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This past week, I and a group of other civic-minded ladies and gentlemen from throughout Orangeburg County were gathered in the waiting area on the second floor of the County Administrative Center. We were awaiting our individual "turns" to make presentations to the County's 30 percent Accommodations Tax Committee. While we were chatting, somehow the subject turned to barbecue and hash. There were varying opinions about which barbecue restaurant serves the best of these Southern delicacies. One gentleman simply stated, " I can eat pulled or shredded or chunky barbecue, but my hash has to be just right." He then described to us what he "prefers" in enjoyable hash. I so enjoyed that exchange of ideas.

As I was sitting down to write this column, I thought back about a recipe e-quest I received a number of years ago from an unexpected source … a gentleman from Michigan who found my email address on a "recipe site." The writer was a retired police officer who lived in Charleston for five years before moving back to his home state of Michigan.

The retired officer wrote about how he enjoyed Southern barbecue and "really enjoyed the hash and rice found at various restaurants in the Charleston area. I moved back to my home state of Michigan, and I cannot find any hash and rice in the area. I made it once a few years back, and it was okay, but was not what I wanted. The hash and rice I remember is a tomato-based, without potatoes and had a thick soup-like consistency. If you have any recipes you could share I would greatly appreciate it. I hope I am not bothering you, but it is driving me crazy trying to find good hash and rice."

As you all know by now, sharing recipes is never a bother to me. It is a great pleasure. After all, the ever-growing recipe-share craze is exactly why The T&D started "What's Cooking?" years ago.

Pork hash for a crowd

5-pound Boston butt, cut into small chunks

3 pounds pork liver

2 large yellow onions, peeled but left whole

1/2 gallon Heinz ketchup (use only Heinz)

2 tablespoons Texas Pete

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, cover the butt and liver and whole onions with water. Bring to a boil and add about two tablespoons salt and a teaspoon of black pepper. Boil until the meat is very well done – about an hour. Carefully remove the whole onions and discard or set aside for another use. Remove the meat from the water and reserve one cup of the broth. Discard the rest of the broth or reserve for another use. For instance, you might want to cook your rice in some of the excess broth if you plan to serve your pork hash on top of rice – ah, such flavorful rice! Chop the meat until it is very fine (you may want to use a food processor). Put the meat and cup of broth back into the pot. Add the Heinz ketchup and Texas Pete to the meat mixture. Bring this to a boil and stir very frequently. Reduce to simmer and allow to simmer for about an hour or until the hash thickens well and the flavors have melded. Add salt and pepper to taste during the simmering process.

Tomato-free liver hash

2-pound Boston butt

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2 pounds pork liver

2 cups stewed red-skinned potatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon sage

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cut the Boston butt into very small chunks. Put the Boston Butt chunks and pork liver into a large stockpot. Cover almost completely with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the butt meat can be flaked with a fork. Chop the meat until it is very fine (you may want to use a food processor). Return the meat to the broth in the pot and add about a half-cup of cold water to make a soupy mixture. Heat the mixture. In a separate bowl, mash up the chopped potatoes a bit. Slowly stir the potatoes into the meat, stirring continually. Simmer the hash until it is tick, Add sage, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. (Remember that you can adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.) Cook over low heat about 30 minutes or until the hash is thick. Serve this hash over rice. It is also good with a slice of white bread.

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