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Turn roast leftovers into hash

(ran SP edition)

Americans might be eating no-beef burgers these days, but they still like their comfort food. Take beef pot roast, which is so delicious as beef-and-potato hash the next day.

Homemade pot roast nearly disappeared from American menus when cooks decided they wanted dinner on the table in 20 minutes, but then they began missing long, slow-cooked flavors of old favorites like beef stew and pot roast with gravy. There's no shortcut to that same depth of flavor obtained from slow simmering and low, slow braising.

Stung by fewer sales for beef roasts and less-tender cuts that need moist heat and long, gentle cooking, the beef industry is now promoting pre-packaged beef products for heat-and-eat meals.

One new product on the market the past year is a 2-pound boneless pot roast with gravy in a microwavable tray; you just peel off the sealed top.

I couldn't find it so my solution is to make hash with beef shoulder or chuck that I have slowlybraised on a weekend, whenever I find myself at home for a stretch of three hours.

It's great to have one meal on the weekend with the works _ pot roast, gravy and potatoes _ followed by two more meals based on the leftover cooked beef.

Then, for busy weeknights, shred the leftovers with a fork, not only for this hash recipe but for beef barbecue, too, or just serve the plain shredded beef on toasted buns along with a sauce of half mayonnaise and half yellow mustard.

Shredded Beef and Sausage Hash

2 cups fork-shredded cooked beef pot roast

About cup beef gravy (or whisk { teaspoon cornstarch into beef bouillon and heat, stirring, until thickened)

8 ounces fresh Italian sausage, casing removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

} cup finely chopped green bell pepper

} cup finely chopped onion

3 cups frozen potatoes O'Brien, thawed

\ teaspoon salt

Hot sauce as desired

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

\ cup minced green salad olives

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Shred the cooked beef; use commercial, ready-to-serve beef gravy or lightly thicken beef bouillon. Set both aside for another use.

In a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet, brown sausage over medium heat 8-10 minutes, breaking up into crumbles. Drain on paper towels.

Discard any drippings in skillet and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the bell pepper and onion until tender-crisp, then stir in the thawed potatoes. Season with \ teaspoon salt and hot sauce, as desired.

Add the shredded beef, sausage crumbles, reserved gravy (about cup), parsley and green olives to the potato mixture; mix well. Firmly press down the top of the mixture. Bake at 400 degrees 20 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. (You may want to protect the skillet handle by wrapping it with foil before placing the skillet in the oven.)

Preparation time: 40 minutes. Baking: 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. Each serving has 274 calories, 19 gm protein, 16 gm fat, 480 mg sodium, 60 mg cholesterol.