Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hash it out...

I have a recipe for Mexican hash, which I've had for quite some time. I can't quite remember where I got the recipe and don't really make it very often, but I do get cravings for it. I've taken the original recipe and made it my own by little tweaks here and there. It's a super simple, quick and easy recipe that the whole family loves. Enough said let's get started.

Here's what you will need:
One onion (about baseball size, you'll want to yield about 1 cup or so)
One pound of ground beef
Seasoned Salt ( I use Lawry's)
1 tablespoon Cumin (again I just use a cupful I use mostly McCormick spices)
Pepper ( I like to use fresh cracked pepper, but I'm not a snob about it)
1 tablespoon of Oregano (I just fill the lid and sprinkle it in, calling it good)

One can of Ro-Tel (this is a tomato and green chili blend, any brand will do)
One can of Pinto Beans (I use Ranch style, which is everywhere in my neck of the woods)
One can of Enchilada Sauce (I always grab Old El Paso and haven't really ever tried anything else)
Doritos or Frito's
Condiments (this where you can do what ever you like some thoughts are below)

Onion 101:
I would venture to guess that I've watched close to 5,000 hours of cooking shows in my life, if not more. Public television was my friend for years: Frugal Gourmet, Jacques Pepin, Justin Wilson, Lydia's Kitchen, Martin Yan, Julia Child, Galloping Gourmet, all taught me great things and kept me great company. Then came the Food Network and...well it's the FOOD NETWORK!
Jeff Smith (Frugal Gourmet) taught me how to cut with a French knife and I'm eternally grateful to him, thanks Jeff. I picked up a trick to cutting onions that really works well if you are looking to get a diced onion, for frying and stuff like that, and don't want to dirty a food chopper. It's really easy. Here's all you do:
  • Cut the tips off both ends of the onion, then peel off the outer skin, you want a flat surface so the onion won't get all antsy and roll on you.
  • Using your sharpest knife make 5-6 cuts into the onion going 3/4 of the way down each time, you don't want to cut through the onion.
  • Next, turn the onion one half turn, so the cuts you have just make are now horizontal and not vertical. Do the same thing, 5-6 cuts 3/4 of the way down.
  • Turn the onion on it's side and slice straight down Usually about 5-6 slices is all you need, enjoy the waterfall of perfectly diced onion pieces.
  • When you get to the end of remaining 1/4 of the onion, just turn it to it's flattest side and chop finely.
  • This is step saves the most cutting and gives you great uniform results.

Ok, back to the hash.
In a large skillet:
  1. Place 1T. of olive oil or butter in your skillet and heat to medium. You want the oil to evenly coat the skillet, or the butter to melt. As the oil heats it will get more..."flowy."
  2. Add your onion and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until they are beginning to release their juices and turn clear.
  3. Add your ground beef. I buy the leanest meat I can and wish I had butchered a cow. We had some butchered beef (given to us as a Christmas gift) and I am forever ruined to any other meat. This is the point where you season the pan. If you wait until the meat is cooked the meat gets all reclusive and won't let anyone in to visit and spice up it's life. Fry your ground beef until it is no longer pink. Note: I use a potato masher to get the meat all nice and ground up, no huge chunks, just smooth Finley mashed meat.
  4. Add your cans of beans, ro-tel, and sauce, stir well. Now let this sit and cook for 30 minutes, stirring twice. I set my timer for 15 minutes, stir, set it again and let it go. This will give you time to get the rest of your duke together. And, the meat has time to let go of it's water and concentrate on being thick and delicious. This is what it will look like at the beginning of the 30 minute stewing.

  5. While the hash is stewing and getting all happy get your duke together.
  6. I like to use crushed Doritos (this recipe usually starts calling my name when we have a 1/2 bag of Doritos left and they are all already crushed to bits anyway!), you can use Frito's too. Lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, onion, olives, jalapeno, there is no limit to what you can do to this dress this up--it's your palate be creative.
  7. The hash will be thick and delicious when it's stewed for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  8. Build your hash: chips, meat, cheese, lettuce then whatever else you want.
This is really, really good. It might remind you of taco salad, but it tastes different to me.

I just had a though! Right now. You could take this hash and call it Mexican sloppy Jose (get it!). What a great left over use. Toasted buns, hash, lettuce and cheese...oh man I have to make this again and make sure I have enough for my new creation: Sloppy Jose's! I'm so excited.
Come back and let me know if you like this...don't let me know if you hate it as I'm super vulnerable and live close if not over the edge most of the waking hours of my life.

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