Classic Irish American Boiled Dinner (aka Corned Beef and Cabbage, plus)

March 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is the quintessential Saint Patrick’s Day “Corned Beef and Cabbage” meal served in New England. My paternal grandparents were 2nd generation Irish.  Scotch Irish to be exact (and those from New England know there is a difference).  I don’t think Gram used wine in her broth for this dish, although she sure did serve and enjoy with beer in celebration of the Irish holiday.

This dish is a family favorite, and really could feed up to 8 people if you stretched it with appetizers, beer, and served with biscuits or a hearty soda bread. This version is heavy on the veggies because that is how my family likes it. If you are planning on entertaining a group or have a lot of meat-eaters in your clan, you could double the meat, wet ingredients, and spices and the results would be as good or maybe even better. If you’re eager to get the recipe, you can scroll to the bottom of this post.
Potatoes, rutabaga (or yellow turnip), carrots, and onion are added to the expected corned beef and cabbage, rounding out the meal and making it more family-friendly. You can also add parsnips to the mix if you’d like.

Classic Irish American Boiled Dinner

1 corned beef brisket (up to 4 lbs), with excess fat trimmed
3/4 cup dry white wine; I use Chardonnay
32 ounces chicken stock or broth
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves
2 large yellow onions, quartered then cut into eighths
6 large white potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 large rutabaga (also known as yellow turnip) peeled and chopped into 1 1/2 inch chunks
5-6 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large head green cabbage, core removed and quartered (you can halve the quarters into eighths if you wish)

In large stock pot, place corned beef in bottom. Add 1 onion, peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic. Pour in white wine, and then enough broth, just enough to cover the meat. If you need to add water to cover the meat that is fine. Simmer, covered, until “fork tender” and fork inserted in the middle glides in easily. This usually takes about 3 1/2 hours, but begin checking after 2 1/2 hours.

When meat is done cooking, remove to a platter and cover with foil. Add potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, and remaining onion to broth and bring up to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook covered until potatoes are still slightly firm, about 20-25 minutes or so.

Add cabbage, replace cover, and simmer until cabbage is tender but still green. Do not overcook the cabbage.

Remove from heat. Slice meat across the grain when ready to serve. My mom used to cut the meat into large (4 inch) chunks and put back into the broth with the veggies. This is an excellent way to serve.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


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