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While there are a number of variations on corned beef hash recipes, most follow a somewhat basic ingredient list that includes corned beef, potatoes, and various spices or seasoning. In the US, for example, these are typically cooked together in a hot pan, often made from cast iron, and topped with a fried egg when served. Corned beef hash in the UK, on the other hand, is often made from canned meat and is not necessarily served with eggs. This use of canned meat is quite in contrast with American recipes that typically use fresh, leftover corned beef for the dish.
Corned beef hash is a fairly simple, yet popular, dish often served at breakfast or brunch, though it can be served any time of day. The basic structure of the hash consists of corned beef, usually chopped or minced, that is cooked with other ingredients such as onion, potatoes, and various herbs and spices. These are typically cooked together in a large skillet or pan until crispy and brown, and then served. Corned beef hash is often found in diners or home cuisine, and is quite popular due to both its flavor and affordability.
In the US, corned beef hash is often made with leftover ingredients from a meal, such as corned beef and cabbage. While this does not need to be made using leftovers, it does typically feature fresh corned beef, similar to pastrami. This corned beef is diced or cut into slices, and is combined with cubed, boiled potatoes and diced onion. These are allowed to brown together in a pan — though sometimes the potatoes are left out and cabbage is used instead — and the corned beef hash is served with a fried egg for breakfast.
Corned beef hash in the UK is often made using canned meat, rather than fresh corned beef, known as salt beef. This tradition dates back to times of war, such as World War II, when fresh meat was often scarce and rationed due to the military effort. Canned meat was more readily available, and the use of canned meat in the hash enhanced the flavor and texture of the meat itself. This sort of hash is not as frequently served with a fried egg, as the texture is often somewhat wetter than American hash, and can include broth or gravy added to the hash while cooking. Other variations on corned beef hash might alter what the hash is served with, such as some Danish recipes that call for pickled beets.
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