Mom’s Boiled Dinner

Though Italian, through and through, the Bartolini Sisters’ recipe repertoire was anything but restricted to Italian fare. Both Sisters cooked a range of dishes representing many cuisines, and as Mom loved to recall, I was about 6 when I told her that eating at our  house was “an adventure!” You see, it was about that time that Mom had gone to lunch with a few friends, I believe, at what was at the time Detroit’s premier Chinese restaurant. She ordered sweet & sour something-or-other (I don’t remember what), thoroughly enjoyed it, and asked the waiter if she could have the recipe. He agreed and returned a few minutes later with the recipe, which no doubt pleased Mom no end. Later, when the check arrived, Mom was surprised to see a $25.00 fee for the recipe included in the total! (Understand that this was a time when $25.00 was considered a nice sum to win on game shows like “What’s My Line?”. )  Mom, rightly, refused to pay the $25.00, indignantly gave them back the recipe, and vowed to duplicate that meal. And thus began our “adventure.” Starting with the Chun King section of the grocery store, Mom set out to make the ultimate sweet and sour dish. Time after time, she served us the latest version which, to be fair, we kids often thought was OK. Having tasted the original, however, Mom felt otherwise. I remember one specific dinner when her latest attempt fell short of expectations. After one bite, disgusted, she pushed her plate aside and watched as we kids gobbled it down.  The thing I most remember and, frankly, am most proud of, is she never gave up. Laughably, we did eat a couple pretty bad sweet & sour concoctions but she was determined to prove that the restaurant’s food wasn’t all that special and certainly not worth $25.00 per recipe. Truthfully, I don’t think she ever hit pay dirt, at least not while I was living at home, but she did teach me a valuable lesson by her example. So, when I describe the number of tests I’ve run to, say, come up with a cheddar cheese pie crust, or, to find the right level of “heat” in my giardiniera, don’t credit me. Credit Mom.

But I digress …

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Among the many cuisines the Bartolini Girls drew upon, American was first and foremost. Meatloaf, stews, casseroles, and fried foods, among others, were very often served — with a platter of pasta on the side, of course. Mom, in particular, loved a New England boiled dinner and she was sure to serve it a couple of times each year. Today, although I may have added a couple of vegetables to the pot, I keep her tradition alive and prepare a boiled dinner at least twice every year, once in the Spring and again in the Fall.

The recipe that I’m about to share uses quite a few vegetables to form a bed for the corned beef. Even with my 6 quart crock pot, only a couple of cabbage wedges will fit into the cooker and, as a result, I have to make other arrangements for the rest of the cabbage. When there’s about an hour to go before dinner is ready, I place as much sliced cabbage as will fit comfortably into the slow cooker and replace the lid. The rest of the cabbage goes into a covered frying pan, a cup of broth from the slow cooker is added, and then everything is seasoned with salt & pepper, to be cooked over a medium heat. Cooking times will vary, depending upon the amount of cabbage and size of the pan. Try to time it so that this cabbage is finished when the slow cooker’s contests are ready. When ready, combine the two preparations for serving and storing. Of course, the alternative to doing this is to use fewer vegetables but, frankly, that just ain’t gonna happen around here.

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Mom’s Boiled Dinner Recipe

total time: approx.  8.5 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 prepared corned beef, 4 lbs. Do not discard the packing liquid, unless directed to do so by the package directions.
    • enclosed spice packet
    •                     or
    • 12 green peppercorns and 1 tbsp pickling spice.
  • 1 small bag of baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 large onion, cut into about 8 wedges
  • 1 rutabaga, cut into large chunks
  • 1 turnip, cut into large chunks
  • 4 carrots, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 4 parsnips, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 cabbage, outer leaves discarded, cut into about 10 wedges
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water

Directions

  1. About an hour before you begin, remove the corned beef from the fridge and set it on a counter so that it warms slightly.
  2. Place the potatoes, onion, rutabaga, turnip, carrots, and parsnips into the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the garlic over the vegetables and do the same with the spice packet, if any, that came with the corned beef. (If no spice packet, add the pickling spice and green peppercorns.) Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the corned beef atop the vegetables and empty the packing liquids over everything. Add water until the slow cooker is about 2/3 full.
  5. Set crock pot to “high” and cook for one hour, turn the meat over, set to “low” and cook for 6 more hours, turning the meat over every 2 hours. Periodically skim the surface to remove any off-color foam, as necessary.
  6. After 7 hours, turn over the corned beef one last time, place the cabbage wedges into the slow cooker, replace the cover, and cook for an additional hour. If you have too much cabbage for your slow cooker, place the surplus into a frying pan, season with salt & pepper, and baste with a cup of broth from the crock pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until ready to be served — 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. After a total of 8 hours, remove the corned beef to a cutting board, slice it thinly, and place it on a platter with the cooked vegetables and cabbage. Serve immediately. Alternately, some people, myself included, prefer that their vegetables be served in a bowl with some of the broth.
  8. When preparing the leftovers for storage, be sure to combine all the cabbage and its cooking liquid with the rest of the vegetables.

