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This slow cooker corned beef hash is a true retro throwback. Not confined to the ’70s and ’80s, this classic dish is just as delicious today (with an added tasty dash of nostalgia). Additionally, it’s a great budget-friendly meal for those times you are trying to cut back a little. Plus, the use of a slow cooker seriously reduces the washing up!
What is it?
Let’s start with the beef. Corned beef originates from the UK where salt was used to cure and preserve beef. The salt crystals used were very large. Around the size of corn kernels, which lead to the name. Corned beef has been a popular food in Britain since the 17th century. It was particularly prevalent throughout both World Wars, owing to the rationing system and scarcity of fresh meat.
Just don’t get me started on those tins – those notorious stubborn cans with the weird keys (surely packaging design has come on in the last 30+ years? Well, not in the world of corned beef!)
A hash is a dish consisting of chopped potatoes, onion, meat and sometimes other vegetables. It is typically fried. The word ‘hash’ comes from the French hacher, which means ‘to chop’.
So, what is corned beef hash? Well, it’s a dish made of potatoes, onions and corned beef that is usually fried in a pan. However, this slow cooker version means that you can set it and forget it. Simply add all the ingredients to your slow cooker in the morning and let it do its thing while you get on with your day.
Did you know – there is an annual ‘Corned Beef Hash Day’. It’s celebrated on 27th September!
This recipe is for a basic corned slow cooker beef hash, so you can really customise it to your needs. Why not try adding extra diced veg such as:
You can also jazz up plain hash with the addition of different flavours. You could add a sprinkle of chilli flakes or paprika for a spicy spin. Or how about a smattering of cheese on the top? Creamy cheddar or even a pungent blue cheese are great options to explore.
If you want a crispy topping on the hash, you can transfer it to an oven-proof dish before serving and then place it under the grill/broiler for around 5 minutes.
What can I serve it with?
There are a few different schools of thought when it comes to the perfect serving of corned beef hash. Some say that the best way to enjoy this dish is with a fried or poached egg on top, while others believe that a dollop of baked beans and a side of toast is the way to go. You could also add a side of vegetables such as roasted tenderstem broccoli.
If you are going down the egg route, then you can even cook them directly in the slow cooker. Make sure you have stirred everything together and then make a well for each egg in the hash. Carefully pour in the eggs (it’s easier to crack them individually into a mug first) and then replace the lid. After around 12-15 minutes you’ll have beautifully cooked eggs nestled in the dish.
Finally, you can absolutely serve this ‘as is’. That’s how we used to eat it when I was a child. With the obligatory bottle of L&P Worcestershire sauce on the table for liberally shaking over the top.
What type of potatoes should I use?
Potatoes fall into two main categories and, of course, there is a spectrum between them. These categories are floury and waxy. Floury potatoes are perfect for the tender, fluffy insides of roast potatoes. Waxy potatoes, on the other hand, are ideal for dishes like a salad, where you want a firmer result.
Which you use for this recipe is completely a matter of preference. Both varieties will work well: floury varieties, such as Maris Piper or Russet, will tend to break up more in the dish but will melt in your mouth. Waxy varieties, such as new potatoes or Charlotte, will tend to hold their shape better but be firmer.
A good middle ground is Desiree potatoes in the UK, or Yukon Gold if you are in the US.
Is American corned beef different to UK corned beef?
Kind of. In the UK we only refer to the minced, salted and then tinned beef as corned beef. If it’s not tinned, then we would call it ‘salt beef’. In the US both the tinned and non-tinned varieties would be called ‘corned beef’. So if you find a corned beef hash on the menu in America, what you’ll likely get is a plate of salt beef mixed in with potatoes.
I have to say though, salt beef looks an awful lot better than tinned corned beef. Making this dish look appetising may be one of the biggest challenges I’ve had on this blog!
Another thing to bear in mind is that, in the US, corned beef is associated with Irish cuisine and is often served on St Patrick’s day. In reality, it is simply not a popular ingredient in Ireland. Ireland’s relationship with corned beef is actually because it historically farmed a lot of cattle to export beef to mainland Britain.
How long does it keep?
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for the crispest results, although the microwave works perfectly well too!
You can also freeze hash for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.
For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
The below ingredients will make you a delicious corned beef hash, but why not get creative? Check out these ideas for recipe variations in the main post for inspiration!
- Potatoes, diced into roughly 1cm cubes – peeling is optional
- Onion, roughly diced
- Tinned corned beef
- Beef stock cube
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Dried thyme
- Garlic, finely chopped or crushed
How to make it
For more detailed instructions, with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
- Add the potatoes and onion to the slow cooker. Either slice the corned beef into cubes or break it apart in your hands and add to the slow cooker.
- Crumble the stock cube over the ingredients and then add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, thyme and garlic.
- Stir the ingredients together.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Season to taste and then serve as per your preference!
Looking for more great slow cooker recipes? Try:
Products that work well for this recipe:
20 Pack Reusable Food Storage/Freezer Bags
Joseph Joseph Waste Collecting Peeler
A true retro-classic, made in the slow cooker so you can set & forget it! This slow cooker corned beef hash is simple, delicious & easy on the budget too!
The default recipe serves 4
- 500g potatoes, cut into around 1cm (0.5 inch) cubes (peeling is optional)
- 1 large onion, roughly diced (around 200-250g diced onion)
- 1 x 340g tin of corned beef
- 1 beef stock cube
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried thyme (see note 1)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- Add the potatoes and onion to the slow cooker. Then either cut the corned beef into pieces or use clean fingers to break it up into the slow cooker dish (the beef will get mashed up during the cooking and stirring so it doesn’t matter too much how this looks).
- Crumble the stock cube over the top and then add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, thyme and garlic. Stir everything together. It’s going to look a bit funky but don’t worry. The ingredients will release some liquid during the cooking process which helps combine everything together. Season lightly (see note 2).
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Season to taste and then serve it as is or with a fried or poached egg or baked beans (see note 3). If you want to crisp up the top of the hash then you can spread it onto a baking dish and then place it under the grill/broiler for around 5 minutes.
- If you use fresh thyme then double the amount. Rosemary also works well.
- As the corned beef is already quite salty then you may want to season only at the end of cooking after tasting the dish.
- You can also add any other veg or leftovers you may have available. Carrots, leeks or cabbage are all great options.
- You can also cook the egg directly in the slow cooker. 20 minutes before serving season and stir everything together. Make a well for each egg in the hash with a spoon and then crack the egg directly in. Return the lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- Prep time does not include messing around or possibly breaking that clumsy key you might need to use to open the can.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: British
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 325
- Fat: 12g
- Carbohydrates: 28g
- Protein: 24g
Keywords: corned beef, hash, potatoes, budget friendly, easy, retro, simple, dinner, breakfast, brunch, lunch