Swedish Hash is the Best Hash, Sorry Not Sorry
No offense to anyone tending to their sourdough starters, but right now, all I want to eat is something that’s comforting, filling and easy to make. And if I can whip it up without having to make a trip to the grocery store, even better. Enter the deliciousness that is pytt i panna, aka Swedish hash.
In Swedish, this dish translates to “small pieces in a pan,” which is exactly what it is—leftover bits and pieces from the fridge, fried to a mouthwatering crisp in a pan. It’s a staple in Swedish households (including mine) and a great way to use up last night’s scraps.
There are countless variations of pytt i panna, but most versions use leftover meat, cooked potatoes and onion. Adding bacon, pickled beetroot or a fried egg is highly encouraged (but not necessary if you don’t have them on hand). The result is a warming dish that’s mostly savory (from the meat), a little bit sweet (thanks to the fried onions) and delightfully crispy. The addition of something pickled gives it a nice hit of acidity, while an over-easy egg oozing over the plate creates a sauce that’s begging to be mopped up by the pan-fried spuds. In other words, tucking into this hearty dish is the culinary equivalent of being enveloped in a warm hug.
For all these reasons and more, Swedish hash has been a regular in my social distancing repertoire and once you make it, I think it will be in yours too.
You don’t really need a recipe to make pytt i panna, since it’s meant as a sort of fridge-cleaning exercise, but here’s one to get you started.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 6 to 8 cooked potatoes, diced into small pieces (½-inch chunks if you’re feeling fancy, but a rough chop will do)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups leftover meat (ham, steak, lamb, sausage or chicken), diced into similar sized pieces as the potatoes
- salt and pepper
- 4 fried eggs, for serving
- pickled beetroot, for serving
- Fry the potatoes in the butter over medium heat until the spuds begin to color. (Your cast iron skillet was made for this.)
- Add onions and fry until golden.
- Add the meat and continue cooking until all the pieces are well browned.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with pickled beetroot and a fried egg on top.
A few notes...
Want to add some bacon? Great idea. Only have fresh beets instead of pickled ones? Toss them in there. Think that some fresh thyme would be *chef’s kiss* in here? You’re probably right. There’s very little that can go wrong with this easy dish—experiment and enjoy. Or as we say in Swedish, smaklig måltid!