Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups with Toast . $3.20

While Corned Beef Hash is wonderful, it does require some attention. These little Corned Beef Hash Cups are not just “cute” they save a bit of the last minute labor. One might very well be justified in feeling quite brilliant bringing these to the table for brunch! A crunchy little potato cup, softer, creamier potatoes in the middle, a layer of Corned Beef and a gorgeous egg on top, done as soft or as hard as you’d like.

Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups
Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups

Relatively hands off, most of the work on this recipe is upfront, but do allow a few moments to remove the cups, especially if you’ve made them in quantity. A bit if gentle patience is needed to run the knife around the edges and lift them. Every cook has their moment when they are looking for perfection (in laws over for brunch, perhaps) if that is the case, perhaps you may want to make a couple extra just in case one or two are deformed a bit in the lifting.

These are a brilliant use of leftover potato and Corned Beef, although one could purchase a shredded potato product instead. If you are using leftover potatoes the recipe works well, but it is worth mentioning that it is even better to use a potato that is a little under cooked, if that happens to be in your control.

If one would be planning ahead and cooking extra potatoes just to make this recipe, and baking or boiling potatoes, pull a few out before they are completely done (still able to be pierced with a knife without too much effort but not quite to the eating point) and refrigerate until ready.

This is also a recipe that begs to be tinkered with! Parmesan cheese mixed in with the potatoes? Num…Other add ins besides the corned beef? Ham, perhaps? Bacon, anyone? Perhaps a sprinkling of cheese and/or chives over the eggs?

I’ve made my Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups as a part of a trio of meals from a Corned Beef Brisket: first was the Corned Beef Dinner, then Reuben Sandwiches and now these marvelous hash cups. (I also posted my more traditional Corned Beef Hash, too, just in case these aren’t your cup of tea.)The Brisket, itself, was close to 8 dollars, but by creative use of the leftovers, I’m able to average the cost over three meals.

The Corned Beef hash is by far the most inexpensive, using the bits and pieces leftover from carving the Corned Beef Dinner. For toast, I’ve saved a bit of the Marbled Rye from the Reuben Sandwiches. The cost for this brunchy meal is about $3.20 with careful shopping, and the cost includes the Marbled Rye served with it. (see below)

Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups

  • 3 to 4 medium sized potatoes, boiled or baked and refrigerated (see note)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of Corned Beef, chopped finely
  • 12 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Spray a muffin tin generously with cooking spray. These will stick if the cups are not oiled well.

If using baked potatoes, peel. Grate potatoes on the large holes of a grater. Put in a bowl and salt and pepper to taste. Gently mix. (A flat spatula is handy in moving the potatoes without smashing them.) Note: since the cups are filled, this is your only chance to salt and pepper the hash browns. They will be bland if not salted.

Scoop 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated potato into each muffin cup. Spray you fingers lightly with cooking spray and very gently press the sides and bottom of each cup to make a nest of potatoes. The nests will shrink during baking, so try to get close to the top of each cup.

Don’t press too firmly or the cups will be a solid mass when done, just lightly press and try to make certain there are no obvious holes. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray. If you are not using any of the cups of the muffin tin, fill partially with water to prevent warping.

Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully at the end to make certain they are not burning and remove them when golden brown and crunchy. If you note my photos, I would have preferred them to be a little more brown. The top will not get brown. If  the top edges are becoming too brown, place a sheet of foil gently over the top of the muffin cups. If the cups aren’t browning, your oven temperature may be a bit low, increase it a bit. Remove from oven and turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Have a level surface such as a rack or evenly spaced hot pads ready to set the hot muffin tins on.

Allow the nests to cool, slightly. Place about a teaspoon of minced corned beef in the bottom of each nest. Crack an egg into each one. (Eggs turn out more uniformly if cracked into a small dish or measuring cup and poured into the “nest” rather than cracked into the nest directly.)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake until the whites are set, about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the preferred doneness. The eggs will firm up slightly more after removal from the oven. Allow to sit for a moment or two for easier removal. Run a knife around the edges of each cup to loosen and remove. Serve immediately.

These do take a moment or two to get out of the tins, so allow yourself a bit of time – especially if you are baking these in bulk for a crowd. They require just a bit of patience.

Notes:

Potatoes are best if not cooked until all the way done. Leftover potatoes (boiled or baked) do work well, but tend to be a bit softer. If you have some control over the doneness of the potato (for instance, if you are cooking extra potatoes to make this recipe with) remove them just short of being “eating” doneness – when they are soft, but a bit firm when a knife is inserted in them.)

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Meals made from Corned Beef Dinner:

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Strategies Applied, meal 3

  • I’m dividing and conquering here: I made a Traditional Corned Beef Dinner, and am using the Leftovers for two more meals. I’ll cost average the corned Beef over three meals – the cost of the Corned Beef is $7.96, divided by thee is $2.86 a meal…although it might be a bit of a “cheat”  since some meals use more Corned Beef and others use less, it’s a great way to break up the cost of budget dinners, and a strategy included in my meal planning.
  • This is the third meal of a trio revolving around the Corned Beef made for Saint Patrick’s Day – The first was the dinner itself, the second Reubens and the third, Hash. Technically, there is really more Corned Beef used the first night, less for Ruebens, and even less for this Corned Beef Hash, but hey, that’s what averaging is! The Corned Beef for this meal ran about 80 cents..
  • Bread:  I bought Marbled Rye, on sale for $2.00 a loaf, an inexpensive substitute would be homemade Irish Soda Bread. I’ll save out 8 slices for Reuben sandwiches; the loaf was small, 16 slices, so I’ll count half towards this meal. $1.00.
  • Potatoes: Cost for 5 potatoes, about 6 ounces each, at an Aldi’s St. Patrick’s sales price of 26 cents a pound: 49 cents.
  • Eggs: Stock up on eggs when they’re inexpensive, normally during Holiday weeks. Low prices in my area range from free (often with other purchases) to anywhere from 50 to 88 cents. They last for weeks in the fridge – The date on the container is a ‘buy’ date, and you can expect them to last a good six weeks past that date. If you pick up two or three packages when they’re at their low, you’ll rarely need to pay full price.
  • Refrigerate right away and never store in the door; eggs keep best in a colder part of the refrigerator, in their own box. (Then put your partially used vegetables in the door where you’ll see them and remember they need to be used ASAP – the half a bell pepper or onion, etc.)  In doubt about an egg? If it floats in water, discard, just to be on the safe side. Cost, about 88 cents.

Recipe posted March 2014

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