Smoked Shoulder Boiled Dinner Recipe by Woodman’s of Essex

In an age when meals were cooked in heavy iron pots hung over a fire, the Colonial-era appeal of an all-in-one dish like this one is obvious. With the prep work done in the morning, the big afternoon meal of meat, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, etc. could simmer for hours while the hardworking housewife minded her many other duties. Such reasoning was equally true centuries later when Woodman’s employees enjoyed a large home-cooked meal during their Sunday break. Although the younger crews now prefer something lighter and (especially) quicker, old timers still wax rhapsodic about sitting down to a sumptuous New England Boiled Dinner.

New England Boiled Dinner Ingredients

New England Boiled Dinner Recipe – Woodmans of Essex MA

6 pound smoked shoulder (or corned beef brisket)

1 large turnip, peeled and cut into chunks

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

1 medium head of cabbage, core removed, and cut into fourths or eighths

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into short lengths

How to Make a New England Boiled Dinner


Rinse the meat with cold water and place in a stockpot tall enough to cover the meat completely with the water. Bring water to a boil. Once water boils, turn it down and simmer for 60 – 90 minutes until meat is almost cooked but not quite. Add turnip and cook for about 20 minutes. Add cabbage and potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes, then add carrots. Cook until all veggies are tender. Remove veggies and meat from water.

To serve, slice the meat on a large platter and arrange the vegetables around it. Serve with cider vinegar and yellow mustard. Serves 8-10.

Recipe Note: Cooked separately, pickled beets (in cookbook) are a welcome addition to a New England Boiled Dinner. If you have leftovers, make Red Flannel Hash by chopping up all the leftovers together with the beets and frying them in a skillet.

If you and your family and friends enjoyed this New England boiled dinner recipe, make sure to check out our new cookbook with over 100 different recipes such as our pickled beets!

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