water. Vinegar helps the egg to hold its shape. Without it, the eggs will become shreds of protein, tangling up in the water.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, "Breakfasts & Brunches," by Norman Kolpas (Time-Life Books, 1997).