Corned Beef Hash, in a Dash

Morrison’s M Kitchen Corned Beef Hash

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This was tonight’s offering from the M-for-microwave kitchen chez moi, supplied by Morrison’s M Kitchen.

The M Kitchen Corned Beef Hash is currently available in a promotion: three ready meals for six quid, so this was two quid and it was worth every penny: make of that what you will. This is what I made of it:

Two of your earth pounds Sterling for a 450g serving isn’t bad from a bang-for-your-buck point of view. But was it tasty? We shall see, after we’ve cooked / re-heated it.

The dish is described as “Corned beef and onions blended with buttery mash and topped with crispy roast potatoes. Sounds good. It looks good on the packaging. Into the microwave…

I followed the instructions as given, with no deviation: remove from outer packaging, pierce film lid several times and microwave on full power for four minutes. Peel back film lid, stir, then microwave for a further four minutes. Stand for one minute. So I did, as instructed. Serve immediately. Given that I wasn’t playing tennis and that I couldn’t wait an undefined period of time, I took the instruction literally and turned the thing out onto a plate.

As you’ll see from the picture, my serving reality isn’t dissimilar to the serving suggestion pictured on the box. To be fair, I did rather tip this one out, rather than spend too much time matching what was on my plate with how they imagined it.

The first observation is that there are no crispy roast potatoes. This dish does give instructions for cooking in a conventional oven and had I prepared it in that way, no doubt the roasts would have a crisp to them. They do have brown edges but the roast potato topping is on the bottom in the picture, so you can’t see the potatoes which proclaim to be crispy but which aren’t.

The meal was served with no additions: no seasoning, sauce, nor accompaniments. As such, it was quite bland.

The corned beef tastes like corned beef, although not the tinned stuff full of seasoning which I would use if I were making this from scratch. There are onions but they’re a bit crunchy for my liking. When I use onions in a hash, I sweat them slowly in butter, so that they are soft, then caramelized in the pan when mixing the hash. There was no “goo” in this dish. The whole thing is held together by mashed potato but I wouldn’t describe it as “Buttery”, as Morrison’s do. That said, I use a lot of butter when I make mash. The roast potatoes are not crispy, as I’ve mentioned but we make allowances for microwave cooking.

Overall it was functional, as it was on its own. I wouldn’t say I relished it but it was filling and had the flavours I expected: those of the things which were in it.

Before I rate this dish or any others, an explanation of the scores:

0: Just don’t. The only reason you may see this rating is if there’s something I wish to warn you away from.
1: Functional. It serves the purpose of filling a gap in your guts but not in your life.
2: Passable. Merely acceptable. Something you might eat alone but may not wish to share.
+: Right in the middle. A 2-rating at least but which can be elevated by additions, not in the instructions: seasoning, sauce, or just something else.
3. Pleasant. Something you may savour and wish to have again. Some ratings below this achieve this score and those above it by the addition of something else. That’s the plus symbol.
4. Enjoyable. Really actually quite nice. Something you would eat again, many times over and enjoy. Something to literally make a meal of.
5. Quite literally, five stars. The sort of thing you would rave about, serve to others and try to replicate yourself. Like the zero rating, five ratings are not likely to be seen here in these reviews. But I’ll keep looking, researching, tasting and reviewing.

The Corned Beef Hash then:

Score-wise, this is a 2+: as it is, firmly a two. Add some seasoning, or just a dollop of ketchup to improve it slightly but it’s really not worth revisiting. Do that, then plonk a fried egg on top and it gains a 3 rating.

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