The Mystery Canned Meat and Corn Beef Hash

>> Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I would first like to warn you that this is not going to be a pretty post and there will be plenty of canned corn beef bashing. Don't take it personal if you like this stuff, this is just my very opinionated opinion. Oh and vegetarians be warned you may want to look away.

corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
This mysterious tin can has been in our kitchen cupboard for about 6 months (or maybe longer than I would like to admit to). We purchased it from a local English food specialty shop to use in ..... well I honestly can't remember. I have always had a biased opinion against canned foods like pastas or anything that contains meat "products". The exceptions to this would be most canned vegetables, some fruits, and tuna or other fish preserved in water or oil like tuna. Honestly it's not an issue of me thinking I'm above eating canned foods, it's more along the lines that I really do not like the taste.
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
So last week we finally decided to use it in something. I have eaten American deli style corn beef, you know those thin strips of delicious meat. But never have I tried this canned stuff, so I didn't know what in the world to cook with or in. But the first step was getting this annoying can opened. I nearly cut my fingers off because the little key thingamajig fell out of place and I couldn't keep turning it. Well finally got it opened and eewww! it looked so disgusting, it looked like dog food. As a matter of fact my dog used to eat food that looked like that, used to being the key word. I kept telling myself well I'm at least going to try it and not judge it by its looks, it was quite expensive after all. I gave my dog a little piece that he then quickly spit out, I mean the chunk went flying out of his mouth. Well this isn't a good sign I thought to myself, my dog is not a picky eater but he also wont eat just anything. So I began examining and removing this mystery meat out of its can, and the more I looked the more I didn't like it. Look what the heck is this? No wait I really don't want to know or talk about it.
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
Still trying to keep a brave face and strong stomach, I was still in the mindset that I would cook it and it would taste decent. As I consulted my friend Mr. Google it quickly became apparent that the safest and most common recipe would be Corned Beef Hash. In the photos I saw and looking at the typical ingredients I thought that sounds like something I'm going to like. So here is a pretty standard corned beef hash recipe.
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
1 can of corned beef
1 large green bell pepper,finely chopped
1 medium onion,finely chopped
1 large potato, cut into small pieces
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbs. vegetable oil or butter

fried egg to add on top of hash

1. Heat the oil in a large pan, fry the onion until translucent. Add the potatoes and fry for 5 minutes then add the bell peppers. Cook the vegetables until soft and stir often to prevent from sticking. While the vegetables are cooking try to cut the corn beef into small pieces. Once vegetables are cooked through add the corned beef pieces and stir to well combine. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper, stir well then cover and allow the corned beef to warm up. This should take about 8 minutes. Serve with a fried egg on top and toast on the side.

As I was cooking the hash I thought it didn't smell so bad, then I lifted the lid and got a big whiff of the hash and still thought it's not so disgusting. Then I tasted it - ran to the garbage and spit it out. OK, OK put on a brave face what kind of foodie are you if you won't even give it a chance. One more try, nope! definitely can't eat this, it's going in the garbage and Now! OK one last chance, I take a small sample to my husband asking if it was palatable to him. He laughed at my question then said , "Uhm its good" my jaw dropped to the floor in amazement of hearing those words, "Are you serious?!" OK! So I served it to him for dinner and I ate left over soup. He actually went up for seconds! WTH !
corned; beef; hash and eggs; hash; corned beef; canned; tin; blue; potato; onion; green pepper; fried egg; sunny side up
I had the nerve to actually complain (more like ranted) to our English friend about this disturbing and disgusting meat. Since it came from an English store and the brand comes up in many English sites, I figured everyone there eats up this stuff like it's their favorite thing in the world. So I would now like to apologize to English people for my ignorance and for blaming you guys for putting this stuff out in the world. That said I will never ever buy or allow a can, oh sorry a tin, of corned beef in my house!

What do you guys think? Do any of you like this stuff or am I the only ignorant one here?


Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine September 28, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

amazing this is such a huge party in Hawaii its on all the menu's in every restuarant and they have festivals...yours looks awesome and if you google it you;ll be amazed as I was on our vacation on how popular this meat is in Maui! lol nice post made me smile so true!

Anonymous,  September 28, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

I've never tasted canned corned beef, sounds like it's not something I should try :)

Roxan September 28, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

The things you do for blogging! ;)
It's weird, I like spam... but this is a little scary to me.

Belinda @zomppa September 28, 2010 at 11:18 PM  

You are brave! Spam is huge in Hawaii and the Philippines, and you seem to create magic out of a can. You're awesome.

Sommer September 29, 2010 at 1:17 AM  

I haven't had it in years! The last time I ate, though, I vowed the same as you haha. It was a quick yummy breakfast treat for us. I am laughing at your dog! haha. Still you made it into alovely delicious looking meal!

I mostly like canned fish like anchovies, sardines and tuna :)

Anonymous,  September 29, 2010 at 2:35 AM  

It looks like you under cooked it. Your supposed to cook it until its brown and caramelized with the potatoes...

penny aka jeroxie September 29, 2010 at 4:33 AM  

My grandma used to cook cornbeef and peas.... loved it.

