Coming from the French word ‘Hacher’ meaning to ‘chop’, a hash is a quick & easy meal to make when one is in desperate need of sustenance .
Get a pan of water on the boil
Once the stove is fired-up, get some water on straight away in a billycan.
Boil the hard veg
Peel & chop the sweet potato & carrots aiming for small, bitesize chunks. Add to the hot water & bring to the boil, tilting the lid to prevent the pot boiling over (& subsequently extinguishing the stove which, believe me, is seriously bloody annoying). Simmer for 5 minutes before taking the pan off the heat, letting the residual heat to continue to cooking the veg.
Fry the soft veg & meat
Put a frying pan onto the stove. Add a splash of oil, some finely chopped shallots, garlic, mushrooms & freshly picked nettles – stir constantly for a minute of so. Pop in the meat, stirring for a few minutes until all are mixed & caramelised (not burnt though). Tip: Add a splash of white wine at the end of this stage to deglaze* the pan.
Pour out some of the cooking water
Take the frying pan off of the heat & put the veg pan back on, bringing the contents back to the boil. Check that the veg is cooked by squashing a chunk of veg with the back of a spoon against the pan. If the veg is cooked, then pour out (& try to retain) some of the cooking liquid**.
Season & taste, season & taste
Crumble half the stock cube into the billy & stir to coat the veg. Add the contents of the frying pan to the billycan (or vice-versa). If the mix is too dry, just add some of the retained liquid to loosen. Season further to taste & enjoy.
*Deglaze: Adding liquid to a food pan that has been cooking meat for the purpose of collecting any remaining food particles & juices.
**Waste cooking water: Can be used for adding to sauces & gravies, or for extinguishing embers at the end of cooking.