Friday, July 20, 2012

Recipe: SC Hash or BBQ Stew

Still from
  "CAROLINA HASH : A Taste of South Carolina"
Hash. Around the country it looks different. There is corn beef and hash, there is a hash that is made in a frying pan with lots of different things mixed in. It is served for breakfast, dinner or a late night snack. It's made from whatever's in the fridge. In SC it is a stew served over rice. It goes hand-in-hand with BBQ.

SC hash has a bit of everything in it. This is one of those foods that started as a poor food and has evolved over the years. It was originally made from all the left over bits of the animals. If you look at older recipes you will find them calling for pigs heads, chicken livers, trotters and an assortment of other things. Doesn't sound to appetizing does it?

Looking for a recipe to try, I was grateful that many now call for whole chickens (plucked and ready to roast), pork butts, picnics and even chuck roast or other beef. No two recipes are the same. Some call for vinegar, some for tomatoes, some for beer. I also found that all the recipes have potatoes, carrots and BBQ sauce in common.

Hash is diverse as the people that cook it. Each brings their own unique twist and flavor to it. Most hash is a guarded secret like a lot of BBQ rubs and sauces. The cooks will tell you what's in it but not the amounts or leave out a key ingredient. Many have a specific hash pot they use and have been using for years.

Hash pot.
(original picture from 100 Mile Smoke Blog)
In Greenwood, SC each year they host a BBQ and hash competition. The people cooking the hash have huge cauldrons that they stir with boat paddles to make their pots of hash. The aroma is incredible. It's a combination of garlic, onions, pork and that twangy vinegar/hot sauce scent intermingled with the smell of hickory smoke. Delightful.

When hash is done it usually has a yellow tinge to it and is thick. Not thick enough to stand a spoon in but like a stirred up yoghurt. While it doesn't look very appetizing, the smell will make your mouth water and your tummy crave it. After the first taste it will hook you. It is usually served over rice and makes for a great meal.

A couple of weeks ago I had made a bunch of BBQ for a party and we had left over so I decided I would try my hand at making a quick, simple hash. I didn't have all day to let the flavors marry together but I figured I could get good flavor from my smoked chicken and pulled pork.


  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1 lb smoked pulled pork
  • 1/2 lb smoked chicken
  • 1 beer or cider
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbls eastern Carolina vinegar sauce
  • 2 tbls mustard BBQ sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tbls rub
  • 4 tbls butter
  • 4 tbls flour
  • 1 tbls oil
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 chicken bullion cube

Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Dice the onions and sauté them with the garlic in the pot. Once the onions are translucent add the pork and chicken and let it warm up. The heating of the pork will render out some of the left over fat in it and melt the fat that is on it.

Add the beer and let it cook down. Once it is reduced some add in the other wet ingredients including the tomatoes and the rub. Let it simmer and stir it breaking up the meat.

At this point you would normally add potatoes and carrots to thicken it but I didn't have any. I went with the Louisiana style of thickening and created a roux from the flour and butter. I added that to the pot and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the hash was simmering I made my rice using the two bouillon cubes to give it some extra flavor. When the rice was ready I served up bowls of the rice with the hash on top. It was a hit.

When making a proper hash you let it cook for hours which helps the flavors marry together and the potatoes break down and thicken the stew. Many hashes have hot sauce of some kind in them. I did not add any to mine as some members of the family don't like a lot of hot spice. The BBQ sauces and rub have enough pepper in them to give it a nice kick though.

This is a great meal to use left over BBQ. It would also be a great winter meal to warm up with after playing outside or hunting. I've had hash in various forms but SC hash is my favorite.