I’m sort of in love with this hash. I apologize that it took me until the end of asparagus season to share it with you, but you can blame that on my completely un-methodical approach to the order in which I post recipes.
This dish would be great on a brunch menu, but we had it for dinner and it was pretty fabulous then, too. It’s easy and fairly quick, and when you top it with an egg for some added protein, you have a full meal. I fried the eggs in a separate pan, but you could just as easily make a few small wells in the hash and cook them in the same pan. The potatoes are cooked in the fat rendered from the pancetta, so they have all this pancetta-y goodness. The asparagus is a great counterbalance; it stays fresh and crisp and green, so the hash doesn’t feel too heavy (or too bad for you).
I do sort of wish I would have added a little goat cheese, too, but there are few times I don’t feel that way.
Zachary is generally a good eater and not all that picky, but ever since he started solids he has never, ever liked eggs. He is also not a fan of white potatoes unless they are in french fry form. So, I gave him a different meal that night, but, like always, put some of this on his plate in hopes he’d change his mind. He wanted nothing to do with the potatoes or eggs of course, but he asked me for more “pargus” 4 times. Don’t worry, though, I’m totally not bragging on my kid’s great eating because a few days later we had asparagus again and he treated it as though I was trying to feed him rat poison.
Asparagus Pancetta Hash
From Smitten Kitchen
1/4 lb. pancetta, cut into 1/4″ dice
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2″ dice
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 lb.asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
Heat a 12″ cast iron pan over medium heat. Fry the pancetta, turning it frequently so that it browns and crisps on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove it with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels. Leave the heat on and the renderings in the pan. (With a well-seasoned cast iron, this should be all the fat you need to cook the remainder of the hash. If you’re not using cast iron, you may need to add a tablespoon of oil.)
Add the potatoes to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, but don’t stir for a couple of minutes. Once they’ve gotten a little brown underneath, begin flipping and turning them, then letting them cook again for a few minutes.
When the potatoes are about 3/4 as crisped and brown as you’d like them, about 15 minutes, add the onion. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until crisply cooked. (Note: I don’t have a lid for my cast iron skillet, so I added a couple tablespoons of water along with the asparagus to help cook the asparagus and potatoes.) Remove the lid, return the pancetta to the pan for another minute, to reheat. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.