Thursday, August 4, 2011

New England Boiled Dinner

     We have been visiting local farm stands lately, in our quest to eat fresher and local. We are also trying to eat as many fruit and veg as we can, as its a key to healthy living. So this weeks menu so far has been -Monday, steamed broccoli, baked sweet potato and minute steaks. Tuesday, a DELICIOUS Greek green bean salad, the recipe found here, Last night's dinner was fresh corn on the cob, and tonight, new england boiled dinner!
     All local vegetables! In Maine, we don't have a long growing season, so the local veg are limited to plain and ordinary "peasant" foods. Potato's, carrots, cabbage, turnip, beans, broccoli,,,,,, So when looking for recipes for these types of foods, its best to look for classic, traditional recipes. In days gone by, farm wives used what they had and could grow. In today's world, most of what they ate would be considered boring, but that is far from the truth, it is delicious, and often most importantly nutritious! Women didn't have the time to fluff about with extra culinary foolery. They had TOO much else to do since everything was done by hand. The tried and true one pot stews, soups, and casseroles have hung around for so long because they are not only EASY "from scratch" cooking, but also some of the most comforting of home cooked meals. Meals Grandma and Mom made.
     So tonight I'm scrubbing up a bunch of veg and tossing it into a pot with some lightly salted water. If you have never made a boiled dinner, you don't know what you are missing! If you can boil water, you can make this!
                  Veg,(some or all of these can be used)
                        Potatoes (leave peels on for extra nutrition) carrots, turnips, rutabaga, onion,
               parsnips, cabbage.
                   Meat : You can use the traditional corned beef or large bone in ham, or you can use smoked sausage, polish sausage, or, like I am using tonight, all beef hot dogs.
     If you are using ham or corned beef, you don't need to add salt to the water, as the meat will add plenty of flavor to the broth and veg.

     If using ham or corned beef, place in the bottom of the pot, add water and simmer according to directions for weight,,,, about an hour before the meat will be done add all the veg except the cabbage and cover with more hot water, bring to boil and simmer for about an hour more, until veg are tender. Add quartered (or eighths if large) cabbage and cook until tender, about 15 more min. If you decide to use sausage, add it with the cabbage so that it gets heated through but not over cooked.
     To serve, scoop out meat and veg onto a platter, serve with plenty of butter and pepper and some mustard for the meat. SAVE the broth, you can use it the next day to make a wicked good soup with the leftovers. Don't worry if you don't have leftover meat, just add some beans (canned or pre-cooked) of any variety and serve with crusty bread. Them theres some good eats!


  1. Girlfriend, I am loving this post. You are speaking my language here. As ive already said, I love that you are trying to eat more fresh and local. VERY awesome. And I loved your line about women not having the time to mess around with culinary foolery.. haha that was awesome. AND most importantly Ive been wanting to do a boiled diner but wasnt sure what order to coo everything in. Now I know!


  2. Awesome, let me know if you try it out, and if you like it! I am pretty new to the whole "writing" thing, (though I am an avid reader)so it's fun to know people enjoy my fumbling first attempts:) Your blog is a good inspiration to me, its great to get others "take" on things!
    God bless!