This is a dish served mainly in South Carolina and Georgia, although it can be found in North Carolina and other southern states. It is somewhat akin to Brunswick Stew, which is served more often in North Carolina. There is also a legend about making hash only during the full moon...I'll tell you more about that later.
The variations of recipes are about as numerous as the cooks. In other words, travel a hundred miles, and get a hundred different recipes. It's hard to nail down a precise recipe that is used as a standard. For this article, hash is a thin, reddish brown stew that is served over rice or grits. It is sometimes eaten as a sandwich, kind of a South Carolina sloppy joe. It is made of a couple of meats and vegetables, which can include pork, chicken, onions, potatos, tomatos, corn, sometimes carrots, and I saw a Georgia recipe one time that included beef.
The history of hash goes back a long way, and the old timers will tell you it has to be made overnight in a giant black kettle or wash tub.
The basic process in making hash starts with browning the meat and onions and letting them break down some if they aren't already cooked. I would imagine that this dish originated from left over smoked pork and chicken,
so that's what I use to make it.
After the meat is browned, water (and often tomatos) is generally added and the meat stews for over an hour. Diced potatos are added, and it all cooks for another hour or so. Everything should be broken up or "loose". If not, stir, mix, or even blend the combination to a pudding like texture. Some hash's are stringy, but if you use a stick blender, it will be a different texture. The flavor is still good though.
BBQ rubs and sauces have been added. Other spices I've run across in hash recipes include Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, oregano, hot sauce, mustard, vinegar and of course, salt and pepper.
Of course, there are many arguments about who makes "real hash." In some parts of South Carolina they even make a mustard based hash. Here's the recipe I use, and it's closest to the ones I remember having when growning up.
South Carolina BBQ Hash
2 pounds of shredded or chopped pork butt bbq
2 pounds of chicken meat, shredded or chopped, any type
2 pounds of onions
1 28 oz can of tomatos
5 white potatos, peeled and diced into chunks
3 tbsp salt
3 tbsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup cider vinegar
Since I use cooked meat, you don't have to brown the meats. In a skillet, cook the onions until just translucent. Add all the other ingrediants, and then cover with water. Simmer for about an hour, or until the potatos start to break up. If it's too chunky or the potatos are tender, use a whisk and stir vigorously, and let it cook a little more. You may have to add more water.
Serve over hot rice. This can be eaten as a side dish or a main course.
Hash is one of those dishes that even better the next day. However, hash is also one of those dishes that will sour in the fridge. Make sure it has cooled down before putting it in the fridge. You can speed up the process by stirring and seperating the hash into small containers.
Oh, and the legend of making hash by the light of the silvery moon...well
many folks in South Carolina don't do much at all unless the moon is full or near it. That includes gathering crops. It's said that if you gather your crops under a full moon, you'll get more. Same with hash...under the full moon, your hash pot may overflow if you're not careful! But cook under a dark moon, and that pot will surely be near empty by the time it's ready.