Variations

Aside from making one’s own corned beef from beef brisket — something beyond my scope — the only variations of which I’m aware involve the vegetables. Basically, this recipe was Mom’s but I’ve added the turnip, rutabaga, and parsnips. Make the recipe your own and drop or add any vegetables to suit your tastes

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Note

The leftovers from this dinner store well and you can easily use them to repeat the meal, if that’s your wish. As I’ve mentioned, however, I prefer the vegetables served with the broth as a soup. That means that I can use the corned beef for panini, also personal favorites. Pictured above is one such sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, a little cabbage, and some mustard. It doesn’t get much better than this.

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104 thoughts on “Mom’s Boiled Dinner

  1. What is it about a wedge of boiled cabbage that makes my mouth water? I don’t know, but I am seriously considering making my own corned beef so I can make this. I just need to figure out how to ask for a beef brisket in Turkish… I know I could just boil a cabbage, but your leftover sandwich looks as good as the boiled dinner!

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    • We are so in agreement, about both cabbage and corned beef sandwiches. To be honest, one of the reasons I make this dish is for the sandwiches that follow. And, to be sure, the cabbage and vegetables in that broth make a tasty soup. Beef brisket in Turkish? Oh, dear! Good luck with that one. 🙂

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  2. I’ve never eaten proper corned beef, associating it with the dreadful stuff in tins that I came across occasionally during my childhood, but this looks wonderful, especially the leftovers!

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    • As much as I enjoy the dinner freshly prepared, it is the leftovers that I really want. I always buy the largest piece of meat I can find just so that I can use it in more dishes afterward. Panini, though, are definitely a favorite.

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  3. Wow – it´s like an American bollito! What a fantastic recipe, if I could get beef like that I´d be eating it all the time (especially for the leftovers). Loved the story of your mum´s restaurant experience. Honestly, some chefs clearly think they are something very special if they want to respond to a compliment like that by charging!

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    • Funny you mention bollito. Over the weekend, I made stock and served myself a tasty bollito for that night’s dinner! I wish you could get a good corned beef brisket, Tanya, just so I could see — and learn — all the different ways you’d use the leftovers. Now, that would be something!

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    • Thanks. I made an insignificant change to the parameters and the entire map regenerated this morning. So, now we’re starting from 0 again. It’s easy enough to install on your own blog. I can help you through the process, if you like. 🙂

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      • Think I´ll take you up on that when I get back – am cramming all sort of goodies into my case right now for the trip tomorrow (hardly any clothes though!). Maybe I´ll find a brisket of beef when I´m in London to bring back 🙂 “See you” next week!

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        • Good! While you’re away, I’ll write up the instructions. I’ll send them when you return and we’ll get a map on your site within a couple minutes. It really is that easy. Have a great visit with your family. Buon viaggio!

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  4. That’s a very good recipe. I have never seen it with corned beef before as I’ve only known it as a tinned product that I didn’t think would stand up to long cooking. We have a pot au feu over here which is made with 4 cuts of beef – paleron, gite, culotte and queue (tail) – which is delicious. I also remember eating a good English boiled beef (brisket) and carrots many years ago. Very nice post.

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    • I’m familiar, Roger, with pot au fer, having been served it about a dozen years ago while visiting Paris. I believe it was queue (ox tail) but my memory isn’t always the best. I do enjoy it when corned beef brisket is the protein. One of these days I’m going to try to actually cure, or “corn”, a brisket for no other reason than to say, “I did it once.” 🙂

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  5. A wonderful story about your mum and her determination John. My local butchers at home prepares and sells their own corned beef, they sell it in thin slices. Lovely 🙂 But most of all I WANT that sandwich NOW !! 🙂

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    • That sandwich is the whole reason for making the meal, Claire! That was another of Mom’s gifts. She gave me a love for this boiled dinner and for corned beef sandwiches. Many is the time she & I had corned beef sandwiches for lunch the day following her boiled dinner.

