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The Hirshon New England Boiled Dinner

The Hirshon New England Boiled Dinner

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • For the meat and boiling liquid:
  • 4 1/2 lbs. gray-cured brisket of beef in one piece (preferred) or use regular corned beef if you live outside Massachusetts – (this comes packed in about a cup and a half of brine with whole spices)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Portuguese Linguiça (TFD addition, for the classic boiled dinner, just increase the brisket size to 6 pounds and omit the sausage)
  • 10 cloves garlic, cracked
  • 1/2 Tbsp. peppercorns, cracked
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 dried chilies de arbol
  • cheesecloth
  • ***
  • Vegetables:
  • 8 beets, about 2 pounds
  • 20 small white boiling onions
  • 7 medium-size carrots, peeled
  • 6 medium-size Maine potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 medium-size Maine potato, peeled and grated
  • 6 small purple-top turnips, peeled, or 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut in pieces
  • 6 parsnips, peeled
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, finely ground
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into 6 wedges and tied with string
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • parchment paper for cartouche
  • Demiglace to thicken sauce (optional but TFD likes it a lot)
  • ***
  • Condiments:
  • Freshly graded horseradish mixed with a little sour cream
  • Dijon or Pommery mustard
  • Mustard pickle (spicy mixed-vegetable pickle made with onions, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and cauliflower; it gets its distinct flavor from dried mustard)


  1. Leave all the fat on the brisket and trim the excess off at the end of the cooking. Place the corned beef in a large Dutch oven and add water to cover the meat. Put all the spices into a piece of cheesecloth and tie it up.
  2. Note that corned beef is extremely salty. Do not add any extra salt. It is possible that the final sauce may be too salty for some diners. Serve it on the side, so that each person may control their salt intake.
  3. Note: For the Dutch oven I was using, covering the meat took about 12 cups of water.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is fork tender. In the last 30 minutes, add the linguiça. Two or three times in the first hour, skim any froth that has risen to the top of the liquid.
  5. Tip: You may do this on the stove top, but I prefer to put the Dutch oven in a 325º F oven.
  6. Stick a large, two-tined fork into the meat; the fork should come out very easily. If not, continue simmering until it does.
  7. Remove the meats from the pot and wrap them with foil and set it in the warm oven. Discard the spice bag.
  8. Add the reserved grated potato and bring it to a boil, on the stovetop.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and add all the remaining potatoes, onions, carrots and turnips in as close to a single layer as you can.
  10. When you add all of the vegetables it will cool off the cooking broth. Insert a thermometer into the broth to check the temperature. You want the starting temperature to be between 150º and 160º F.
  11. If it is too low, return the pot to the heat, briefly, and reheat until the broth reaches that temperature (but not higher).
  12. Cover the pot and let it rest for 20 minutes, off the heat.
  13. Replace the pot lid with a cartouche and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  14. About five minutes before the vegetables are done, gently stir in the ground black pepper.
  15. Transfer the vegetables to a pan and put them in the oven with the meat, to stay warm.
  16. Arrange the cabbage wedges in the broth and cover them with the cartouche. Simmer the cabbage for 6-8 minutes until they are done—firm, but slightly wilted.
  17. Put the cabbage wedges in the oven with the other vegetables.
  18. Return the meat to the broth and heat for two minutes, turning the meat once half way through.
  19. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and slice the corned beef across the grain. Arrange the slices on a platter and place the vegetables and cabbage around the meat.
  20. Place the cabbage wedges on last, removing the strings as you go. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  21. Serve with horseradish, mustard or mustard pickle. Serve the sauce and fresh cracked pepper on the side.
  22. If the sauce is still thin, you may thicken it with a bit of cornstarch mixed with water or with TFD’s preference, demiglace.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours