James Beard’s Roast Beef Hash is the most viewed recipe on Chewing The Fat.
You have just landed on the most popular post on Chewing the Fat. James Beard’s Roast Beef Hash recipe is so popular in our house, that when I cooked another version, I practically had my head handed to me. And Andrew wasn’t wrong. It had nothing on this extraordinarily good dish. ” Stick to the original”, I was told, Now I love this recipe so I am reprinting it exactly as it first appeared. And besides, I am sticking with the original recipe because I know what’s good for me.
James Beard’s Roast Beef Hash is proof that leftovers are often as good as the real thing.
When I first cooked it, the New York Times’s Dining Section featured a front-page article entitled “Lucky to Be a Leftover”. In it were some remarkable ideas from people all over who made meatballs from holiday hams (no recipe on that one and boy, did I want it!), to Veal Pojarski, made from diced roasted veal, pork or beef and a specialty of those two Montreal Chefs– Joe Beef’s owners Dave McMillan and Frederic Morin. The Montrealers go all the way to sticking a roasted bone in the resultant meatball. The thing looks phenomenally good. But to me, the best thing to do with the gorgeous centerpiece from our Christmas Day table, our Roast of Beef, is to make Roast Beef Hash.
Ode to a Great Roast Beef Hash
Now I love hash. Especially when there’s plenty of meat and the roast used hasn’t been trimmed to death. There’s a really good hash at Bobby Van’s Restaurant in Bridgehampton (2393 Main Street, Tel: (631) 537-0590 ). It’s full of flavor and crispy hash browns. Occasionally I note a distinctly lower beef content. I always put this down to how much was left over from the night before. When I make our Roast Beef Hash, I can go slightly crazy with the beef. The original recipe for today’s post called for just 2 cups of Cold roast beef and an identical volume of Yukon Gold Potatoes. I kept the potatoes at 2 cups and upped the beef to about 4. And this is no diet dish. Not with a half cup of cream added to it. I am sure you could substitute an equal amount of beef stock in its place but it wouldn’t be something its creator, James Beard, would advise.
Who was the inventor of this Roast Beef Hash recipe? A fellow named James Beard.
James Beard was one of the seminal cooks who truly changed the way Americans ate. He introduced the joys of French cooking to a generation raised on meat and potatoes. He was a giant of a man, well over 6 feet tall and of ample girth. He was also an amazingly prolific writer managing to compose some 20 books and countless magazine articles. This output is particularly astonishing since Beard didn’t get his culinary calling until rather late in life. Born in 1903, he moved to New York from his native Portland Oregon in 1937. For years he pursued an acting career without much luck. Then he and a friend named Bill Rhodes started a catering company called Hors d’Oeuvres, Inc. which capitalized on the Cocktail Party craze of that moment. He wrote his first book on hors d’oeuvres in 1940. Wartime rationing did his business in. But he was well on his way to becoming a culinary force to reckon with and in 1946, he appeared on a new television show called “I Love to Eat”. And there was probably no more aptly titled program on which James Beard would appear. For those inspired by James Beard’s culinary legacy and ready to embark on their own culinary career, you can explore diverse chef’s positions on sites like Jooble where exciting opportunites for cooks abroad await passionate individuals. Just click the link.
The memories of James Beard and his recipes linger on
The man was the consummate eater and teacher. Traveling the country, he introduced good food made with fresh, wholesome American ingredients. He was one of the first chefs to become “a brand” and became “the name, face, and belly of American gastronomy” according to the writer David Kamp in his book “The United States of Arugula: The Sun-Dried, Cold-pressed, Dark-Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution”. (Broadway Books, 2006. ). To buy the book, go to https://amzn.to/492t1Cf. James Beard had a career that only ended with his death at age 81 in 1985. Fortunately, he lives on in his eponymous foundation: The James Beard Foundation was set up in his honor and continues to operate out of his former townhouse in Greenwich Village. The place is open for private parties and we’ve been fortunate to be invited to several. The kitchen remains pretty much the way he left it. And every May, the coveted James Beard Foundation Awards are given out to an amazingly diverse group of food industry professionals ranging from chefs to restaurant designers.
This recipe will make a hash lover out of just about anyone.
Beard was a true hash aficionado. He loved the stuff and made some startling variations. Not content with just corned beef hash or chicken hash, his recipes included one for clam hash. But for today, we’ll stick with this recipe which first appeared in James Beard’s American Cookery (Little, Brown, 1972). The book is still in print, now with a foreword by Tom Collichio. (You can buy it here: https://amzn.to/48YtpRZ ) This is a wonderful savory hash that, with the addition of a poached egg would make a wonderful breakfast. Ours, however, is eaten at lunch and dinner. Here is the recipe and after it, links to a couple of other hash recipes we love…if not as much as this one!
James Beard's Roast Beef Hash
A Roast Beef dish so flavorful and hearty, you may want to roast more beef just to enjoy it.
- 1/4 cup beef drippings or canola oil
- 2 cups boiled and cooled Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2-4 cups cold roast beef, cut into generous 1/2″ cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- Step 1 In a 12″ skillet, heat beef drippings or oil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8–10 minutes. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Step 2 Add beef, garlic, thyme, cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef browns, about 5 minutes—season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 3 Add heavy cream, stir to combine, and press hash down into the skillet with a metal spatula. Turn hash in parts every 2 minutes, loosening any browned bits, until the cream has reduced and the hash forms a crust, about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve hot with fried or poached eggs, if you like.