We don’t eat a lot of beef to start with and when we do make a pan roast or a pot roast, there’s inevitably some left over. Over the years, I’ve developed a hash that uses the extra meat and is so delicious that it should be the ideal that stew aspires to be. The technique is simple and the ingredients can vary, probably including the beef. Basically, you cook a whole lot of vegetables – onions, carrots, green peppers, celery, potatoes, plus or minus – over low heat until tender, add in cubed leftover meat and a little tomato paste or some variation, cook for a few minutes (the vegetables rehydrate the meat) and serve, seasoned with salt and pepper and an herb like parsley if you have it.
This time, I used a hot tomato sauce that I canned last summer, intense smoky and sweet, which added a great dimension, but regular tomato paste also works well. I tend to chop everything roughly (1/2-inch pieces) but you could make this daintier with smaller dice. The hash never fails to get compliments, even when the original dish was panned (I’m a bad meat cook, as I’ve said before, but I’m definitely the queen of the leftovers). Since I pick out the meat from this hash, it would be fine without it.
Vegetable Beef Hash
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter or oil
1 stalk celery, sliced
½ green pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
¼ c or more tomato paste or other dense tomato compote
1 c diced cooked roast beef (more or less)
Water or broth as needed
Salt and pepper
Sweat the onion in a little butter and oil until nearly translucent, add all of the other vegetables, cover the pot and let cook over medium low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Check the pot occasionally to make sure it’s not scorching. Add the tomato paste and beef, cover and cook for a few minutes. Add a little water or broth if it seems too dry. (It’s not supposed to be soupy.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley.