Carol hosted our family dinner on the Sunday of Saint Patrick’s Day. The day is always cause for celebration because Irish roots in our family are deep. Carol’s husband’s family boasts an Irish surname and all of them have Irish first names. Everyone is a strong (And I do mean strong) alum of Notre Dame. The patriarch insists on speaking Gaelic whenever he has the opportunity. He often delivers Gaelic prayers at family gatherings. On the other hand, Susan’s family also has a strong Irish background, but I think most of them wear orange underwear. There is a rule that Irish politics are never discussed at family dinners, but the food is always Irish in origin. Carol made an elaborate dinner including shepherd’s pie (with lamb, of course), corned beef, and boiled new potatoes along with rice pudding. There were two loaves of Irish soda bread which disappeared straight away. Things started off with a cheese plate containing several Irish cheeses and a wedge of Welsh Cheddar. That served to mollify the odd man out – me – who has Welsh and German origins. I am pleased to report that in a blind tasting, the Welsh Cheddar won out over an Irish Cheddar. After the dinner, Carol sent us home with leftovers including the corned beef and boiled new potatoes.
Susan says that her favorite use of corned beef is in sandwiches, so of course our first meal was corned beef sandwiches. But we still had enough meat left over that we came up with another dinner. Corned beef hash is obvious and also a good way to use the boiled potatoes. I chopped up the corned beef and potatoes, along with an onion and fried them up like any good hash with the plan to top it with eggs. Somehow, though, it looked monochromatic. Ketchup is my usual condiment of choice, but this hash needed more. So I mixed up an impromptu tomato sauce and layered it between the eggs before I popped it in the oven. The result was sort of a combination hash and shakshuka, but whatever, it made a good leftovers meal.
Corned Beef Hash Shakshuka Style
- 6 ounces (more or less) corned beef
- 2 cups (more or less) boiled new potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup manzanilla salad olives, chopped coarsely
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- salt and pepper
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning herb mixture
- Chop the beef, potatoes, and onion coarsely. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the beef, potatoes, and onion. Sauté until the potatoes begin to crisp and the onion is wilted and tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a greased 8 x 8 inch glass baking pan, leveling the hash. Form four deep indentations in the mixture using a serving spoon. Set aside until ready to assemble.
- In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, mushrooms, olives, garlic and ginger. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- When ready to assemble, sprinkle one-fourth of the grated mozzarella into each of the four indentations in the hash. Break an egg into each of the indentations. Pour the sauce onto the hash around the eggs. Sprinkle the herb mixture over the entire dish.
- Bake in the middle of an oven preheated to 350°F for about 15 minutes until the whites of the eggs are set and the yolks are still runny. (As you can see, I left them in the oven a little too long) Watch carefully and remove from the oven when the eggs are cooked to your liking. Serve immediately.