8/1/05 | Corned Beef Hash
[ Currently Eating: Some Somen Salad ]
I have a lot of good memories of eating Corned Beef Hash fried up straight out of the can for breakfast in my parent’s motorhome on camping trips when I was little. My mom was a stickler for home cooked food that if possible was not preseved or canned, but she made allowances for camping when it was difficult to cook up stuff in the camper.
She’d get a few eggs and crack them on top of the whole mess and let that sit for awhile while it crisped up in the pan. It was usually served with toast, though I’d been known to shovel it in as is.
But I hadn’t eaten this for awhile, so since I was trawling at the Dollar Tree (a la Bottom Feeder) the other day I decided to pick up a can of Hartford House Corned Beef Hash and see if it still tasted the same. Now, I think the Corned Beef Hash we used to eat before was made by good old Hormel. I couldn’t even really find the Hartford House company or band online, which definitely was not a promising sign!
The extreme consolation here was that it only cost a buck. Dang, but it IS dangerous shopping at the 99 cent stores. You come away with all of this junk that costs a buck each, but it sure adds up. We bought about $12 worth of stuff. The store was packed too… no wonder they’re so popular!
Opening up a can of corned beef hash can be an enlightening experience if you haven’t opened one before, or you’ve never opened up a can of dog or cat food. Wow. Another helpful hint in opening the can… don’t smell it. There are plenty of foods that taste great but smell bad, and this is definitely one of them. It smells pretty much like dog food. The consistency is nearly the same, except this has tiny squares of potato in it instead of ground up with the meat.
The meat… ah. One time I went camping with two friends and I brought along cans of Deviled Ham. One of the friends refused to eat it because he said it tasted like dog food and looked worse. This is pretty much similar meat.
My health conscience was weighing in on me, so I decided to “fix” it by adding some chopped zucchini and white onion. One thing I noticed about this Hartford House brand is that it didn’t really crisp up that quick. It just kind of sat in the pan. In fact, I sort of had to “burn it” in the pan in order to get a crust. That crust is actually one of the few redeeming qualities of Corned Beef Hash.
Anyhow, I had a 1/4 stick of french bread leftover so I decided to eat it with this. A good idea. This stuff was heart attack city and actually didn’t smell so pleasant. The bread was a really good type so I felt it counteracted the “evil-ness” of the hash. I don’t remember Hormel‘s being that bad, but maybe it was because I was a kid.
Ah, well. Another dollar, another shot at some Cheap Eats. I would quite possibly still keep this in the pantry for emergencies. You know, those kind of emergencies where you’re faced with gnawing off your own leg or having a can of corned beef hash in order to survive. Yeah.
Cheap Eats Score: 4/10