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  6. John you are too cute, I thought we were getting the sweet and sour recipe and then we did a complete turnaround and got corned beef and cabbage. Yes this Italian family always made corned beef and cabbage on St Paddy’s day. I remember mom making the best soda bread, so yummy, gosh I miss her…this year my sister is making it and I will travel up North to have it…Family is everything isn’t it?….

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    • Gotcha! One of the great things about this blog is that these family recipes each call to mind another memory of her and other members of my family. Family is everything, Maria! Enjoy your dinner & vist with your Sister. Buon viaggio!

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  7. That’s a beautiful dish, and the panini is perfect! But…… making your own corned beef is so much simpler than many of the dishes you demonstrate right here. Give it a try!

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    • Thanks, David. Call it a hunch but I had a feeling you were going to say something about preparing my own corned beef brisket. In years past, I surely would have said, “No way!” I can see it being a definite possibility now. Not right now, however. I’ve been looking at smokers. (I knew that would get your attention!) After much thought, I’ve decided I’ve room for one on my back porch, so long as it’s electric to reduce the fire hazard. All I need now is to find a good one. I’m open to suggestions, by the way 🙂

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  8. What’s My Line? Chung King? Oh you took it way back didn’t you! LOL I remember thinking those split ingredient cans of Chung King were real food. Silly me. Corned beef and cabbage has never been one of my faves but a Reuben or your panini…………yummmmmmmmmmm!

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    • Like that, eh? 🙂 We need to remember there was a time when Julia Child was still considered ground-breaking television. Raising 3 of us, Mom didn’t have much time to thumb through magazines looking for recipes. Something like Chung King was just the ticket. And a Reuben would make the Earl of Sandwich himself cry if he were alive today to sample one.

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  9. Picked up corned beef at Whole Foods yesterday, my goal is a hefty Ruben sandwich when all is said and done. Love how tenacious your mom was about recreating a recipe from an experience … can’t count the number of times I’ve tried some.

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  10. $25 for a recipe?! That is crazy! And then that they didn’t even tell her, but just put it on the bill?! I would have been incensed if I was your mom too. I don’t blame her for trying to recreate the recipe and I totally love her tenacity! Your kitchens do sound like they were always an adventure and I love that. The boiled dinner looks totally like something my mom and grandma would have whipped up too. I’m not that into boiled veggies, but I do love a good corn beef sandwich and that picture you took of your sandwich is making me drool!

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    • Mom was really something and her sweet & sour dinners make me smile, although I don’t think I’ve ever actually ordered one at a Chinese restaurant. It’s all about the corned beef, Kristy. I enjoy the veggies, no doubt, but it’s the corned beef I’ve got my eye on!

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  11. I am not into corned beef and cabbage but I would definitely make it just so I can make the panini. Love your addition of all that root vegetables, bet they were tasty from all that corned beef flavor.

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    • My love for the cabbage and root vegetables in no way interferes with my enjoyment of corned been in many forms. For me, that’s what’s so good about this recipe. You can use it to make a variety of dishes. There’s no need to repeat the original dinner, unless you want to.

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  12. Funny story! I well remember when the Chung King section of the grocery store was a would-be Asian cook’s only option. We live in glorious times now.

    Was mine the only family that served a dab or horseradish on the side of New England boiled dinners?

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    • Thanks, Gail, for popping in!
      Ah, Chung King. Is it still around? Horseradish was a condiment on our table, too, mostly for my Dad’s benefit. Once I got older, I used it, too, and still do. Look for it to make an appearance in the weeks ahead. 🙂

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    • Thanks, MD. Had the waiter just said no or explained there was a fee associated, Mom wouldn’t have been nearly so upset. She didn’t appreciate their handling of the matter at all. And, yes, good for her!

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  13. Wow, that is one heck of a story, John. Years ago, my Dear Mom gave me a recipe she found on the internet called the $250 Chocolate Chip Cookie, it turned out to be an urban legend…but now I wonder. My Mom also tried endlessly to replicate recipes. I remember our first time in Hungary, she reproduced a Chinese Stir Fry dinner complete with egg rolls (I think it was called Dinner for 7) and a Classic Thick Crust Pizza recipe for my relatives, they were unimpressed.
    You brought back another fond memory; the few times we ordered in (my Dad always said my Mom cooks way better than any restaurant!) we’d play the Dinner for X, guessing game. My Mom or Dad would read the menu and we’d guess how much it was. The person with the most guesses correct would get an extra chocolate for dessert.
    This boiled dinner (although sounds unappealing) looks entirely wonderful. The sandwich looks absolutely delicious; I would have mine with hot Dijon, and perhaps a little Swiss Cheese, if you forced me to.

