For some, good corned beef hash is a time-tested staple required at any breakfast eatery, diner or greasy spoon worth its salt.
But the minds behind Fuel Breakfast in Wilmette dared to deviate from the norm, putting their own twist on the classic dish with the eatery’s "Oxtail Hash."
The dinner menu item comprises red wine braised oxtail, diced fingerling potatoes, peppers, pickled red onions, a sunny-side up egg and Sriracha hollandaise sauce.
Fuel, 1222 Washington Ct., has been open for a little more than three years and specializes in breakfast and lunch fare. However, a year ago, the eatery began offering a small-plate dinner menu, as well.
Head chef Derek Dwyer said the oxtail hash came together like most of the restaurant’s dishes: by aiming to use available, local ingredients, adapting the menu to fit the season and getting creative with the fare.
“Any beef, pork or chicken we get is from our farms in Lake Geneva,” Dwyer said. ‘So it’s all hormone-free stuff. And [it’s wintertime so] it’s braising season. And we’re a breakfast and lunch spot. We make a lot of hash. We do a chorizo hash. We do a corned beef hash. It just made sense for us. We snuck in the pickled red onion to cut down some of that richness a little bit.”
Dwyer said that though oxtail may be intimidating to some eaters, he thought turning the meat into something familiar like hash made the item more approachable.
Owner Tim Lenon, a Wisconsin native, said he sources some of the restaurant’s ingredients from the family farms of people he knew back home.
Lenon said the eatery prides itself on making most items from scratch. The chefs at Fuel make their own bacon, age meat on site, produce house-made pitas and falafel balls and even create their own ricotta cheese.
“We’re a great dinner option in the area,” Lenon said. “We have great small plates and it’s not expensive.”
Because the restaurant’s menu changes seasonally, the oxtail hash will be on the menu through December, but will likely be gone sometime after that.