Stella September 29, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

You area brave woman, Nancy! I can't say I would have been as brave, but your corned beef hash looks wonderful. Yes, it does (smile)...
Thanks for your comment btw. I'm so frustrated with my photos. I have a very old digital camera. It can't take a photo of anything that has both very dark and very light colors. The light colors become blinding while it focuses on the dark:( I need a new camera...!

Karen September 29, 2010 at 5:46 PM  

I'm with looks disgusting. I can't say I've tried this particular canned meat, but I'm of the belief that meat should be fresh! Yikes!
(Although I do have to say that your dish turned out looking very nice.)

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron September 29, 2010 at 6:54 PM  

haha it does look disgusting but your photos help it look prettier! really, your photos are beautiful. It also does look like dog food. oops. However, the finished product looks great especially with that runny yolk!

Conor @ Hold the Beef September 30, 2010 at 1:10 AM  

Maybe if your husband had seen it coming out of the can he would have had a different opinion?

I understand the nostalgia with this product, but blergh!

Magic of Spice September 30, 2010 at 1:38 AM  

Ha ha...yes the vegetarian was a bit yuck on the canned meat..I think that even if I ate meat, I could never get into the canned stuff :( But I am familiar with the dish and know many people do like it...

Priscilla - She's Cookin' September 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM  

Hahaha, still laughing about your dog! My mom used to make corned beef hash with over-easy eggs and we loved it, but yes, its better if its cooked until brown and crispy then most of the congealed fat is cooked off :) Yummy, huh. She also cooked spam - but she's from Hawaii and that's a staple there. I don't eat any canned meats.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

I have corned beef with 2 minute noodles... I love it :)

Priscilla - She's Cookin' September 30, 2010 at 12:53 PM  

OMG, that's too funny - your canned meat post is in the Top 9! Congrats!

Treat and Trick September 30, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

The dish you've created looks great but I normally dump any canned food that appears 'bad' to be on the safer side of food poisoning..

Sortachef September 30, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

Pretty good save, there, SF. This reminds me of a can of Danish ham left in our cabin for some years. We had to eat it when we were snowed in, and it looked weird but was surprisingly tasty. Thanks for an interesting post!

Shannon abdollmohammadi September 30, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

I am actually a canned Spam fan, so I actually enjoyed this poat. Found it funny...thanks! Oh, and congrats on making food buzz top 9!

Jenny Eatwell September 30, 2010 at 4:04 PM  

I'm afraid that Princes isn't one of the best examples of Corned Beef. At one time it would have been, but these days price cuts have taken their toll and it's now mostly salt and fat. I can remember the days when you could get a can of corned beef, refrigerate it for a couple of hours and slice it thinly like a carpaccio. Not these days, it just falls apart like goo.

Having said that, though, I do enjoy a corned beef sandwich with a dab of horseradish sauce - and I make a nice Corned Beef pie. The pie is a shortcrust pastry version, with just a pastry top. The filling is a can of corned beef, cubed and included into a chunky,spicy tomato sauce with lots of onion. That's a family favourite, but we don't have it too often these days because it's so expensive. It's just a shame your shop doesn't stock a good make of corned beef!

Julie September 30, 2010 at 7:46 PM  

I've never had canned corned beef, and from the sound of it, I think I probably never will. I couldn't even eat roast beef hash I made from my own roast beef.

Catherine September 30, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

My this looks delish! I love the creativity you put into this dish. I'm especially fond that you blanketed all that with the fried egg. YUM!

City Share October 1, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

I have to confess that I love corned beef hash. The stuff from the can is really processed and entirely unnatural, but once it's cooked up I like it. I usually cook it with potatoes until they have browned and turned crispy. I think yours might have needed a bit more time in the pan. But if you don't like it, don't eat it. It's not that good for you anyway. No need to eat junk food that you don't like.

Simply Life October 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM  

I've never used these products- good to see!

Claudia October 1, 2010 at 8:41 PM  

Never had it. Never will. Unless i am in survivor mode. I don't trust canned meat either!

Indonesia Eats October 4, 2010 at 12:49 AM  

Do you know how the Indonesians enjoy corn beef? We love to add it to our omelette and instant noodle soup. We make the instant noodle soup from a package and throw veggie greens, corn beef. Last after we put them in a bow, we shred cheese over. Enjoy it with a hot sauce.

Nancy October 4, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

Thank you for the tips on how to cook longer and the other other recipe ideas. I would love to tell you that I will keep them in mind the next time, but I don't think I'll be trying corned beef anytime soon :) hehe

Thanks for all of your comments!

Anonymous,  October 5, 2010 at 6:11 AM  

LOL - I think it smells like dog food too! Sadly my husband loves it (what is it with these guys?) and he especially loves it fried up with eggs (actually blended into the egg). What're you gonna do? ;-)

dining room tables November 14, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

I like those corned beefs and spam in the cans although I know it is pretty scary with all the preservatives.

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