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    • Your Mom was a good cook if she was able to replicate a Chinese dinner, egg rolls and all. Yay, Mom! Dinner for X sounds like it would have been fun, as well as teach you the value of a dollar. My Dad, working in the restaurant business, was only home for 2 dinners a week. The dinners on those 2 nights, Sunday & Wednesday, were always the best of the week and never ordered in. And, oh, yes, I’ll make 2 of your sandwiches, 1 for each of us!

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  14. My mom loves this boiled dinner and makes it each year about this time…and at least a few other times throughout the year. I’ve never made it, but just reading through your great story and the recipe makes me want to…and when I saw the sandwich…well, that was the capper for sure! Like you, I’d make it just to have the sandwich. 🙂 A great post just in time for St. Paddy’s!

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  15. Oh, that looks delicious, it made my mouth water! I just found a recipe for home cured corn beef that I might just have to try. Being “allergic” has made me worry a little about buying one in the grocery store…you never really know what they put in a lot of things.

    I love the story about your mom and the $25 fee. But what I love most it that she kept on trying to duplicate that recipe! 🙂

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  16. As usual, John, I love the story! I have never heard of someone being charged like that in a restaurant. I suppose I was at first startled to think they’d give it to her in the first place, but to charge her! You also raised a very good point that I think I have previously somehow overlooked. The testing and trying new methods…perfecting a recipe. That takes time and real intent! I don’t think I do that in my cooking, and this challenges me to think differently. If a recipe doesn’t work, I tend to drop it! Consequently, I’m not all that accomplished as a cook. So your mom is now inspiring me, too! Debra

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    • Had that waiter just said “No” or “There’s a charge,” Mom wouldn’t have minded one bit. As it happened, she felt set up and did not like that at all. She was something, eh? I was just on the phone with a friend, who like you, found Mom’s testing to be inspiring. I’d love to say that she inspires me, too, and she does but, more than anything, I’m just too stubborn to give up. I’ll make it again and again until I get it right! 🙂

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  17. I could make this — I have all of the right winter vegetables on hand — but I don’t care for corned beef, so, if I made it, Mom would have to eat it all herself! Great story about the $25 recipe: what a shock that must have been for your mother!

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    • Oh, Sharyn! We’d be the perfect roommates. You could have the veggies and I’ll take the corned beef. I like the veggies, too, but we’d just have to make twice as many as normal. Yes, $25.00!!!! As Mom would say, “Of all the nerve!” 🙂

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  18. Your seafood “boil” sounds great! Have you blogged it yet? If not, I hope you do. Mom always served this around St. Patty’s, too. I posted it this week because next week I’ve got something planned for St. Joseph’s. Stay tuned …

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  19. I’ve never been a fan of boiled cabbage because my mom always drowned it with greasy lard in the pot. Something about southeners and greasy foods. Not to say my mom wasn’t a great cook, because she was. As an adult I am proud to say I gave into my inner foodie and have tried plenty of new things. This recipe definitely looks worthy trying. Now about the story: I can totally see your mom’s perfectionist side come out when you described her pushing away her plate when it didn’t muster up…lol…loved that part of the story. Too bad about the recipe fee on the check. I’m sure that ruined her from ever going back to the place, and you know she was probably looking forward to it since she loved the meal.

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    • Of course, I can’t say for certain but she was angry enough about it that I don’t think she missed it one bit. Cabbage is a great side dish. Don’t give up on it. You can make it with a little chicken stock, onion, & bacon. Easy peasy and I’ll walk you through it when you’re ready.

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  20. Fantastic….stick by your principles and don’t give em your hard earned money. You’re mom is the best, even if she wasn’t able to recreate the dish.

    BTW that sandwich is speaking to my gluttonous heart.

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  21. Your boiled dinner looks like it will most certainly hit the spot when I am making it on St. Paddy’s Day. I love corned beef and your vegetable additions sound like the perfect accompaniment. The sandwich is what is really making me crazy though. With parsnips? You are a mad scientist chef aren’t you John? I always knew it and now with the added parsnips, I feel certain. Parsnips are a very under appreciated vegetable I think. They are so wonderfully sweet.

