Joy of Cooking Recipe: Becker Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Hash

Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking in 1931 with the small insurance payout she received after her husband committed suicide during the Great Depression. Suddenly, society wives who used to enjoy a kitchen staff no longer had the money to employ them and began cooking for themselves. The instruction "stand facing the stove" was a bit more pragmatic than we realize. In 1936, the first commercial edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill. Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma's daughter, joined the Joy dynasty and revised and updated each subsequent edition until 1975. That edition was the first after Irma's death and was completely Marion's. Her son, Ethan Becker, has returned the book to the family's voice, revising the 1975 edition for the 75th Anniversary Edition.

How to use up Thanksgiving turkey leftovers with a Joy of Cooking recipe for Becker Turkey Hash and pastaThanksgiving leftovers are a blessing and a curse. You may coast for the better part of a week on the turkey taking up room in your refrigerator. Not to mention the guilt-factor: Who among us feels comfortable throwing away the result of so much expense, time, and effort? Roast turkey sandwiches, tetrazzini, and reheated stuffing are dependable and easy, but very few of these options taste “fresh” or actually add something desirable to the plump, plastic storage bags staring at you from their chilly abode. You can always try turning them into gumbo or enchiladas out of sheer desperation, but we advise a less drastic approach: accentuate the flavors of Thanksgiving with a complementary addition of crisply sautéed vegetables, bright, fresh herbs, and rich mushroom flavor.

Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

by Irma S. Rombauer

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Becker Turkey Hash is a simple and delicious way of serving your excess turkey without desecrating it. Of course, our family hash would not be truly complete without our other must-have holiday recipe, Thanksgiving Duxelles Gravy. Find a versatile, make-ahead recipe for this savory, wine-infused reduction of browned mushrooms, onions, garlic, and pan juices on our blog. You may find yourself yearning for this delicious leftover-friendly hash before you even start roasting next year’s bird. From Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition.

Becker Thanksgiving Hash
6-8 servings

Melt in a large skillet over medium-high heat:
2 tablespoons butter

3 medium carrots, diced
1 large onion, chopped

Cook, stirring, until the carrots are crisp-tender and the onion translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add:
1⁄4 cup sherry or port

Whisk in, blending well:
3 cups of Duxelles Thanksgiving Gravy
or, substitute:
(Two 10 3⁄4-ounce cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
(1 1⁄2 cups turkey stock or chicken broth)

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Add and heat through, without simmering:
2 to 3 cups cooked turkey, picked over and roughly chopped
One 10-ounce package frozen petite peas

Season to taste with:
Black pepper

Serve over:
Buttered egg noodles

Garnish each serving with:
Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Fresh thyme leaves

Photo courtesy John Becker

Recipe excerpted from Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. Copyright © 2006 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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Megan Scott is the newest member of the JOY clan. After meeting John Becker in Asheville, North Carolina, she was warmly welcomed into the family and the happy couple was married on September 29, 2012. After graduating with a degree in French literature, Megan worked in a bakery where she honed her pastry skills and developed a passion for high-quality baked goods of all kinds. This experience with fast-paced industrial kitchen work inspired her to create her farmer's market baking business, The Little Blue Baking Company. Megan's work for JOY involves a little bit of everything. She is JOY's blogger-in-residence, she works with John on digital projects, newspaper articles, and food photography, and has spearheaded the Joy of Cooking's kitchen garden and flock of chickens. During her time off, she maintains a lively sourdough starter, sews, spins wool, and does yoga.

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