March 10, 2013

New England Boiled Dinner {aka ~ Corned Beef & Cabbage}

New England Boiled Dinner ~ A traditional hearty one-pot Northern classic of braised corned beef and cabbage with root vegetables.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

New England Boiled Dinner ... corned beef, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, and turnip all simmered together until tender ... oh, how I had forgotten how much I love you!

I grew up on this stuff.  But until last weekend, I had never made it myself.  And, seriously, it had been about twenty years since I'd had it last.  {Am I seriously old enough to say it's been twenty years since something??  Oh, yes ... yes, I am.}  Now, my Southern-born-and-bred husband had never had it.  This weekend, I decided I needed to change all that.

We had New England Boiled Dinner ... also known as Corned Beef & Cabbage {with other stuff in it} ... a whole lot growing up.  I remember having it most at my grandmother's house when our entire family would get together for a Sunday dinner.  She'd serve up a big ol' pot of this tender deliciousness.  My Mom would make it at our house, too.  And I always loved it.

But then I kinda forgot about it.

I'm glad to say that I have now remembered!

And it truly couldn't be easier to whip this up.  If you can chop and boil water and babysit a pot for a few hours, then New England Boiled Dinner can be on your table.

It starts with corned beef brisket, a cut of beef brisket that's been preserved through a salt-curing and brining process.  While readily available year-round in some parts of the country (including New England), around St. Patrick's Day it can typically be purchased in most grocery stores, regardless of region.  Yup, I can even get it in the sunny South right now.

And look what I found? ... I just love this grocery store leaflet from 1963, providing shoppers this classic New England recipe:

To create this one-pot hearty meal, all you do is simmer a corned beef brisket for a couple of hours on your stovetop, then cut up a bunch of veggies ...


... and throw those in the pot, too.

Continue to simmer it all for another hour until the veggies are tender, and you've got New England Boiled Dinner, all yummy and ready for your tummy.  Yes, it's that simple.

Sure enough, my love of New England Boiled Dinner has been renewed.  And I'm happy to report that the 100%-Southern-boy-hubby loved it, too.  

So if you'd like to enjoy the classic combination of corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day, rest assured this recipe's got you covered.

New England Boiled Dinner
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New England Boiled Dinner
Source:  A family tradition
  • 4 to 5 lb. corned beef brisket
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 head green cabbage, cut in wedges
  • 8 small red potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 4 to 5 onions, peeled
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  1. Remove the corned beef brisket from its packaging, setting aside the spice packet that comes with it. Rinse the beef brisket with cold water. Place the beef brisket in a large Dutch oven and cover the beef with cold water; let stand for 30 minutes to remove some of the salt. After soaking, discard the water.
  2. Add fresh water to the Dutch oven until the water level reaches about 1 inch over the top of the beef brisket. Add the spices from the spice packet and the bay leaf to the pot. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
  3. Add the carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and turnip to the pot. Increase the heat and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.

Enjoy these other yummy St. Patrick's Day-worthy recipe from The Kitchen is My Playground ...


  1. I am southern born and bred, too. I have made cabbage and potatoes with corned beef before many times, but haven't thrown in the carrots and turnips. I love all of these ingredients and it is so very Irish looking for SPD! Thanks for sharing yet another wonderful looking recipe.

  2. Mmmmmm. I had this recently in a restaurant and loved it. (I'm a Southern girl too). The homemade version is bound to be even better. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi lovely lady.
    Your recipe for Corned Beef looks so Yummy. I need to add the Turnips this coming weekend, hoping you have a wonderful week with your family. Im your newest follower on your blog now, hoping you will come join my blog also.

  4. My Mom added beets, she would make Red Flannel Hash with the left overs. Winters in New Hampshire are bitter cold, we had this dinner frequently, the house would be fragrant and warm.

  5. I make a version of this, but I replace the corned beef with ham (this is the version we had when I was growing up). Still very tasty - and for something a little different, after I eat, I take the leftovers and puree it into a soup. You end up with a nice, thick, orange-y colored soup - and you can still taste all the ingredients. Perfect for freezing. :)

  6. I have only had the corned beef and cabbage version, but the veggies make it look even better! Love the sweet story too!!!

  7. I would always take some of the broth and in a separate pot whisk in some Colmans mustard powder (English isle at the supermarket) and a thickener such as a little corn starch, season to taste with a little pepper, vinegar and voila a fantastic mustard sauce to poor over all the meat and vege.

    Now that is what *I* grew up on (in New Zealand).


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