    Your mom was “right on the money” (pun intended). That was ridiculous! I, too, kvetch, over replicating a meal from a favorite restaurant. My family has had more “replicated” lobster pasta in tomato cream sauce than anyone ever should. Have a great weekend John!

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    • Thanks, Geni! Mom would be pleased to see all of these supportive comments. I don;t think they would have helped her sweet and sour dishes any but she would have felt better. 🙂

      I “discovered” parsnips several years ago and it’s been a love affair ever since. I’ll use them anywhere I can. And that sandwich is the best part of a boiled dinner. Even better with freshly baked bread!

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  22. Your mom is such an inspiration. She definitely reminds me of my grandmother, because she would go in the kitchen and replicate a meal that she felt didn’t cost as much as a restaurants did. I really enjoyed reading this. And just look at that corned beef.. delish

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  23. Finally! I’ve tried 3 times to read this today…don’t know whether the browser is acting-up again, or WordPress is misbehaving…
    The downside? I had to do the grocery shopping BEFORE I saw this…Hope there’s a corned beef left for me when I go back!

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    • 3 times? I hope things settle down a bit for you. I’m sure there will be plenty of corned beef in the markets. There had better be. I still need to get one for next week!

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  24. When will your cookbook be published??? You really should have a publishing deal because the stories that relate to your recipes are so engaging and the recipes are so interesting and you make us all want to go out and cook your food! I can’t believe the restaurant wanted $25.00 – that is extortion. But…with all the years of trying to replicate what she ate, she probably would have come out in front if she’d just handed over the money! I cooked corned beef for a dinner party a few years ago and I loved it but Carl gave it the thumbs down – took him back to his childhood where his mother would do dreadful things to food and serve them up to a disappointed crowd.

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    • Thanks, Charlie Louie but you know better than I, cookbooks have become the realm of celebrities. I’ve thought the same thing about how much money Mom would have aved had she just paid the $25.00 but, then again, we would have missed out on some pretty good — and pretty awful — dinners. I feel for your DH. I hear friends’ horror stories of their Mom’s cooking and my own history is so not that way. Still, you’re a very good cook and I bet your corned beef was delicious!

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  25. Your memories and the stories shared make for excellent reading, John. And the sandwich on that plate look better than any magazine spread. It is the season of a boiled dinner and I am going to try the Crock Pot method instead of the enameled cast iron on the stovetop.
    Do you think I can add the flag counter to Cardboard Me Travels. It is so fun to see where everyone is following!

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    • Thanks, Ruth. Funny, this year you’re using a crock pot this year, I’m going with my enameled cast iron pot, having ditched my uncooperative slow cooker a few weeks ago. I sent you an email with some instructions to get the Flag Map. You should have no problems but don’t hesitate to let me know if you do. If Flat Ruthie wants a map, Flat Ruthie shall have a map!

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  26. There is a tradition in our family that on your birthday Mum would cook you your favourite meal, Mine was always corned beef! For years and years we had it on my birthday until I got to cook all the family dinners then I cooked it with monotonous regularity. I have never understood why some countries only let you buy certain meats at certain times. So when I see the corned beef in the stores here I stock up. At home we don’t cook it with the vegetables though, it is boiled with the spices, onions and apples. Lots of peppercorns. No salt. Then served with mashed potatoes and cauliflower with cheese sauce. Plus the corned beef has its own mustard sauce. So it is a different dinner to your one. Your version looks so easy and so tasty. And I bet those potatoes are melt in your mouth with a bit of home made butter! This is a great home cooked meal. And like you I LOVE corned beef sandwiches. I have a brisket in the freezer waiting for the corn beefing, I had better send away for the pink salt and get busy!! Then I can cook it in my french Dutch Oven on top of the woodstove! Voila! Right now I will stand by for St Josephs. celi

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    • My Mom served us a birthday dinner, too. Mine birthday fell a month after Christmas, so, ravioli had been done a few times over the holidays. I opted for veal parmesan. I have the pan she cooked it in. I can get corned beef pretty much anytime of the year but, then again, I’ve many more groceries around here than you. I think I’ll start curing my own brisket soon and then I’ll truly have it anytime I want. Anything to have good corned beef for sandwiches readily available. Like you, I LOVE ’em! As for St. Joe’s, I was told where to get bufala mozzarella and used it for the holiday dish. Stay tuned …

