With Fenland Celery
Hash is a dish consisting of diced or chopped meat, potatoes, and spices that are mixed together and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions. The name is derived from the French verb hacher, to chop.
So, Christmas Day is over, as well as Boxing Day too, but, I still celebrate Christmas in the old traditional way of “The Twelve days of Christmas”, as in Christmastide – it tends to be defined (with slight variations) as the period from Christmas Eve to Epiphany or Twelfth Night, and I tend to base my recipes and family customs around this period. So, although Christmas Day is over, we are still in holiday mode here until the 5th of January! And, today’s recipe for North Country Creamed Turkey & Celery Hash sits very nicely into all of these traditions and celebrations, as it is a much-loved family recipe using leftovers, in a thrifty and yet tasty way.
This recipe has a further family connection insofar as my paternal grandmother was a Norfolk girl, and we used to enjoy Fenland celery when we used to visit her. Fenland celery was also a favourite of the Victorians, when the crop was specially grown in the Fens for sale in the Christmas markets in London. It was extremely popular and became a feature of the Victorian Londoner’s Christmas dinner, and not just as an accompaniment to the festive cheeseboard either. I LOVE this so called “dirty celery” and always make sure I make the most of its short growing season, between October and January.
Previous recipes on Lavender and Lovage using this seasonal star include Christmas Party Canapés, as seen above for Cheese and Celery Pinwheels (Whirls), and Fenland Celery Soup, as seen below, served with home-made bread for a light lunch……
…….as well as a normal celery soup, that would be wonderful when made with Fenland Celery.
But back to today’s’ recipe for North Country Creamed Turkey & Celery Hash; this is a classic Hash recipe, chopped cooked meat is added to gently fried vegetables, and the only difference to most hash recipes, is that my grandmother (and mum) also added a bit of cream to this recipe, usually leftover cream that is still lurking in the fridge from Christmas day, and which adds the creamy element to this simple idea for leftover turkey. It may not be wholly original to the North Country, but to me it’s what I grew up with (“up North”) and I’ve not seen a creamy version south of the Watford Gap!
I hope you will enjoy this family recipe for hash if you make it, you can also use cooked vegetables (as in leftover vegetables), but remember to adjust the cooking and reheating time. For some other FABULOUS Fenland Celery recipes, which I developed, as well as some famous cooks and chefs, do pop over to the Fenland Celery Recipe page…….you only have a week or two left to snap up this seasonal and regional star of the vegetable world! See you soon with some more recipes, and traveller’s tales. Karen
*Commissioned work with Fenland Celery*
Seasonal Fenland celery recipes: