In terms of food, Hash is any dish that starts out with diced up meat, potatoes, vegetables, herbs, and spices. It was considered a common poor man’s dish, with origins that can be traced back for centuries in England, Scotland and other parts of Europe. It was designed to fill as many empty bellies as possible with something warm, cozy, satisfying, and cheap.
In the colonial U.S. Corned Beef was a staple because it was preserved and had a long shelf life, plus it was very affordable. Thus, it became the traditional meat Americans used in hash. Corned Beef Hash was very popular along the railroad lines and on the chuck wagons during the 1800’s. During this period cheap restaurants were known as “hash houses” and the cooks who worked there were called “hash slingers” as well. It wasn't a compliment. During WWII, when fresh meat was rationed, Corned Beef Hash became a go to for feeding families. They were able to stretch the dinner leftovers from the night before into a filling breakfast the next day.
Well from humble beginnings to a whole new level today-Corned Beef Hash has been gentrified, so to speak. Nowadays there are entire cookbooks written by foodies dedicated to variations on this simple dish and even high end restaurants that serve their own upscale fancy versions.
At The Lake Effect Dinner we take pride in being a joint that actually slings hash. On the menu there are two versions to choose from: the House Cured Country Corned Beef Hash and the House Smoked Turkey Hash. Both versions are made with diced potatoes, onions, green peppers, and a medly of herbs and spices. The whole mess is sautéed up on the flat top until the potatoes are browned and crisped. Each hash plate comes with eggs done to your liking and your choice of white, multigrain, or rye house made toast. If I had to choose, my order would be the Corned Beef Hash, with eggs over easy, and multigrain toast. Mixing the warm runny yolk with the savory hash is the stuff my breakfast dreams are made of…