This recipe turned up in a Nova Scotia cook book from 1939. Mom came over to help us eat it, and she liked it a lot – I think it reminded her of food from her childhood. We liked it, too; it’s just some good, tasty comfort food. And presumably easy enough for even a bachelor to make; huh. Although the original had the ingredients put through a meat grinder, which thing most people no longer have, and I would think that cleaning it afterwards would eliminate any advantage that it would have had over just chopping and grating stuff.
Anyway, parsley and celery aren’t in season at the moment, but if you have them, put them in; they do improve it. Otherwise feel free to season it up to your taste – I put in savory and paprika, but my favourite Polish seasoning would have been good too. If you are using a regular fat ground beef put in the low amount of stock; if your meat is lean or cooked you should add more. It will be a bit of a judgement call, but the end goal is to have a hash neither soupy nor too dry.
4 servings1 hour 20 minutes – 20 minutes prep time
3 medium carrots1 large onion1 stalk of celery (optional)1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)1 teaspoon saltfreshly ground black pepper to taste1 teaspoon rubbed savory OR thyme1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprikaOR other seasonings to taste500 grams (1 pound) ground beef OR chopped cooked beef1/3 to 1 cup beef OR chicken stock3 medium (500 grams; 1 pound) potatoes2 cups fresh breadcrumbs3 tablespoons butter
Wash, peel, and grate the carrots; put them in a mixing bowl. Peel and chop the onion. Wash, trim, and chop the the celery and parsley, if using. Add to the bowl, along with the seasonings. Crumble in the beef and mix by hand, until everything is evenly distributed and the mixture has a loose, crumbly texture.
Lightly oil a 9″ x 13″ or similar shallow 3 litre (quart) baking (lasagne) pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wash, trim, and dice the potatoes. Put about 60% of them over the bottom of the prepared pan. Mix the remainder into the hash, and spread it out over the potatoes evenly. Pour over the stock.
Butter slices of stale bread well and cut it into fine crumbs, then rub the butter through them until it is evenly distributed and they are all moistened with the butter. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs evenly over the pan of hash.
Bake at 350°F for about 1 hour, until the top is crispy and the broth is absorbed or evaporated. Let the hash rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Last year at this time I made Red Cabbage, Apple, Celeriac, & Belgian Endive Slaw.