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New England Boiled Dinner

New England Boiled Dinner
37 votes, 3.81 avg. rating (76% score)
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Yield: 8 servings

It’s more than just corned beef and cabbage: potatoes and carrots add color and pizzazz to this traditional St. Patrick ’s Day spread. Even if March 17th is months away, New England Boiled Dinner is a one-pot comfort food that can be served year-round.

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy this New England staple. An easy meal that doesn’t sacrifice heartiness, New England Boiled Dinner is a blend of flavorful vegetables and salty corned beef that will be sure to gather a crowd around your table.

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boiled dinner


  • 4 pounds corned beef
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 small beets
  • 2 turnips, cut into pieces
  • 16 small new potatoes, peeled
  • 16 baby carrots
  • 8 small white onions
  • 1 head cabbage, cut into 8 wedge-shaped pieces


Cover beef with water and simmer 10 minutes, covered, in a large kettle. Skim off and discard the residue that forms on top of water. Add peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer 3 hours or until meat is tender. Put beets in separate pan with a little water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Add turnips, potatoes, carrots, and onions to kettle with meat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes longer. Add cabbage and cook, covered, 15 minutes more. Remove meat, cut into serving pieces, and place on platter surrounded with well-drained vegetables.

Updated Thursday, March 13th, 2014

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15 Responses to New England Boiled Dinner

  1. Brooks Piper February 2, 2003 at 8:58 am #

    This tasted just like my grandmother used to make. It was just delicious!!!

  2. Paul Schultz March 29, 2003 at 7:37 pm #

    Wonderful old fashioned recipe. I do remember my grandmother & mother making this dish often. And they were German, not Irish. So I think this meal predates St. Patrick’s Day. And it’s one of my all time favorite. But I would say that the vegetables need to be cooked much longer then the stated 15 minutes. This is not a recipe that you want have with undercooked vegetables. These need to be well cooked but still whole. I cook mine at least 30 – 45 minutes. Enjoy!

  3. Michael J. Carr December 31, 2003 at 6:05 pm #

    Great recipe! But definitely cook the vegetables for at least 30 minutes otherwise the cabbage is not done.

  4. Anonymous March 9, 2004 at 10:09 am #

    One change i always make is after the beef is cooked I spread it with mustard (your choice, I use brown), and prinkle with ground cloves and bake it 20-30 minutes. This can be done while the vegetables are cooking.

  5. Anonymous March 9, 2004 at 10:10 am #

    One change I always make is after the beef is cooked I spread it with mustard (your choice, I use brown), and sprinkle with ground cloves and bake for 20-30 minutes. This can be done while the vegetables are cooking.

  6. Anonymous November 17, 2005 at 6:57 pm #

    This is also excellent if you substitute a ham shoulder for the corned beef.

  7. Marcia Brown January 16, 2006 at 1:46 pm #

    A wonderfull meal for a cold day.

  8. Rachul Lomeli March 26, 2006 at 10:42 am #

    A family favorite! When I made this for my dad I changed the water after the first hour and also added a potato to the second batch of water that I discarded later. This drew a good deal of the salt out of the meat and the subsequent stock — important to those watching their sodium.

  9. Bruce Berry April 2, 2007 at 10:14 am #

    This is almost exactly the way my family has been making it for as long as I can remember, except for the beets. Years ago my Dad and I would even corn our own briskets! Great recipe.

  10. Anonymous April 14, 2007 at 3:51 pm #

    As a Portuguese New Englander, I would make one important addition — that of Linguica, a Portuguese Sausage readily available back home in New Bedford, MA. This sausage is so flavorful, it eliminates the need for any additional seasonings. Also, as another reviewer mentioned, I too would change the water after the first hour, so as to eliminate some of the salt.

  11. Anonymous February 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    We always grew up with brown corn beef not red. Has to do with how it’s ‘corned’.

  12. Robin Keough March 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I liked this recipe because I didn’t have to brine the meat first. I got a butcher shop piece of meat, and the seasonings here were just enough, and much healthier.

  13. Dee March 7, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

    I don’t have any idea how much water to use for this recipe. I was thinking, also, that surely I shouldn’t
    cook my vegetables in the greasy fatty water used for the meat. I read some replies that said they changed the water at some point. I, two would cook my cabbage longer. carrots not as long as cabbage, potatoes the least, depending what kind of potatoes. Red potatoes seem to cook faster.
    Thanks for the great recipes on this site.

  14. judith brilhante June 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

    Looking for New England boiled dinner using a smoked shoulder.

    • Denise October 14, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      We used to have this with a picnic shoulder from time to time, same process and do change the water after the first simmer of an hour. No need for all that salt. I love it this way as it is more accessable than the point cut corned beef where I live. Most of the time we can only get the flat cut and this requires a much longer simmer time or oven bake time. Enjoy your meal.

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