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      • Oh I LOVE bufala mozzarella, when i lived in amalfi, my Italian housekeeper would smack my hand for keeping it in the fridge. She would take it and sit in a tray of water on the cold side of the kitchen, the big difference about shopping and eating out there is that we shopped and ate ON the day and the next day we shopped again, so we decided what to eat WHEN we saw it in the market.. lovely.. OK I am tuned then! c

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        • I know from making it, the sooner you eat mozzarella the better. Its texture really does change quickly after being “pulled”. And just think. next time you come up into the Big City, you can leave with bufala mozzarella. I am so looking forward to tomato season this year!

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  27. I love the story about your mom! Actually, that sounds like something I’d do; go home to try to replicate a meal. There have been times when my kids and hubby would take a bite out of a disasterous meal and then have breakfast cereal when I left the room b/c dinner was just so aweful.
    Your corned beef sounds pretty easy to prepare, long time to cook but thanks to crock pot it makes it pretty easy. I only had a bite of conrned beef once and it was pretty good but will have to be a bit more adventeruous in the kitchen and try this one!

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    • Hi, Lisa! Mom was something else. She wasn’t about to let a restaurant pull something so shady on her. As for this recipe, it’s perfect for a crock pot. It pretty much cooks and season itself. And cannot forget the corned beef sandwich leftovers. Too good!

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  28. Even before moving to New England, this has been one of my favorite meals. I like the added vegetables that you have included. We have one friend here in New Hampshire that adds beets to her boiled dinner. The left overs go into her red flannel hash.

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    • Thanks, Karen. I’ve really been on a root vegetable kick for the past few years and try to include them whenever I can. In this case, I like what they add to the soup as well when served along side of the beef. But beets? I hadn’t considered them. I will now! Thanks for passing along the tip. 🙂

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  29. Love the story about your Mom refusing the $25 recipe! What cheek that restaurant had!

    I’m not really familiar with corned beef, but the sandwich looks very appealing. When I was growing up, we never had parsnips, turnip or rutabaga; just not in the Belgian repertoire I suppose. So, this dish that’s familiar and comfortable to so many is something pretty new to me. I agree with the general sentiment about cabbage … it seems you can’t go wrong if that’s in a dish, and I can imagine how good this one tastes!

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    • Yes, that restaurant was pretty cheeky. Still, we had some great dinners as a result and quite a few laughs when things didn’t quite go as planned. Like you, I didn’t have rutabagas, turnips, nor parsnips while growing up. It wasn’t until much later that I “discovered” them — and have enjoyed them ever since. And when I put them in the pot with corned beef, it’s one great meal!

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  30. Wow John!
    This is another great recipe (or should I say recipes, because that Panini looks out of this world 😉 )
    I praise your mother’s persistence in getting the right combination of ingredients.
    Have a nice weekend 🙂

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  31. Yummm!!! This is soo similiar to how I make mine!! I don’t use all the root veggies you do (but I will certainly add them now!) and I just put it all in a large pot to simmer! My mom didn’t make this though she did try various “American” dishes. I started this after finding my love for reubens!! Just like your picture!! My son loves this also…what man doesn’t I suppose with meat and potatoes! Have a great weekend John!

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    • Thanks, Linda. I would imagine that most boiled dinners are pretty similar. It’s a simple recipe and the results are delicious. If it ain’t broke …

      We’re alike in our love for reubens — well, I like any kind of corned beef sandwich. I’m making another boiled dinner and, to be honest, it’s just to make the sandwiches after. I will enjoy the vegetables, though — just not as much. You, too, enjoy your weekend, Linda!

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  32. $25 just for the recipe!?! That’s ridiculous–what a rip off. I love your mom’s determination. I absolutely know my grandma would have done the same thing (she’s a feisty one), and I think I would too. Though it’s frustrating trying to replicate a recipe, it’s also kinda fun at the same time. Your sandwich looks pretty dang delicious, and hey, I say better than the restaurant! Have a great weekend John. 🙂

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    • Yeah, Caroline, that restaurant was messing with the wrong lady. Luckily, we all enjoyed the aftermath, one way or another. And what’s not to love about a corned beef sandwich? They rank among the best! You, too, have a great weekend, Caroline!

