Sunchoke & Pancetta Hash

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Hai! Do you guys know what sunchokes are?  They're kind of like a white potato and an artichoke had a hot Tindr date involving too much tequila and made a lil baby.  Like a really ugly baby though.  The texture is similar to a potato, but there's this funky undertone of artichoke stuff going on and it's really interesting. I feel like maybe I'm not selling these all that great, but trust me, they're delicious.  

My friend Megan runs a fantastic urban farm in New Orleans East called Nola Tilth, where she grows tons of flowers like the edible flowers I used on last spring's carrot cake.  If you're ever visiting New Orleans, or if you're from here and want to spend a day hanging out with flowers and cool people, look into becoming a volunteer for a day on the farm!  Other than flowers, she grows food stuffs, like okra and these sunchokes, which she had one of her manly farm boyz tear out of the ground.  

So, yeah, sunchokes are kind of weird looking but also kind of cute and definitely tasty.  Basically, they're me at 12 years old. But, unlike me at 12, you can roast them like potatoes, make oven fries out of them, puree them into soup, or layer them in an au gratin.  Basically anything you can do with a potato you can do with a sunchoke.  I came across an awesome looking recipe on Food and Wine that used them in a hash, and it totally got my wheels turning. I went ahead and did a variation on that recipe, with a generous addition of pancetta and chilis, because, idk... it sounded good.  The best thing about this kind of recipe is you can feel free to just add in whatever you think sounds good.  Maybe some leeks? Sweet potato? Chorizo? A few Xan bars? A bunch of Xan bars? Girl, the world is your sunchoke.  See you babes later in the week for a #cute Jarry Magazine Friendsgiving!  

Sunchoke & Pancetta Hash

(serves 2 - 4)

  • 2 lbs sunchokes
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 4 oz uncured pancetta (it's better to use cubes of pancetta than thin slices)
  • 1 cup sliced baby portobellos (or shroom of your choice)
  • 2 hot peppers, I used serrano, but jalapeno would be a milder option
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
  • Fried egg, optional
  1. Place the sunchokes in a large pot and cover with water so that they are submerged by at least an inch.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let boil for 10 minutes, until the sunchokes are easily pierced with a fork.   Be careful not to over-cook them as they will become slightly mushy and not hold their shape as well when sliced.  Remove the sunchokes from the boiling water and give a rinse with cold water from the faucet to hault the cooking process.  Set aside. 
  2. In a large skillet (or pot), sautee the pancetta over medium heat until the fat has begun to render and the pancetta is crispy.  Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside.  
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and sautee the peppers and onion until the onions are translucent, about five minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook for an additional two minutes.  Remove all of this from the pan and set aside.
  4. Slice the sunchokes into 1/4" thick rounds.  Given the nature of sunchokes, you'll have some weird shapes, which is like totally chill.  
  5. Add another 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan (don't think too much about it, y'all, it's fine) and add the sunchokes in an even layer to the bottom of the pan.  You may want to do this in two batches to make sure you can get a crispy browning on each of the sunchoke pieces.  Brown for three minutes, flip each piece and brown for an additional three minutes.  
  6. Add the sauteed vegetables and pancetta and give it all a good stir.  Serve topped with a fried egg, sliced green onions, and fresh peppers.