Posted by: timscooking | March 22, 2010

New England Boiled Dinner with Easy Beer Bread

Saint Patrick’s Day has passed and many Americans celebrated the feast day with a big plate of corned beef and cabbage, supposedly traditional Irish fare. The truth is, if you ordered corned beef and cabbage in a pub in Dublin, the server would probably shrug his shoulders and just walk away since the meat of choice for a true Irish boiled dinner would be pork, either a smoked or cured pork butt or possibly the cut we call Canadian bacon. Corned (salt-brined) beef and cabbage is actually a take on an old recipe for New England Boiled Dinner, cooked in a large dutch oven on the stove top for 4 to 6 hours.

While the thought of watching a pot on the stove top for 4 to 6 hours sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, you can easily make this dish with 20 minutes of prep time and could, if you choose, let it cook while you sleep! The key to the cooking method is a crock pot, not that small, round, avocado-colored appliance that was so popular in the 70’s, but a modern, 5 – 6 quart slow cooker with a tight sealing lid and digital timer. You can use a variety of root vegetables; potatoes, onions, and carrots are most common. I’ve also seen recipes that call for parsnips and rutabagas. I serve it with a horseradish mustard sauce and easy beer bread.

New England Boiled Dinner

1 3-to 3 1/2-pound corned beef brisket

12 small red-skin potatoes, peel one wide strip around center, leave whole

1 16 oz. bag pre-cut baby carrots

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. dill seed

1 tsp. no-salt seasoning mix (Mrs. Dash)

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. beef stock

1 12 oz. beer

1 small head cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

Trim fat from meat and set meat aside. Combine potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic, place in slow cooker, add meat. Sprinkle with dill seeds, seasoning mix and salt, pour beef broth and beer over mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 11 to 12 hours, on high for 6 hours. If using low setting, turn to high and add cabbage wedges  pushing them down into the liquid. Cover and cook for an additional 60 minutes or until cabbage is tender.

Remove meat and thinly slice across the grain. Use slotted spoon to transfer vegetables. Discard cooking liquid. Serve with Horseradish Mustard Sauce.

Horseradish Mustard Sauce

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c. mayonnaise, 1/2 c. sour cream, 2 tbsp. prepared horseradish and 1 tbsp. mustard. Cover and chill for 5 – 24 hours.

Easy Beer Bread

3 c. self-rising flour

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

12 oz. beer (preferably a lager or pilsner)

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. chopped fresh herbs (your choice: basil, dill, rosemary,chives)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan. In a medium bowl, sift the dry ingredients, gently stir beer into the flour mixture just until all are combined. Pour out into loaf pan and bake for 45 – 60 minutes. Midway through baking, brush a mixture of the olive oil, garlic salt, and herbs on the top. When top is golden brown, remove from oven and take loaf out of the pan. Let cool on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife for best results. This is also great toasted for breakfast or with chili or a hearty soup instead of corn bread.



  1. MMMMMMmmmmmm, looks good. I’m gonna try to make this bread……I’m not sure about the herbs though…wait, do I need Kosher salt? What does that mean? Does salt have to be Kosher? I wonder why………….:)

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