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  33. $25 for a recipe? insane! Durign grad school, I was a server at a fine restaurant. When someone wanted the recipe, they wouldn’t charge, but they wouldn’t really give the same true recipe either. 😦 They had a curried chicken & peach soup I’m still working on replicating perfectly…

    I’ve never thought about using my crockpot for this. Being Scottish, we like to boil cabbage, carrots, parsnips, neeps & tatties (turnips & potatoes). Being veggie, we didn’t have corned beef, but now I use turkey ham (I know, sooooo not the same). Yours looks beautiful!

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    • You and Mom would have gotten along just fine. Honestly, we were happy with many of her sweet & sour attempts. She, on the other hand, saw differently and was already contemplating the next attempt while we were still eating. Your boiled dinner sounds great, turkey ham and all, and I bet it would do well in your crockpot. It’s just so convenient.

      I look forward to reading your recipe for curried chicken & peach soup, once you perfect it — and you will perfect it. 🙂

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  34. I was wondering where the little flag thing was and, by gosh, there it is! Very cool, indeed! But not as cool as your mom… I love her gumption! I suspect had she kept their recipe there would have been an ingredient or two missing anyway;) I’m sure my friend’s mom has made a dish similar to this one when I was a young girl. They were German, but this doesn’t sound like a German dish? I would go for the Panini version! xo Smidge

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    • Hey, Smidge! I think most ethnicities have some sort of boiled dinner. The Italian version is bollito, although corned beef isn’t used. As much as I enjoy both, I really look forward to the corned beef sandwiches. Just like the turkey sandwiches following Thanksgiving, they make the rest of the dinner worth the effort. Yeah, I’m a sandwich guy. 🙂

      The Flag Counter comes from a website and is very easy to install. It’s free and if you’re interested, I can email installation instructions to you. It won’t even take you 5 minutes.

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  35. Oh I do love the spunk and feistiness of your mom, John! And her tenacity and refusal to cry uncle over a sweet and sour something or other – I want to hug her!
    This dinner sounds so delicious – love those slow-cooked meat but heavy-on-the-vegetable dishes! The panini though, to die for!
    I’m so happy to be back visiting Bartolini’s kitchen!

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    • Mom was really something, Spree. It’s a shame she’s not here to see how well-received these stories and her recipes are. This recipe, her boiled dinner, was a favorite. She loved making it, serving it, and she loved the meal itself. It must be genetic because I feel much the same way.

      Glad to have you back, Spree. WordPress just wasn’t the same without you! 🙂

      Like

    • Thank you, Sawsan, and yes, Mom was amazing. A few commenters have suggested that I try to cure (corn) the beef myself. I think I will try when I get some time. Can you get beef brisket in your area? If so, that is the basis for corned beef. If you’re interested, I’d be more than happy to send the curing recipes your way. 🙂

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  36. Why, oh why, does my half Irish hubby dislike corned beef????? And a Reuben rates up with my favorite sandwiches, too! Your boiled dinner and panini both look wonderful…and I loved the story of your mom’s perseverance to recreate a restaurant meal 🙂

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    • Mom wasn’t at all pleased with the way they handled her request and she was going to show them a thing or two! In the end, we had some pretty good dinners and a few good laughs over the failures. A life without Reubens? It must be love! 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

      Like

  37. Oh yes! This is getting me ready for St. Patrick’s Day! I love corned beef. I thought of you the other day…my husband and I made our own cheese for the first time (Paneer, an Indian cheese). It was so easy! I can’t wait to try one of your recipes! 😀

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    • Corned beef is the best! I made a boiled dinner on Sunday and have been enjoying corned beef sandwiches ever since! From what I’ve seen, some Paneer recipes are very similar to the ricotta recipe I posted. Both use whole milk but paneer uses lemon juice while my ricotta uses vinegar. I don’t recall but there may be some differences in heating, too. No matter. Both cheeses are perfect as introductions to cheese making. I bet you’ll try the mascarpone recipe when I post it. 🙂

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  38. What a lot of great stuff–food and history and drama!–packed into one post. Marvelous, marvelous. I love a good corned beef feast, and this looks perfectly put together. The sandwiches, a terrific bonus.

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  39. Thanks, Kathryn. I’ve inherited Mom’s love of this boiled dinner and her love of corned beef, as well. We shared many a reuben sandwich at lunch, both at home or at some sandwich shop. As much as she cooked and of all the memories I have, it’s funny to me that, of all of them, our eating corned beef sandwiches together remains some of the strongest. 🙂

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