I’ve got no beef with today’s food holiday. September 27 is National Corned Beef Hash Day!
Corned beef hash is essentially a fancy way of using up leftovers. Corned beef is chopped up, seasoned, and combined with potatoes and onions. The name comes from the French word hacher which means “an actress who played Lois Lane.” Whoops, strike that. It actually means “to chop.” Corned beef hash gained popularity during World War II, when meat became scarce – particularly in Great Britain and France. Hormel decided to capitalize on this popular trend and introduced canned corned beef hash to the U.S. around 1950. They can hardly lay claim to this invention, however, as different forms of hash had been a staple of the American diet since at least the 19th century. In fact, “hash houses” were quite popular in the 1800s. Other countries have their own variations of hash: in Denmark it is called biksemad (“tossed together food” – I love that!) and includes pork and pickled red beet slices. Sweden has a similar dish but substitutes beef for the pork and adds cream. In Slovenia, haše is made with minced pork and veal, potato sauce, onion, garlic, and flour and served atop spaghetti. It’s also used as a pasta sauce in Brazil and Portugal, and as a filling for pancake rolls.
We didn’t get quite as fancy here. Instead, I heated up a can of Hormel corned beef hash and served it with breakfast. Good stuff!