Hash is one of those dishes for which there is both one recipe and a million recipes. Most folks will nod along for the first couple of ingredients (cooked meat and cooked potatoes) and the method (cut up together and fried in oil). But after that, you’re on your own and buddy, you can call that pile in the pan whatever you want but it ain’t hash back where I come from.
The keen-eyed will notice that first picture is actually not hash. It’s summer succotash, graced with a skewer full of Prather Ranch pork. The hash of which I am about to speak came from the leftover pork and potatoes that accompanied the succotash.
When I’m making hash, I start with roughly equal amounts of onion, meat, and potato, all diced medium. Corned beef is my favorite, but any leftover meat will do. Onion goes in pan with salt and fat, which could be a butter and olive oil combo or bacon fat, depending on my mood. Saute until translucent and a bit soft, but don’t brown ‘em (a little on the edges is okay) or they’ll burn later. I don’t bother with herbs if I have corned beef, but a little thyme here is good with plain pork. Black pepper also works.
Add the potato and meat, stir it up and get it warm, then add enough heavy cream to bring it all together. Don’t go overboard. You’re making hash, not sloppy joes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Press the hash into a single layer and cook until the bottom is brown and crisp: 10 or 15 minutes depending on the stove, the pan, and the ingredients. Here’s where you’re going to get in trouble if you really browned your onions. In any event, go easy on the flame and watch carefully, because there are few things sadder in the morning than burned hash.
At this point, most recipes will breezily say something like, “Flip the hash over and brown the other side.” But I’m not like them and I’m not going to lie to you. You can try the flip thing and if you manage it then you’re a better man than I am. I usually just scrape it all up, give it a mix, and then pat it flat again. Cook until crispy, and serve with eggs, poached if you’re feeling orthodox.