What is Corned Beef Hash Made Out Of? A Delicious Guide to This Classic Dish

Corned beef hash is a hearty and delicious classic dish that has been around for generations. But what exactly is in corned beef hash? Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and origins of this staple comfort food.

A Brief History of Corned Beef Hash

While the exact origins are unknown, corned beef hash likely emerged in the 18th or 19th century as a way to use up leftover corned beef. Corned beef refers to beef that has been salt-cured, or “corned.” This was a common way to preserve meat before refrigeration.

The corned beef would be chopped up along with potatoes and onions and then fried together in a skillet to make a tasty and thrifty hash. It became especially popular in New England and was considered a specialty dish. Over time, corned beef hash made its way onto American diner menus and into households across the country as a satisfying breakfast or dinner.

The Main Ingredients

The primary ingredients in corned beef hash are:

  • Corned beef – This refers to brisket or another beef cut that has been cured and brined. The beef soaks up the salty brine, giving it a distinctive seasoned flavor.

  • Potatoes – Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are often used. They provide starch and absorb the delicious beef juices.

  • Onions – Onions add moisture, sweetness, and flavor. Yellow or white onions work well.

  • Butter or oil – A small amount of fat is used to cook the hash. Butter or oil help brown the mixture.

Beyond these core ingredients, corned beef hash recipes can vary. Some versions also include:

  • Diced bell peppers or carrots for extra color and crunch
  • Spices like black pepper, paprika, thyme, or red pepper flakes to amp up the flavor
  • Chopped leafy greens like kale or spinach
  • A dash of Worcestershire or hot sauce
  • Fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, or cilantro to brighten it up

The proportions can be adjusted based on preference, but generally a 1:1 ratio of potatoes to corned beef is used, with onion added to taste.

How is Corned Beef Hash Made?

Making corned beef hash is a simple process:

  • Chop – Dice the corned beef and potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces. Mince the onions.

  • Sauté – Melt a knob of butter or splash of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent.

  • Mix and brown – Add the chopped corned beef and potatoes to the pan. Let cook undisturbed for several minutes to brown the bottom.

  • Stir and season – Once a crust forms, gently stir and fold the hash. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, or any other seasonings.

  • Finish cooking – Keep cooking and stirring occasionally until the potatoes are fork tender and the hash takes on a nice brown crust.

  • Serve – Spoon the piping hot corned beef hash into bowls. Top with a fried egg for the perfect hearty breakfast or meal.

What to Serve with Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash makes a wonderfully satisfying meal, especially when served with:

  • Fried, poached, or scrambled eggs
  • Toast or biscuits to soak up the juices
  • Sautéed greens like kale or spinach
  • Fresh avocado slices
  • Tomato wedges
  • Herbed yogurt or sour cream
  • Hot sauce for added flair

On a brisk morning, a bowl of homemade corned beef hash with a fried egg and side of toast is comfort food at its finest. It’s also delicious for dinner served with a crisp green salad.

Tips for Making the Best Corned Beef Hash

  • Choose high quality corned beef – Opt for freshly sliced corned beef from the deli counter instead of the canned version for maximum flavor.

  • Use stale potatoes – You want the potatoes to hold their shape when cooked instead of turning mushy. Day old boiled or baked potatoes work great.

  • Cook low and slow – Be patient and let the hash cook over medium-low heat to achieve a crispy crust without burning.

  • Avoid over-stirring – Resist the urge to constantly stir the hash. Let it brown undisturbed before gently folding.

  • Add juices and fat – Splash in some of the beef juices from the corned beef packaging and cook the hash in butter or oil for extra richness.

  • Season well – Corned beef hash is nicely accented by plenty of fresh cracked black pepper and spices.

  • Customize it – Make it your own by mixing in veggies, greens, herbs, hot sauce, etc. based on your tastes.

How to Use Up Leftover Corned Beef Hash

One of the appeals of corned beef hash is transforming leftovers into something delicious. Here are creative ways to use up extra hash:

  • Pile it into a corned beef hash sandwich
  • Shape it into patties and pan-fry into hash cakes
  • Stuff it into a baked potato or sweet potato
  • Fold it into an omelet or scrambled eggs
  • Top a pizza crust with hash and bake
  • Layer it into nachos and melt cheese over top
  • Fold it into puff pastry along with eggs for a hand pie
  • Mix in broth and beans for a hearty hash soup

With so many tasty possibilities, leftover corned beef hash never goes to waste!

