New England boiled dinner (also known as corned beef and cabbage) is an easy-to-make, satisfying meal that’s become a popular choice for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

Sliced corned beef, cabbage wedges, carrots, turnips, pearl onions and red potatoes on a serving platter.

Our recipe for New England boiled dinner is a fairly standard version consisting of corned beef brisket that’s simmered until tender and served with new potatoes, cabbage wedges, carrots, turnips, and pearl onions.

To add extra flavor, we boil the veggies in the same water the corned beef was cooked in and serve the finished dish with horseradish cream sauce and whole grain mustard.

A Quick History of New England Boiled Dinner

This classic, hearty dish has a long history documented in written cookbooks as far back as the early 1800s. Depending on the source of the recipe, there’s some variance in the ingredients, but the essentials (meat boiled with along with root vegetables) have remained the same throughout the centuries.

Also known as corned beef and cabbage, New England boiled dinner became popular fare for St. Patrick’s Day in America. Oddly enough, the traditional Irish version calls for bacon, not corned beef, but when Irish immigrants here in America discovered that beef was a more economical option than pork, they adapted the traditional dish and replaced the bacon with corned beef.

What exactly is corned beef?

Corned beef is most commonly made from the brisket, an inexpensive cut of beef taken from the breast section of the cow. The term “corned” originated in 17th century England where the large grains of salt used to cure the meat were referred to as “corns.”

Modern recipes for corned beef are made by brining the beef for a week or more in a seasoned solution made from salt, pickling spices, and sodium nitrite (pink curing salt).

Once the brining is complete, the beef is braised until tender, then sliced across the grain for serving.

Our corned beef and cabbage recipe uses store-bought corned beef, but if you’d like to try your hand at making it at home, Kevin is Cooking has a detailed recipe that even includes Instant Pot instructions!

How to Make New England Boiled Dinner

This is an overview of how this dish is made. You’ll find detailed measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version of the recipe below.

  1. Add the corned beef to a stockpot, cover with water, boil for about 10 minutes, then skim off any foam that forms on the top.
  2. Reduce the heat and add peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf for flavor. Cover and cook until the corned beef is fork-tender, about 3 hours, then transfer to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Don’t discard the cooking liquid.
  3. Add the potatoes to the stockpot, increase the heat, and cook for 5 minutes before adding the carrots, turnip, and pearl onions.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes more, then add the cabbage wedges and continue cooking until everything is tender when pierced with a knife.
  5. While the vegetables cook, slice the corned beef across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices and make the horseradish cream sauce.
  6. Once the vegetables have cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large serving platter.
  7. Reheat the corned beef by returning it to the pot for a couple of minutes. Drain well and place on the serving platter with the vegetables.
  8. Serve with horseradish cream and coarse grain mustard for dipping.
New England Boiled Dinner arranged on a large serving platter

This recipe for corned beef and cabbage is included in our St. Patrick’s Day recipe collection. Be sure to check out that post for more Irish-inspired dishes.

More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes to Try

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS: If you try this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or a comment below. We’re always happy to hear from our readers! You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram, or sign up for our email list to get our recipes sent directly to your inbox.

New England Boiled Dinner Recipe

New England Boiled Dinner

4.7 from 6 votes
Leave a Review »
Our New England Boiled Dinner recipe is a classic version made with corned beef brisket, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, turnips and pearl onions.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 lbs uncooked corned beef brisket
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb baby red potatoes
  • 1/2 lb baby carrots
  • 3/4 lb purple-top turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 lb pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, quartered (leave the core intact)

For the Horseradish Cream Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Add the corned beef to a stockpot, cover with water by about 3 inches and bring it to a rapid simmer. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, then skim off any foam that forms on the top and discard. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf.
  • Cover and continue cooking until the corned beef is fork-tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
  • Add the potatoes to the stockpot and increase the heat to medium-high. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then add the carrots, turnip, and pearl onions.
  • Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, then add the cabbage wedges and continue cooking until the potatoes and vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, slice the corned beef across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices and prepare the horseradish cream sauce.
  • Combine the sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Once the vegetables have cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large serving platter.
  • Reheat the corned beef by returning it to the pot for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly and arrange the slices on the serving platter with the vegetables.
  • Serve with horseradish cream and coarse grain mustard for dipping.
Calories: 611kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 1789mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 17g
Have you made this recipe?Snap a photo and tag @gourmetconnect in your posts. We love to see what you’ve been making!