So THIS is how you make a traditional New England Boiled Dinner (🙄), which I have never done before! I lived in R.I. for eight years and no one ever served this nor had I heard of it. I copied the recipe from a new friend, Dorothy, and then made some variations that make it very different from her “traditional” NEBD, but it is still delicious. Basically, you just throw any and all veggies and meat together in a cooking pot, slow cooker, or pressure cooker and call it your own “Traditional New England Boiled Dinner.” 😁 Dorothy is from Vermont, though, so hers is the real McCoy and worth checking out! (Do they even have McCoys in New England? That may just be a KY/TN phenomenon.🤠)
As always, gather your ingredients before you begin, to make sure you have everything you want for any recipe. But this one is almost “anything goes” so it may not matter as much
New England Boiled Dinner
1 quart stock broth (veggie, chicken or beef)
1-1/4 pound beef brisket (really want to try this with lamb shank next time! 😋)
1/4 cup lentils
1/2 large onion chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 head of cabbage
2 large carrots
3 medium potatoes
1 meduim bok choy (or Swiss chard)
1 Roma tomato
3 or 4 Portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup Snap peas (or green beans)
2 fresh large beets (or a 15 ounce can not drained)
10 ounces (50 mL) ketchup
6 bay leaves
1 ounce lemon juice
Put the broth in a medium saucepan with the onion, lentils, olive oil and butter to precook these ingredients. Heat for about 20 minutes until onion begins to clarify. I use Royal Prestige Waterless Cookware, so I cannot look inside until the whistle blows at 180⁰F (82⁰C), but this is about the time it took for mine to cook in the smaller saucepan.
If you like garlic, you can add a minced clove in the pot at this step as well.
Prepare the rest of the vegetables, cutting the cabbage into large slices, coining the carrots, chopping the potatoes into large chunks, slicing the bok choy, tomato, and mushrooms. If you are using fresh beets, cut them into large chunks.
After the broth has clarified the onion, transfer to a slow cooker and put the potatoes on the bottom and then pile on most of the other veggies. Put the meat with the bay leaves on top, and top with the remaining veggies. Put in the ketchup and lemon juice. (The tomato and ketchup can be replaced by tomato sauce.) Add additional broth or water as much as you will need to cover about 3/4 of the dinner.
Put the slow cooker on high for a faster time (I went for two hours), or if you are preparing earlier in the day, you can simmer it on low for as long as you like, until poking a potato is easy. I used our Royal Prestige Cookware 4 quart Dutch Oven with a Slow Cooker Base.
You can spoon the broth over the victuals, or you can serve it like a stew, but we think the broth makes a great stand-alone soup.
The leftovers from a New England Boiled Dinner are traditionally used for breakfast or supper, reincarnated as Red Flannel Hash, if there are any leftovers! In my case this recipe made SO much for just the two of us, we had NEBD for four nights and one brunch!! But I am not complaining. 😋 But next time, I will cut the recipe down substantially to accommodate just a couple meals.
Red Flannel Hash: Afterward if you want some variation on the NEBD, dice up the leftover vegetables and sauté in olive oil over medium high until the vegetables begin to dry out. Serve with an egg on top! One dish, two New England traditions! Bon appétit. 😉