Up until one year ago I had no idea what a New England Boil Dinner was. It was my husband who discovered it online then asked me to make it. After his explanation and some joint Googling we determined that it was quite similar to the Irish-American St. Patrick’s meal of corned beef and cabbage.
New England Boil Dinner is supposedly a traditional New England meal consisting of either beef, or smoked pork shoulder and boiled with assorted root vegetables and seasonings. From what we read many people used corned beef and still call the meal a New England Boil Dinner. But other sources explain that if using corned beef the name should be corned beef and cabbage -like the St. Patrick’s meal. On top of that some state that if made with smoked pork it should be called Boiled Smoked Pork Shoulder Dinner. Are you as confused as I am? It may not be correct but to keep matters simple I’m sticking with New England Boil Dinner. Okay.
Regardless of what the name is or should be it’s a super simple meal worth trying at least once. I have to be honest that the idea of boiled meat didn’t sit well with me. I kept picturing greyish bland boiled meat -of which I’m no fan of. Fast forward a year later and now this has become one of my favorite comfort meals. There is nothing bland about it!
- 582g or 1.25 lb. smoked pork shoulder
- 2 medium onions
- 2 medium parsnip
- 2 turnips or kohlrabi or 1 small celeriac
- ¼ head of cabbage
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- salt if needed and to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 pepper corns
- 3 crushed garlic cloves
- 6 all spice
- 2 cloves
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 6-10 cups water, or enough to cover the meat
- extra water if needed
- horse radish
- In a large pot place the smoked pork and add water. Water should be enough to cover the meat. Add all of the spices, bring to a boil, turn heat down, cover and allow to simmer for one hour. While the pork is simmering peel and cut all of the vegetables into even sized pieces. The cabbage should be cut into 4 pieces. Set vegetables aside.
- After the hour taste the broth and adjust the seasonings if needed. Next gently place all of the vegetables into the simmering pot. Make sure most of the vegetables are covered with water or add more if needed. Bring to a boil and simmer until vegetables are soft.
- Gently drain the meat and vegetables. (see note) Slice the pork and serve with vegetables alongside it. Don't forget the mustard and horse radish too.
My recipe is an amalgamation of so many we found online. Basically I just winged it and we couldn’t be happier with the results. I do hope you give it a try because it’s not only delicious but simple and budget friendly. Enjoy!
How about you have you ever heard of or eaten New England Boil Dinner? Do share!