What is Beef Hash? A Guide to This Hearty and Versatile Dish

Beef hash is a hearty, comforting dish made by sautéing chopped beef, potatoes, onions, and other vegetables together until lightly browned and tender. The ingredients are “hashed” or chopped up, then fried in a skillet to meld the flavors. This budget-friendly meal has origins as a tasty way to use up leftovers. Keep reading to learn all about the history, ingredients, and best ways to enjoy beef hash!

Origins and History

Hash likely originated in medieval England as a way for cooks to transform leftover roasted meat and vegetables into another meal. The term comes from the French word “hacher” meaning “to chop.”

Hash grew popular in America by the late 1800s. During this time, modest restaurants known as “hash houses” sprang up, serving affordable hashed meat dishes made from beef, lamb, pork or corned beef.

Classic American corned beef hash originated in New England as a hearty way to repurpose leftovers from boiled dinners of salted beef brisket, cabbage, potatoes and onions. It remains a specialty in this region.

What is in Beef Hash?

While recipes vary, beef hash often contains a mix of these ingredients:

  • Cooked beef – Roast beef, corned beef or steak work well
  • Potatoes – Diced russets or other variety
  • Onions – Chopped or diced yellow, white or red onions
  • Celery – Diced for flavor and crunch
  • Garlic – Minced for added aroma
  • Oil or butter – For sautéing the hash
  • Stock or broth – For moistness and savor
  • Herbs and spices – Such as parsley, thyme, salt, pepper

Some versions also include carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms and other vegetables. Corned beef hash may feature cabbage or beets.

Tips for Making Beef Hash

Follow these tips for flavorful beef hash every time:

  • Use cold cooked beef – Refrigerated leftovers work better than freshly cooked.

  • Cut meat and veggies evenly – Uniform 1/2-inch dice helps them cook evenly.

  • Get the skillet very hot – This browns and crisps the hash nicely.

  • Let the hash get crispy – Resist stirring constantly for browned crispy bits.

  • Season well – Beef hash needs a generous amount of salt and pepper.

  • Finish with a fried egg – The runny yolk takes it over the top!

How to Serve Beef Hash

This versatile dish can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are serving ideas:

  • For breakfast, top with a fried egg or serve with eggs any style

  • For brunch or lunch, pair it with a salad or soup

  • For dinner, serve with rice, beans, or greens on the side

  • Sandwich it between slices of toast for an open-faced hash sandwich

  • Stuff it into a tortilla or hollowed baguette for a handheld meal

Beef hash also stores well for quick meals later in the week. Simply reheat leftovers in a skillet or microwave.

Variations and Substitutions

Get creative with beef hash! Try these variations:

  • Lamb hash – Use ground lamb or diced roasted leg of lamb

  • Pork hash – Swap in shredded pork shoulder or sausage

  • Turkey hash – Leftover Thanksgiving turkey works great

  • Vegetarian hash – Omit the meat and double up on veggies

  • Spicy hash – Add hot sauce, peppers or chili powder

  • Southwest hash – With peppers, onions, chili powder and cumin

With its simple ingredients and ease of preparation, beef hash is an ideal budget-friendly and fuss-free dish. This tasty medley of meat, potatoes and vegetables continues to satisfy families today just as it did a century ago.

How To Cook: Crispy Canned Corned Beef Hash


What is hash meat made of?

Like yellow mustard-based sauce, hash is a distinctive feature of the South Carolina barbecue style. A sort of cross between a thick gravy and a stew, it’s made from pork and (often) various pig organs and is usually served over white rice, though sometimes grits or bread are used instead.

What does roast beef hash taste like?

Servings per container about 2. This roast beef hash tastes very mildly like finely ground roasted beef and gravy with 1/4″ potato cubes. Because they are rehydrated, the potato cues hold their shape well and give a little texture to the hash. While it has a lot of salt, 790mg/serving, it doesn’t taste very salty.

Is beef hash good?

Fresh corned beef hash tastes much better than the canned hash, and it’s a great way to use up leftover St. Paddy’s Day corned beef. I purposely cook a whole corned beef just to make hash. I throw the carrot in for color, claiming it’s the leprechaun’s gold. Serve with an egg on top.

What is canned beef hash?

Canned corned beef hash offers homemade flavor in a convenient canned food. Specially prepared with beef, chopped potatoes and savory seasonings for a truly homemade taste. Canned hash is great alone, with eggs or in a recipe. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes or cook in a skillet until brown and crispy.

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