I was invited to a Christmas pot luck and asked to bring a smoked appetizer. There are many classic appetizers. However, I had an urge for something with the flavours of my youth.
When I was growing up, leftover beef would be mixed with leftover potatoes and fired up. It was called hash and it could be had for dinner or breakfast.
I had a lot of small potatoes in the cold room from this years crop and I decided I could make an appetizer remiscent of those leftover comfort food meals of my youth and invented Hash Cups.
These could be made in an oven, gas grill or smoker. On orders from the host, I made them in my Traeger Timberline smoker.
I started by poking 12 small potatoes several times with a fork and put them in a casserole. I added a cup of water. I covered the casserole and microwaved on high for 4 minutes. I stirred the potatoes around and microwaved a minute at a time until the potatoes were just tender when stabbed with a fork.
Let the potatoes cool for an hour, cut them in half, and scoop them hollow with a melon baller or spoon. Put 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of grated cheese in each.
Mix 50 ml (1/4 cup) barbecue sauce, 90 ml (3/8 cup) of the potato flesh, 310 grams (3/4 pound) of lean ground beef with 5 ml (1 teaspoon) chili powder, 5 ml (1 teaspoon) Worcestershire sauce, 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) onion powder, and 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) garlic powder.
I had just replenished my supply of Koss Sauce and used it for the barbecue sauce.
You’ll note there is no egg in the mixture. Hash was crumbly and not formed like a meatball.
Spread the meat between the potato cups. Brush the underside of the potato cups with 25 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil.
If you are cooking the cups in a smoker, preheat the smoker to 250 F (120 C). If you want the skins crisp, put the cups on the rack of the smoker. If you like the skins softer, put the cups in a roasting pan and put the pan in the smoker. Smoke for 1 hour.
If you are cooking in a gas grill, turn off one burner and adjust the other to get the temperature in the grill to about 350 F (175 C). Either put the cups on the grill not over the heat or in a roasting pan not over the heat. Cook for 30 minutes.
If you are cooking in an oven, preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and cook the cups in a roasting pan for 30 minutes.
For all methods, make sure the internal temperature of the beef is over 160 F (70 C). Then brush the surface of the cups with 75 ml (1/3 cup) barbecue sauce. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes to set the sauce.
These were exactly what I was going for. They taste like the hash I had as a child but with more flavour and a nice roast potato base. If you are looking for a refined, little finger up, appetizer, these aren’t it. If you are looking for a taste of a classic diner dish in an appetizer, you’ll love these.
The Old Fat Guy
- 12 small potatoes
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) sharp cheddar, grated
- 310 grams (3/4 pound) lean ground beef
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) barbecue sauce
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) Worcestershire sauce
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) chili powder
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) onion powder
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) garlic powder
- 25 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
- 75 ml (1/3 cup) barbecue sauce
- Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork. Put them in a casserole with water.
- Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Move the potatoes around and microwave in 1 minute intervals until just tender when pierced with fork.
- Let the potatoes cool for an hour.
- Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out some flesh to make a hollow cup.
- Put 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of grated cheese in each cup.
- Mix the beef, 90 ml (3/8 cup) of the potato meat, 50 ml (1/4 cup) barbecue sauce , Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and garlic powder together.
- Fill the cups with the meat mixture.
- Brush the skin side of the cups with vegetable oil.
- Smoker Instructions:
- Preheat a smoker to 250 F (120 C). Smoke the cups for 1 hour to an internal temperature over 160 F. (70 C)
- Brush the cups with 75 ml (1/3 cup barbecue sauce and smoke for 15 minutes longer.
- Barbecue Instructions:
- Preheat your barbecue for cooking over indirect heat at 350 F (175 C). Cook the cups for 30 minutes to an internal temperature over 160 F (70 C). Brush with 75 ml (1/3 cup) barbecue sauce. Cook for 10 minutes longer to set sauce.
- Oven Instructions:
- Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C).. Cook the cups for 30 minutes to an internal temperature over 160 F (70 C). Brush with 75 ml (1/3 cup) barbecue sauce. Cook for 10 minutes longer to set sauce..