Authentic Period Southern Breakfast Hash

Eleanor Rose

Member of the Month
Nov 26, 2016
central NC

Hash found its way into Southern tradition in the Carolinas as a means of finding a cheap way to feed the enslaved. The word "hash" comes from the French, "hacher," which means "to chop." It makes sense considering hash is a one-pan fry consisting of chopped, leftover meat, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and anything else the cook might desire. Nineteenth century cooks combined African spices and seasonings and came up with their own takes on the concoction. Traditional Southern hash may have, at one time, been one way to use up all the parts of a pig. Nowadays, you can use whatever meat you have on hand. This recipe for Southern breakfast hash uses chicken sausage in place of pork, sweet potatoes in place of ordinary potatoes, and a shake or two of Tabasco sauce for a quick bolt of heat.

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1⁄4" cubes
1⁄2 Tbsp olive oil
2 links uncooked chicken sausage (chicken-apple works nicely)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1⁄8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 eggs, fried sunny-side up
Tabasco sauce

Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dice the sausage and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

In the same pan, add the reserved sweet potatoes, the onion, and red pepper. Cook until the potatoes and vegetables are browned, about 7 minutes. Return the sausage to the pan, season with the cayenne and salt and pepper, and stir to mix.

Divide the hash among four plates or bowls. Top each serving with a fried egg and Tabasco.
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