05/08/2011

Bully Beef Hash

To the Brits, this would be Corned Beef Hash ... but as is so often, we are a common people with our friends over the water in the States, divided by a common language; and, corned beef for them is not the same as corned beef to us.

Corned beef to us comes in tins - it is beef, beef fat, salt and (shhh!) a little sugar.

I'll go with the term Bully Beef for the title.

This was one of my stop-gap pre-paleo meals, made from an onion, some garlic, a tin of corned beef, a tin of peeled plum tomatoes, a tin of baked beans, some chopped carrot, some chopped potato and some spices.

We can make it paleo ...

Get all your ingredients together on a chopping board. You can use whatever you like, but go for tastes and mouth-feel combinations that will be real comfort food. Being a stop-gap meal, this is pretty much whatever you have available.

In this instance, I went for corned beef, chorizo, onion, peeled plum tomatoes, carrot, yellow courgette, large asparagus spears, artichoke palms, a mushroom and a number of flavourings - garlic, capers, chopped pickled chillis, extra paprika, jalapeno chilli flakes, smoked sea salt and freshly milled black pepper. Finally, some chopped parsley.

The principle of cooking is simple - cook the ingredients which need the most cooking first and the ones which will release the most aroma in last.

I started out my just frying off the chorizo chunks in a little olive oil, flipping over so that both sides were well cooked and would be nice and crisp. I should mention that I like to remove the shin from my chorizo before cooking and like the picante type: spicy.

Next, I added the onions and sautéed them off for a few minutes until soft.

Add the can of peeled plum tomatoes and mash them down a little, adding in about half a can of water.

Drop in any crunchy vegetables that need a little boiling - the carrots were added at this point and the pan boiled down until the liquid had reduced and the carrots became softer.

Cube up the corned beef and add it to the mix now, gently ... that's gently turning it so as not to lose much of the structure of the cubes. Corned beef is already cooked and so we just need it to warm through without descending into a slop of meat and over-cooked vegetables.

Add in all the other softer vegetables and flavour ingredients. Turn then through the dish gently and allow 5-10 minutes of gentle cooking to warm everything through.

At the last minute, add in chopped parsley.

Serve into wide bowls and accompany with some communal guacamole and lettuce leaves.

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