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By Marcy Harris

Come By for Some Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

A really good American breakfast at the Roadhouse

By Ari Weinzweig

Corned beef hash, though it gets little public attention in the press, has been a staple dining in the ZCoB for decades now. I was surprised—in the best possible way—to learn of late that it is consistently one of the top sellers every week on the Roadhouse breakfast menu. Which reminded me that I haven’t written much of anything about it!

The story behind Corned Beef Hash

Corned beef hash is not something I grew up with. It likely evolved out of the New England “Boiled Dinner,” one of the most commonly served meals of the colonial era. It was essentially what is now called corned beef and cabbage—potatoes, cabbage, carrots, or other winter vegetables boiled with pickled, or corned, beef. The leftovers would be chopped and fried. The canned version of corned beef hash came on the market in the mid-20th century at the peak of the industrial food era. The word “hash” probably comes from the French hacher, meaning “to chop.” You can find “hash” made from pretty much any meat—pastrami is great, as is Montreal smoked meat. I’ve seen it made with chorizo (see below), or even rabbit. Classic red flannel hash has the addition of beets. I have a recipe for bacon hash in Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon

About our Corned Beef Hash

Chicago Tribune food editor Bill Rice, who sadly passed away eight years ago this week, was an early supporter of ours, who wrote, “I love the informality of hash and the unpredictability of its texture and seasonings.” For years, we made this corned beef hash at the Deli. When we opened the Roadhouse in September of 2003, we started making it there, too and it remains a regular menu item 20 years later. Corned beef, cubed potatoes, diced onion, pepper, celery, with a bit of chicken broth, butter and flour, a snippet of dried sage, and plenty of that Tellicherry black pepper I’m also touting. Many folks get it with eggs on top, but, insider tip, it’s also really good topped with the hollandaise sauce that we pretty much always have on hand to make Eggs Benedict during brunch on the weekend. I like it with a bit of that terrific Italian IASA Peperoncino spooned on top to spice it up a bit too! Swing on by one morning and let us sling some of this tasty hash for you!