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Mom made this, but with codfish. I would get up at 5 AM to finish the leftovers, cold, right from the fridge.
I’ve a question. When people are referring to smoked butt/shoulder and using it interchangeable with picnic, what cut and how is it cured/smoked? Where I’m from a butt/shoulder is a way different hunk of meat than a picnic. Here, when we refer to a smoked butt/shoulder we are talking BBQ, a picnic or picnic ham can refer to a cured or “fresh” front leg of the pig. Usually when someone is talking about smoked butt/shoulder it’s fully cooked shredded pork.
I’m from Taunton, MA and make it mostly like yours, but like my mother I add the veggies a half hour before the meat is done and also a cup of Uncle Ben’s rice in a cheesecloth bag (or you can make your own bag with 3 new men’s handkerchiefs hand sewn together & a new shoestring minus the plastic ends). Tie tightly & balance the bag of rice on the veggies, get it boiling again, then back to simmer for a half hour. 20 minutes before the end of cooking I add the quartered cabbage around the bag of rice and get it boiling again, then simmer. I empty the hot bag of cooked rice in a separate bowl for serving. SO good in the plate with a generous pat of butter on top of the rice. Also, we mash the carrots together with the potato in our plate w/ a pat of butter. Bag can be used over and over again – I hand wash it really good then in the washing machine with the towel load on hot.
The rice is a good idea, never thought of that, especially cooking it in a bag. You just opened up a whole new world of cookery for me.
What a brilliant idea to use a cheesecloth bag to cook the rice. Thank you Joan!
To keep the kids from eating the meat and leaving the vegetables on the plate, I’ve taken to cutting everything up and turning it into a Corned Beef and Cabbage Stew. It cooks faster, is eaten with gusto, and nothing is left behind!
Great idea Shelley!
My Mother made this with a smoked pork shoulder. She would save the water and make pea soup with it. Just delicious with the little bits of vegtables in it. So good
What I missed in all the comments as well as some videoed instructions from others who were winter camping is… what does anyone do with all this delicious broth. I envision various soups.
I boil the ham ( leftover from baked ham) first for an hour then add vegs… cabbage at the end. When I serve it I use a ladle and try to get some of everything in the bowl. Broth and all! Delish!!
I loved this recipe, it’s the same way my Mother cooks hers. I love the taste of Corn beef, so I wouldn’t think of adding sausage. It’s great with mustard and horseradish.
Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome Kim, I’m so glad you like it!
It is not surprising that this dish is so controversial as to its origins, because it’s an old one with many variations. I recommend adding turnips near the end of the cooking proces. And also make more than you can eat on Saturday, because on Sunday you can chop up the leftovers, squeeze out the liquid and fry up the best corned beef hash you’ve ever had. (Poached eggs over, and dry toast.)
I grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. We had New England Boiled dinner several times a year. Once in a while it was Corned Beef but most of the time it was Smoke Shoulder. It was done with Cabbage, Potatoes, Linguica & Chourico (Not Chorizo). That’s the way most people I knew in Souteastern Massachusetts cooked it. I now live in California and mostly use Corned Beef only because it’s not too often I find whole Smoked Shoulders but when I do find it I usually buy at least 3 and freeze 2 of them.
My dad would use a smoke shoulder, make a boiled dinner, trim off the bone, use some of the leftover meat in a large Dutch oven of scalloped potatoes & the rest of the meat & bone to make his delicious homemade split pea soup! One large shoulder, 3 great meals!
Just stumbled across this… I also grew up in New Bedford, and now I am living in Fall River… I think that it’s time to make a boiled dinner!
Such a super recipe! I used a picnic ham (as my mother did) and adapted it to my large pressure cooker and ended up with the same wonderful meal in far less time. It is exactly what I was looking for. Tossed in a few extra potatoes to flesh it out. To convert, I simply cooked meat in water and spices as directed by the pressure cooker: 15 minutes per pound at high pressure, brought it back down to zero just before the end and added the vegetables, pressure cooking for five more mintutes before releasing steam for the final time. Great broth with only the slightest bit of added salt.
I make this in pretty much the same way, with one exception: I boil everything in tomato juice rather than in water. And on the table, lots of Jewish rye bread, mustard and dill pickles.
Having grown up in Fall River, MA, I am very familiar with corned beef and cabbage. I use a flat piece of red corned beef, red bliss potatoes, carrot and cabbage wedges. When cooking the beef I have always put red wine vinegar in the water with the spices and always added a pound of chourico to cook with the meat. Very tasty.
I just remembered, I was going to also tell you that my family wouldn’t serve it with the broth – just chunks of the corned beef and veggies. My dad all four kids love to pour a little white vinegar on top of everything – I swear this makes it taste sooo much better! But my mom thinks that’s gross and I’ve never seen anyone else do it LOL!
I am definitely from a vinegar family too! I haven’t heard of too many people adding it myself, but it sure tastes amazing! I am also from New England! :)
I am retired and now do most of the cooking around the house, as my wife still works. I cooked a New England boiled dinner last week, I used everything often spoken of except, I put a small amount of celery salt to add to the flavor. I cooked the cabbage in a separate steamer untill the last few minutes then layed it in on top to add some of the taste. I think my grandmother told me this dish originated in England. But who really knows–it is good never the less.
Terry Pelletier: Please post your recipe and spices used for the Portuguese New England Boiled Dinner your grandmother used to make. It sounds very close to the recipe my grandmother made. She grew up in New Bedford, Mass. She passed away last Christmas before she wrote that recipe out for me. I am missing it as it was our New Years tradition.
Originally from Boston area, my family, mostly Italian (though I’m a mutt with irish & polish in me) make a boiled dinner with smoked shoulder. We put the whole meal in the same huge pot and boil it all together. No extra seasonings, the ham is all you need. We add extra water as it boils out, but don’t rinse. We like turnips, potatoes, onions, carrots and cabbage. I make it in the winter time. It’s my favorite meal!
My family always made New England Boiled Dinner with Pork Smoked Shoulder with Linguica or Chourico and cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions. I am from New England and that is how we make it up here. I have added my own spices and not the spices used to make it with corned beef brisket. It is one of our favorite meals.
My family was from Portugal and that is the way my Grandmother cooked this meal. We all loved it…no matter the season.
I live now in Florida and every chance I can find the smoked shoulder…It is one of my favorite meals when growing up in Fall River, Mass.