Red flannel hash dew abides

OK, so Winter Storm Leon sucked. Our drafty 100-year-old house took exception to the icy onslaught and rewarded us with indoor temperatures of 59°F all week. But the discomfort taught many valuable life lessons including the importance of…

— wool thermal underwear

— hot water bottles

— new Sherlock episodes

— amaretto-spiked coffee

Cooking in cast iron skillets over a hot stove was our only relief from the cold, so I searched the interwebs for hearty, bloodwarming recipes that used ingredients we had in the pantry, like sweet potatoes and beets. The one that appeared over and over again was red flannel hash, a traditional New England meal-in-a-skillet.

My hope when I pickled all those beets last year was that they could be substituted in dishes that called for fresh — without causing any serious face-puckering. Now was the time to test that theory.

So into the pan went a mix of sweet and baking potatoes, garlic, onions, and beets. Pretty simple.

Maybe it was hypothermia-induced delirium, but that was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. It has been suggested that I later sneaked two extra servings for work, without reminding Brad there were leftovers. But that can’t be proven.

Here’s the recipe I adapted, if’n you’re curious. You could even try adding bacon or cracking eggs over the finished product. Give this hash a shot, and soon you’ll be saying #itssogoodyoullwanttoslapyourmama, #bestuseofflanneloutsideseattle, and #redisthenewblack.

Red Flannel Hash

4 sweet or baking potatoes
1/2 large onion
2 pints pickled beets, rinsed
4 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450°F. Drizzle olive oil in a large cast iron skillet and place in oven. Meanwhile chop the veg into one-inch cubes. Remove skillet from oven and toss in the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle more olive oil and gently stir until well coated. Bake for 25 minutes, then stir. Return to the oven for another 25 minutes, remove, and stir. Roast one more time in the oven for 15-25 minutes, until crispy.

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