No. 84: Bacon Corn Hash

It's my birthday weekend! Yay!

I wanted to start it off right with some yummy eats, some stick to your ribs goodness. We had a long day of Saturday errands and running about to do, so this meal would need to last a bit.

Campfire Cooking

I grew up making hash around a campfire. Dad was (still is?) a whiz with a Dutch Oven. He perfected dishes like lasagna and upside down pineapple cake over a fire ... amazing. Hash was another staple on long camping trips in the Rockies.

Kids

Us Roudebush kids back in the day, out in the wilds of Colorado.

Bacon Corn Hash

Mr. McC discovered hash recently on a few breakfast menus, and I wanted to treat him to a great homemade version. I found this delectable variation from Smitten Kitchen.

Ingredients

Makes 4-5 cups
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice
1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed clean and diced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium-large ears corn, kernels cut from the cob (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 bundle scallions, thinly sliced

To make

Toss bacon into a large skillet over medium heat, no need to heat the pan first. Let rest for a few minutes until it starts sizzling, then move the bits around so that they begin to brown evenly. Wait a couple minutes before shuffling the pieces around; you’re looking for them to get evenly golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Bacon

(Just a couple minutes to go.)

Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan and transferring the bacon to paper towels to drain.

Smitten Kitchen side note: Don't drain the fat, though you'll be tempted. The potatoes that cook in this will be gorgeous and you will have a chance to remove the extra in a bit.

Heat the pan to medium/medium-high, making sure the bacon fat is nice and sizzling, then add your potatoes all at once in a single layer. Sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon table salt and several grinds of black pepper. Let them cook for a few minutes in one place and get a bit golden underneath before turning them over and moving them around. Repeat this process until the potatoes are browned on all sides; this takes about 20 minutes.

Another side note: You can speed up the potato cooking process by putting the diced pieces in the microwave for a minute or two beforehand.

Cooking potatoes

(About 6 minutes in the pan.)

At this point, you can push aside the potatoes and pour or spoon off all but a small amount of the fat. If you save it, you can use it to fry an egg or something else delicious later.

Bump up the heat a little and add the corn to the skillet. Saute the potatoes and corn together until the corn gets a bit brown but stays fairly crisp, about 4 minutes.

Add the drained bacon, and stir the mixture together until it’s evenly warm, about 1 more minute. Remove the skillet from the burner and sprinkle the scallions over the hash. In two minutes, they should be warm and mellowed. Season with more salt or pepper to taste, if needed.

If you want to add a fried egg to it, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and swirl in one to two teaspoons bacon fat or butter. Crack one egg into the skillet and reduce heat to medium. In one minute, you should have a perfect sunny-side-up egg. Season with salt and pepper, serve on top of a pile of bacon corn hash.

The results

As soon as we took our first bites of this blissful bowl, we stopped talking. Not until we had devoured every last bit did we sigh, sit back and decide to add this to our list of favorites.

Final

We were having this for brunch, so I guestimated the proportions for two hungry people: two large red potatoes, 1/2 cup corn, 4 large slices of bacon, 3 scallions. And it all worked out pretty perfectly. Could have added more corn, but that's the only change I'd make.

A fried egg would indeed be amazing on this, but we loved the hash as it was.

While we should eat this only once a year for health reasons, it is wonderful. A perfect recipe for brunch, guests or fueling up for a long day.

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