Have Faith in the Big Breakfast

by Sam Bilton on February 10, 2016 No comments

I most definitely am not a morning person (which my family will corroborate) and as such breakfast is not my favourite meal of the day. In order to consume anything more filling than a bowl of yoghurt and granola I need to have been up for a few hours (much the same as those 18th century dwellers I wrote about in my last post).

Once my appetite has been revived by a strong cup of coffee I can contemplate breakfast. If I postpone the event for an hour or two I’m usually ravenous enough to eat something substantial, like Corned Beef Hash. I rediscovered this recipe recently when I was flicking through Open Sesame by Ambrose Heath for my post on tinned foods.

Corned beef has been a staple sandwich filling in the UK for years. However, if you’re not familiar with the product this is where the faith comes in. As my eldest son observed, it does resemble cat food when you take it out of the tin. I can honestly say that I don’t know whether it tastes like cat food because I’ve never eaten it. If it does then cat food must be pretty tasty (although I’ll stick with corned beef).

Corned Beef Hash B

Corned Beef Hash with Beetroot

Serves 4


  • 1 potato weighing c. 200-250g
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 good sized leek, chopped
  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
  • 250g pack cooked beetroot, cut into 1cm dice
  • 340g tin corned beef
  • 150ml chicken stock or water
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pepper to season
  • Pinch of Cayenne (optional)

Corned Beef Hash A


  1. Either boil the potato whole (in it’s jacket) until just cooked. When it’s cool enough to handle cut into 1cm dice. Alternatively, peel and chop into 1cm dice and cook in boiling water. If using the latter method (which is quicker) make sure you don’t over cook the potato otherwise it will turn to mush. Drain and reserve.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leek and bacon then fry until the leek begins to brown. Add the diced potato and cook for a further 3 – 5 minutes then add the beetroot.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking open the corned beef and turn it out onto a chopping board. Roughly chop the met then add to the pan with the stock, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning. Don’t add any salt at this stage. Give it a good stir to break up the meat. Allow the mixture to come to the boil then let it bubble away over a medium to low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated (this will take around 10-20 mins). When the hash is piping hot it is ready to serve. However, I like to put the pan under a hot grill to brown and crisp up the top, although this is entirely up to you. I also like to serve the hash with a fried egg.

Corned Beef Hash D

Sam BiltonHave Faith in the Big Breakfast

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