Red Flannel Hash

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An old fashioned classic, Red Flannel Hash is a wonderfully hearty breakfast!

Red Flannel Hash 2

How can you  not love something called red flannel hash?  I always picture a red union suit on a laundry line flapping in the breeze when I think of this hash.  Before I ever had it I knew I would love it. It’s classic old New England stuff.  What makes it red?  Beets, and corned beef, which has a pink tone as a result of the preserving salts that are part of the ‘corning’ process.


This hash goes back way before electricity, when preserved meats and root cellars got people through long hard winters. It would have utilized the leftovers from a classic New England boiled dinner, and this is one of those cases where the leftovers outshine the original dish.  I think it’s so interesting that even after centuries of ‘progress’ in the world of food, this recipe still lives deliciously on.

My version is heavy on the vegetables, and I chopped up some sweet potatoes along with the red potatoes and beets. With an egg on top it becomes the best breakfast, lunch, or ‘breakfast dinner’ ever.

Red Flannel Hash 1

The texture is great, the colors are fabulous, but what really makes it for me is the flavor of the meat. Corned beef is next to impossible to find right now, so I asked the guy at the deli counter for a half pound chunk of pastrami. You could also use bacon, or leftover beef, but the flavors of pastrami come closest to the original.  The way the meat is brined and seasoned with spices like coriander, cloves, and mustard seed, gives it a great flavor that permeates this hash.  Pastrami and corned beef are seasoned with the same flavors, so it’s a good substitute.  I bought uncured meat, so mine isn’t pink, but the flavor is the same.

Note:  Season with hot sauce, or Worcestershire sauce at the table, if you like.

Red Flannel Hash 1
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2.34 from 9 votes

Red Flannel Hash

Course Breakfast, Gluten Free, Paleo, Romantic, Winter
Yield 4
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 medium beets peeled and cut in 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut in 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 small red potatoes cut in 1/2 inch dice, but do not peel
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion diced
  • 4 Tbsp butter or olive oil divided
  • 1/2 lb cooked corned beef roast beef, or pastrami, diced (I used pastrami from the deli counter)
  • fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley for garnish


  • Put the beets in one saucepan and the sweet potatoes and red potatoes in another. Cover with cold water and cook until the vegetables are tender. The beets will take slightly longer than the potatoes. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet and saute the onion for a few minutes until it is translucent. Add in the last 2 tablespoons of butter, the beef, and vegetables. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and let cook until browned on the bottom. Flip the hash and let brown on the other side.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley. You can also top with a fried or poached egg.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    obat kanker payudara
    December 3, 2012 at 4:02 am


  • Reply
    November 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    what a great name. even if i didn’t like the components, i’d be tempted to make it just because of its title. as it happens, i love the components too. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 27, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I adore these root vegetables and you are right. The colors are fantastic. Love an egg on top! Perfect meal. Spam – ha ha.

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    November 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    What a fun name and gorgeous looking hash! Love everything about this, yum,yum,yum!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    November 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    i love that you used red flannel to name this dish! So fitting and the corned beef with the amazing flavors and colors of the beets and sweet potatoes is almost to good to be true

  • Reply
    Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti
    November 26, 2012 at 5:09 am

    This looks so good, Sue! I love beets but I haven’t made this hash in a long time –I will try your recipe–Thanks!

  • Reply
    The Kitchen Boudoir
    November 26, 2012 at 3:42 am

    What an evocative name – and I love your image of the union suit on the laundry line. Also, any kind of delicious vehicle for a runny-yolked fried egg immediately piques my interest – would love to try this for breakfast soon.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    November 26, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Corned beef down here is silverside. Boiled in a pot cooked similar to boiled bacon, except of course it is beef from the hind quarter. My mother used to buy corned beef in a tin made by Frey Bentos in the UK years ago, not spam which of course is pork. I loved this corned beef and would have it for breakfast with baked beans in a type of hash! This Red Flannel Hash looks great!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    This looks amazing! Never thought to put beet and corned beef together. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    katrina hall
    November 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Looks great! I always wondered what red flannel hash was! Now, I am enlightened. And thanks for the pastrami explanation, which I am not sure I’ve ever had.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    November 26, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Oh Golly! Thank you for visiting me in my garden, Sue! It reminds me to come your way and see just what Sunday supper is in your kitchen! Yum! Truly an inspiration to make a brisket and roast some veg for next weekend’s cozy Sunday night!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    November 25, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Oh my goodness this look super good! I’m going to have to eat this – tomorrow!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    November 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I LOVE the name: Red Flannel Hash! I love beets and sweet potatoes and carrots and that’s all I’d need for this to be perfect for me! I mean, I really really love all of those flavors and properly cooked/prepared beets are such a true joy to eat..nature’s candy 🙂

  • Reply
    the gardener's cottage
    November 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    o my gosh sue i clicked over just for the name! red flannel sounds so fabulous to me. so i suppose i can’t really make this exactly but i do make potatoes for breakfast all the time. i can just use the different color potatoes and leave out the hash and egg. i’ll just call it red flannel potatoes!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      November 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      I should have mentioned that it would be great as a vegetarian or vegan dish. The traditional spices in the corned beef would add a nice flavor, without the meat.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Oh that looks very interesting, I don’t really know what corned beef is apart from Spam in a tin – eek!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    November 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Looks delicious! Don’t you love cooking in cast iron? I love to make my omlets & scrambled eggs in mine! Love the “vintage” recipe too!

    Have a great day!