Let me get this out of the way first: this is not the most beautiful plate of brunch you've ever seen, I know. No caramel-burnished sticky bun or fluffy, chive-flecked omelet perfection here. Yet humble fish hash is one of the most tempting things lately to emerge from my kitchen. Although I was, not so long ago, a little wary of herring, I know I'll be making it again soon.
Perhaps because I used a cast-iron skillet, my hash did not crisp up into a single flippable entity, instead sticking in some spots and remaining loose in others. No matter. Thanks to a generous lump of butter and the oily little herring, each bite was succulent and packed with flavor. (Despite the fact that the bulk of this dish is potato, I felt as if my umami urges were being well satisfied.) You could use less butter, I think, but the full amount gives glorious results.
Hash and a simple salad (make the vinaigrette mustardy) are a fine meal on their own. If you're the kind of person who tops everything with a fried egg, you might try that. And as long as you aren't serving folks who turn up their noses at tinned herring, this hash could also stand in for hash browns or homefries alongside scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast.
- Heaping 2 cups cooked, diced potato (I used cold baked potatoes and left the skins on)
- 1 6.7 ounce (4.4 ounce dry) can smoked herring, drained and flaked (I included the skin)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup milk
Put the potatoes, fish, and pepper together in a bowl and toss to mix.
Melt the butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Spread the hash evenly over the bottom of the skillet and then drizzle the milk evenly over the hash. Cook for about 10 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning. Turn the hash over if possible; for me this was not possible, so I simply gave everything a good stir. Cook for another 5 minutes and serve hot.