There’s something about the end of the week (or, as now, the end of holiday season), when all that’s left in the fridge are the oddments of previous meals, and barely any space to load in the coming weekend’s produce from our CSA or the farmers market. I call this my “fridge Friday” mode. It’s a creative challenge to simplify the contents while preparing a satisfying meal that doesn’t feel random. Mostly, what’s left are little portions, insufficient on their own but hopefully complementary enough for a mélange. Just about anything – with a little help — can be adapted for a pasta sauce or mixed with rice or stuffed into a tortilla or stirred into a soup base. Over the holidays, starting at Thanksgiving and continuing past New Year’s, the remnants of family feasts are fine fodder for hash.
The word “hash” comes from the French “hacher,” to chop (and related to the Germanic “hachet” or chopping tool). The dish typically consists of finely chopped meat and potatoes, and possibly other vegetables, cooked in a pan until the mixture holds together and develops a crispy crust. The classic of course is corned beef hash, but I also make it with leftover roast beef or turkey, two meats that typify holiday menus. Knowing that hash is in the horizon, I boil a few whole white potatoes in advance and refrigerate them. If I’m making mashed potatoes, for example, I just set a couple of spuds aside, or I make a special pot. Cold potatoes are essential to the texture of hash. Warm potatoes would make mush. Here I used cold cooked rutabagas, but other root vegetables would probably work as well.
The trick to making crispy hash, at least in my house, is to cook the mixture over medium high heat, stirring it every so often to fold the crispy bottom bits into the mixture. It’s not a pretty dish but makes up for its looks with its flavor and texture.
Turkey Hash with Rutabaga and Brussels Sprouts
4-5 medium cooked potatoes (red or yellow), well chilled and peeled
¼ c cooked rutabaga, well chilled
1 medium onion, diced
½ red pepper, seeded and diced
5-6 raw Brussels sprouts (or used cooked, see note below)
3 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
1½ c or more shredded or finely diced turkey, mostly dark meat (about the same amount as potato)
Salt and pepper
Grate the potatoes and rutabaga on the large-holed side of a box grater.
Heat the butter or oil (or a combination) in a medium frying pan. Add the onion, peppers, and raw Brussels sprouts (if using cooked Brussels sprouts, add them near the end of the cooking time.) Cook the mixture over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent and the sprouts are wilted.
Turn the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes, rutabaga and turkey, stirring to distribute the ingredients evenly. Cook the mix, flipping and stirring it occasionally to scrape the crispy parts into the center. (Do not over mix, to avoid breaking down the ingredients too much.) This takes about 15 minutes. Regulate the heat to avoid burning.
Categories: Duck and other poultry