One of the first things I learned when we began eating only local foods is that amazing dishes are possible without having to use a bunch of ingredients or following an elaborate recipe. With the right ingredients at optimal freshness, you can create beautiful dishes that the whole family will love without all the fuss. My husband’s Simple Summer Hamburger Hash, made with local pasture-raised beef and fresh, in-season ingredients, definitely falls into this category. It’s a three step, one pan recipe that’s done in no time and perfect for busy evenings. And it’s absolutely kid-approved: our four-year-old licked his plate clean, something I can’t say about a whole lot of meals we’ve prepared in the past.
- 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
- 1 lb. golden potatoes, diced
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
1) Brown the ground beef with onion, garlic, jalapeños, and salt & pepper.
2) Add diced potatoes. Turn down to low and cover, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender.
3) Add cherry tomatoes. Cover again and cook for another minute to warm tomatoes.
That’s it! We served this dish with baked zucchini and sautéed green beans straight from the garden.
The potatoes really stole the show with this recipe. We purchased a variety called Huckleberry Gold from the farmer’s market, where they were described as deliciously creamy (they lived up to that description). One of the best things about farmer’s markets, in my opinion, is that you meet a lot of people who are really passionate about their food. They know these ingredients so well and are happy to talk about them. To get the most out of this recipe, I’d encourage you to visit your local farmers market and ask the vendors for their creamiest potato variety.
Another important element to this dish was the lean ground beef. We purchased this from a farmer’s market after falling in love with a sample. We paid twenty dollars for three pounds of pasture-raised beef, which I consider a very good deal. I can tell the difference in both quality and freshness with the ground beef produced by this local farmer compared to what we used to buy for a very comparable price from the supermarket. The vendor even gave us tips on the best ways to season and prepare the beef as we were leaving, something you likely won’t get at your supermarket.
The last tip I have for you is to consider the seasonal vegetables you have in your garden or for sale near you. Think about the things that are coming into season right now. For us, in North Carolina, that’s peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini. Baked zucchini made a delicious side dish to this meal. And we added a jalapeño pepper to the Hash at the last moment for a little extra kick of spiciness. Don’t be afraid to experiment with fresh and local ingredients to make this recipe your own!