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How to Make a New England Boiled Dinner With Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick's Day

Updated on July 2, 2013

Corned Beef and Cabbage

A New England boiled dinner, also known as corned beef and cabbage, is a common St. Patrick's Day meal. It consists of corned beef, carrots, potatoes and cabbage and sometimes Irish soda bread. Most likely one of the easiest meals to make because everything (excluding the soda bread) is cooked in a large pot, slow cooker or in the oven. Everything goes in the pot and you can just check in on it periodically while doing something else (like writing a HubPages article).  The directions here are for cooking on the stovetop in a pot. First get the corned beef cooking in the pot and later add the vegetables. This meal can be enjoyed at any time, not just St. Patrick's Day!

Things You Need:

A large pot, corned beef, cabbage, carrots, red potatoes.  Onion, caraway seeds and an electric knife are optional. 

Choose Which Corned Beef to Cook

Choose which corned beef to purchase. The main difference in corned beef is the fat content. The most popular is flat cut (also known as thin cut). Point cut is fattier and some think it has more taste. Flat cut is a little pricier than point cut. Round cut is pricier than both flat and point cut. Round cut is good if trying to cut calories but it is not as tasty, since the fat content is much lower.

Get the Corned Beef Simmering

Place corned beef into a large pot and generously cover with cold water. Do not overfill. (Overfilling could cause fat from the corned beef to spill out onto stovetop and cause a fire.) Place on stove top and bring to a boil. Optional: Peel and cut off root end of onion and leave whole. Onion will be easier to remove from pot when meal is cooked, if onion is not cut into small pieces. Add onion to pot. Some corned beef comes with a spice packet. This may be added to the water, added to the pot in a tea ball or not used at all. You may want to consider adding caraway seeds if your corned beef did not come with a spice packet. Caraway seeds can help counteract the flatulent effect of cabbage. Turn heat down and simmer for approximately 4 hours. (If you are also making soda bread, this would be a good time to do that. If necessary, it is not a problem to cook this for longer than the 4 hours.)

Cook the Vegetables with the Corned Beef

Turn the heat back up on the pot to bring the corned beef back to a boil.  While waiting for water to boil:

POTATOES: Wash red potatoes and add to pot; there is no need to peel.

CABBAGE: Remove the outer layer of cabbage head and cut cabbage into quarters.  Do NOT core the cabbage; leave core on so the cabbage does not come apart and is easier to remove from the pot after it is cooked.  Add cabbage to pot.

CARROTS: Cut off both ends of carrots and discard. Do not slice into serving sizes; carrots are also easier to remove from pot if they are left whole. Peel or scrub then add to boiling water.

There is no need to worry about covering vegetables completely with water; they will steam with the cover on. Just make certain there is enough water in the pot that it does not boil dry. When the water boils, turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer vegetables until they are soft when poked with fork - about 30 to 45 minutes. Shut off pot and carefully pull out beef. Set beef aside and let cool for about 10 minutes. Beef is easier to cut if it is allowed to cool. Remove vegetables from pot. Cut carrots into serving sizes. Cut and discard core of cabbage and cut cabbage into servings sizes.

Cut the Corned Beef

Remove the fat from the beef and discard fat. Cut the beef at an angle, against the grain as shown in the picture. Some brands have a picture on the back of the corned beef package that also show how to cut it. It MUST be cut at an angle to the grain or it will be stringy. There is nothing worse than stringy corned beef.  If you have an electric knife, it usually makes it easier to cut.


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    • LydiaBlogg profile image

      LydiaBlogg 7 years ago from New England

      Exactly what I was thinking, JulieCarlson!

    • JulieCarlson profile image

      JulieCarlson 7 years ago from Chicagoland

      This will come in handy in just a few months!