Different Variations to Enjoy

While traditional corned beef hash is always a winner, there are many tasty adaptations of this classic dish:

Mexican-Style Hash

  • Made with shredded beef brisket or carnitas
  • Diced potatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro
  • Seasoned with cumin, chili powder, garlic
  • Top with guacamole, Cotija cheese, lime juice

Mediterranean Hash

  • Made with lamb or falafel
  • Diced potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, feta
  • Seasoned with oregano, mint, lemon, olive oil

Korean-Inspired Hash

  • Made with bulgogi-style beef
  • Diced potatoes, kimchi, scallions, toasted sesame seeds
  • Seasoned with garlic, ginger, gochujang

Indian Hash

  • Made with curried chickpeas and potatoes
  • Diced potatoes, peas, cilantro
  • Seasoned with curry powder, cumin, coriander

The basic technique remains the same, while the flavors transform based on the ingredients used. Feel free to get creative and put your own unique spin on corned beef hash!

How to Make Corned Beef Hash for a Crowd

Corned beef hash is a great dish to feed a crowd for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. Here are some tips for scaling up the recipe:

  • Use a large skillet or roasting pan – Choose a pan with ample cooking surface area to hold the increased amount of hash.

  • Prepare in batches – Cook the hash in smaller batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and steaming instead of browning.

  • Keep the first batches warm – As you cook each batch, transfer to an oven-safe dish and keep warm at 200°F in the oven.

  • Stagger additions – When cooking in batches, add the potatoes to the pan first to partially cook before adding the beef. This prevents uneven cooking.

  • Have plenty of toppings – Set up a topping bar with sliced avocados, tomatoes, hot sauce, shredded cheese, herbs, etc. so guests can customize their hash.

  • Make-ahead – The hash can be assembled a day in advance and refrigerated before cooking to save time. Reheat gently when ready to serve.

With a few easy strategies, you can easily quadruple or octuple this recipe to satisfy a hungry crowd. Everyone will love digging into the hearty homemade corned beef hash.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Hash

Like many hearty dishes, corned beef hash tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld. Here are some tips for enjoying the leftovers:

  • Allow hash to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.

  • Refrigerate for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Frozen hash holds up well.

  • Reheat gently in a skillet over medium-low, adding a splash of broth or water to prevent sticking.

  • For a crispier texture, reheat in a lightly greased ovenproof dish at 400°F until piping hot.

  • Stir in a splash of milk or cream when reheating to thin out the texture.

  • Portion into single servings when freezing so you can easily defrost just what you need.

With proper storage, you can enjoy the fruits of your corned beef hash labor all week long!


From its humble origins as a thrifty kitchen invention to a beloved American classic, corned beef hash has staying power for good reason. At its core, this satisfying skillet dish is all about transforming flavorful leftover beef and potatoes into comfort food magic. Feel free to customize your hash with seasonal veggies, different spice blends, or creative mix-ins to keep this tradition exciting. The next time you have extra corned beef, try whipping up a batch of homemade hash. Just follow your tastebuds to hash heaven!

Corned Beef Hash Recipe. How to Make Corned Beef Hash


What is corned beef hash made of?

Typically, corned beef hash is made up of a mixture of cooked corned beef, diced potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. These ingredients are cooked in a hot skillet with butter or vegetable oil until browned and crisp.

What kind of meat is corned beef?

Corned beef is made with beef brisket, a cut of meat that is naturally tough, so it needs to be braised: cooked with moisture at a very low temperature. Cooking low and slow is the key to flavorful, tender corned beef.

Is corned beef hash good or bad for you?

Corned beef boasts several important micronutrients and is high in protein, which the body needs to build muscle, create enzymes, and repair tissue. However, it is also quite high in sodium and fat. This can be a drawback for those on a low-sodium or heart-healthy diet.

Is corn beef hash raw meat?

To Fry: Corned beef hash is fully cooked and ready to eat, but we do recommend heating and browning before serving. Slice through casings and cut into patties, remove casing and brown on both sides.

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