New England Boiled Dinner
"In Good Maine Food" (1939) there is an excerpt from a 1775 journal entry in which the author describes “Point Aux Tremble … In the evening before bedtime, the females of the house prepare the dinner of the following day. This was the manner: a piece of pork or beef, or a portion of each kind, together with a sufficiency of cabbage, potatoes, and turnips seasoned with salt, and an adequate quantity of water, were put into a neat tin kettle with a close lid. The kettle was placed on the stove in the room where we all slept, and there it simmered till the time of rising, when it was taken to a small fire in the kitchen where the stewing continued till near noon, when they dined…”
A Recipe by Chef Walter Staib
- 5 pounds brisket of beef
- 1 pork shoulder, about 10 pounds
- 1 whole frying chicken, 3 to 5 pounds
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 peppercorns
- Cold water to cover
- 3 parsnips, cubed
- 6 carrots, scraped
- 6 small white turnips, peeled
- 8 small white onions, peeled
- 1 bunch golden beats, stems removed, cleaned and peeled, cut into six
- 4 small red potatoes, halved but not peeled
- 4 small yellow potatoes, halved but not peeled
- 1 bunch leeks, cleaned and cut into 4-inch sections
- ½ pound Brussels sprouts, cleaned
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Place the beef and pork in a kettle, add the peppercorns and cold water, cover, bring to a boil and simmer 3 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender, skimming occasionally. Add the chicken and cook 30 to 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove meat and keep in warm place. Add the vegetables and cook 20 minutes, or until crisp tender. Remove the vegetables and reserve the broth.
- To serve, slice beef, pork and chicken into pieces. Place all three meats on a platter and arrange vegetables around it. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Yield: 8 servings
Meet the Author
Walter Staib has made numerous appearances on local and national cooking shows, such as the Today show and the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate and Iron Chef. He is the host of the Emmy Award winning show A Taste of History, which received the 2012 James Beard Foundation nomination for Best TV Show On Location. The show is a vehicle for Staib to share 18th century cuisine with a growing audience. Currently, he can be seen nationwide for the fourth season on PBS and on national cable on RLTV. The show was awarded three Emmy awards in its first two seasons.