I am frequently asked for camping recipes so this recipe from Home Chef Francis for Texas Hash came at a great time. Francis found my Reluctant Gourmet web site in her local newspaper, The Syracuse Post Standard. She said in her email, I travel a bit and collect local cookbooks with some very unusual recipes. Could I send along samples at random?”
How could I say no? So here is her recipe for Texas Hash from the Trail Bosses Cowboy Cookbook. This looks like a great meal for camping. Thanks Francis. RG
A “hash” is the term applied to a finely chopped mixture of ingredients usually consisting of at least a meat protein, onions and potatoes, although there are many, many recipes available for hashes that contain all sorts of extra ingredients such as spices, stock, other vegetables, etc.
Not only are hashes ideal for camping, but they are also wonderful ways to use up leftover ingredients from your fridge. Most of us always have onions and potatoes in the house, so it’s simply a matter of adding chopped leftover meats and/or vegetables and cooking them all together. If you’ll note, in this recipe rice has been substituted for the usual potatoes.
1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 pound ground beef salt and pepper - to taste
1 #2 can tomatoes (20 oz)
1 cup rice - cooked
1-2 tablespoons chile powder - or to taste
1 cup green peppers - chopped
1 cup celery - chopped
1/2 cup tomato soup
How To Prepare At Home
Sauté the onions in bacon fat. If you do not have bacon fat in the house and don’t want to cook bacon to render some fat, you can just use vegetable oil.
Once the onions are slightly golden in color, add the ground beef and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is cooked through and is no longer pink.
Remove the meat and onions to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add the rest of the ingredients along with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. This could take anywhere from five to twenty minutes, depending upon your taste.
Add the meat and onions back to the pan and stir well to combine.
At this point, you have a couple of options. The original recipe states to bake the mixture at 350F for an hour. You can certainly do this, but if you really are making this on a camping trip, I’m pretty sure you didn’t bring your oven. In this case, or even to make at home, let the hash cook undisturbed in the pan for a few minutes. You should hear a gentle hissing sound. If the hissing turns to crackling and popping and it begins to smoke, remove the skillet from the fire/stove top. Try to keep the heat even and moderate. This is when a heavy duty cast iron pan comes in handy.
With a heat-safe spatula, gently lift up the edges of the hash. You’re looking to see if a golden-brown crust has formed on the hash. If it has, and the hash is getting crispy on the bottom, cut the hash into fourths with your spatula and gently flip each quarter. Don’t worry if everything doesn’t hold together. This is not an exact science. Once you have the hash flipped, continue to cook until crispy on the second side.
Serve immediately. If you’d like, grate some cheese over the top before serving. You could also try serving an over easy fried egg on top for a hearty camping breakfast.
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