Potato Hash (Potty Ash)
||40 minutes, Cooking 1.5 hours
A veggie version of the corned beef hash my mother used to make, and that remains a strong memory of my childhood. A bit longwinded, but well worth the effort, especially on cold winter days.
Quorn Pieces – Optional
Vegetable Stock Cubes
For the Suet pastry - Optional:
1 Packet of Vegetarian Suet
Twice as much self-raising flour as the suet weight
Good pinch of salt
Quantity wise, for a family of six, I use a large pan of potatoes, six to eight carrots, three onions, two leeks, 2-3 stock cubes, and a packet of quorn pieces.
Peel and cut the potatoes to roughly the same size, you want them quite large, but sized down to around roughly the smallest so they cook the same. Par boil the potatoes for ten minutes or so, in lightly salted water, they need to be still quite firm but not raw.
Peel and slice the carrots, not too thinly, and par boil for ten minutes or so in salted water.
Peel and slice the onions and leeks, peel and chop the garlic. The quantity of Garlic is a preference of taste, when it’s a traditional cloves variety I tend to use 2-3 cloves, if it is the milder bulb variety I’ll use a whole one.
Sweat the onions in a little hot oil, add in the leek and garlic a few minutes later, and lightly cook until the onion is becoming clear.
Once the potatoes and carrots are parboiled, cool them with cold water to make them easier to handle. Preheat the oven to a high heat.
Slice the potatoes into roughly 1cm slices, add a layer of the slices potatoes in a casserole type dish, or deep baking tray. Add a layer of the onions and leeks, scatter some of the carrots and add some of the quorn pieces if you’re using them – scattered across the layer. Season well with salt and black pepper. Then repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of potatoes.
Make up a stock with boiled water and the stock cubes, I make around three pints, you want enough to almost cover the last layer potatoes. Cover with tin foil.
Place in the hot oven for one hour. Then remove the tinfoil and allow another half hour in the oven .. all done.
A better variation, especially in the winter, is to add a suet pastry topping. Which has to be one of the easiest pastries to make, and while the top crispens nicely, the underside soaks up the stock and is more like dumplings.
For the vegetarian suet pastry version, prepare as above, but for the final half hour, when the tinfoil is removed, add the pastry topping.
Vegetarian Suet Pastry.
Super simple, you will need a packet of the vegetarian suet mix, check the box weight, you will need twice that weight of self-raising flour. Mix together with a “good” pinch of salt (I forgot it once, and you could really tell), and mix with a little water. I tend to find I need quite a bit more water than the packet suggests, add it slowly, you want the pastry pliable, not dry or wet.
Roll out quite thickly on a floured surface.
Transferring the pastry to casserole dish; the pastry can be quite fragile, roll it loosely around the rolling pin, position the start and unroll. You can tuck any excess pastry at the edges into the dish, as this will soak up the stock and become dumplingy.
Turn the heat down slightly, and bake for the final half hour, until the pastry is a nice golden colour.
The suet pastry can soak up quite a lot of the gravy-stock, so you may want to prep a little extra (just a stock cube and hot water), when serving.
Traditionally the dish can be served with a little dark (daddies) sauce, or a little sliced, pickled beetroot.
The original (my mothers) recipe used cubes of Corned beef, subbing the corned beef with quorn pieces is okay, but it’s just as good without.
All my kids eat this one, and ask for it, and enjoy it just as much as I did at their age.
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