Hash used to be a dirty word; to call a restaurant a hash house still has an unsavory connotation. That’s because dubious eateries of yore used to make hash out of any old scraps that appeared in the kitchen, including mystery meat of unknown provenance. But the fact is that well-made hash is one of the great blue-plate meals of the American kitchen. It is especially typical of the frugal New England kitchen because it is a waste-not dish, made from leftovers. If it is made from yesterday’s boiled dinner, and if that dinner was the classic configuration containing beets, it will be red flannel hash, so named because of beet juice’s ability to turn all it touches a deep pink color reminiscent of comfortable flannel pajamas. Corned beef adds its own crimson hue, the two reds punctuated by pieces of potato and caramelized onion. Bacon frequently is added, especially if the corned beef is lean.
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 chopped onion
1 cup chopped cooked corned beef
3 cups chopped boiled potatoes
1 cup chopped cooked beets
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Sauté the onions until soft. Mix together the corned beef, potatoes and beets. Spread this mixture smoothly over the bottom of the pan. Brown slowly. When a crust forms, turn as an omelet, adding more butter to the pan if needed.