Ah, St. Patrick’s Day! Is there anyone that doesn’t love this holiday? This year, I’ve decided to retire the green bear and shamrock shaped sunglasses, for a traditional Jigg’s Dinner. For those of you who don’t know, Jiggs’ Dinner – also known as boiled dinner – is a traditional meal that consists of salt beef, various root veggies, pea pudding, and more often than not, some kind of dessert.
In light of my ignorance to the whole affair, and with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to see what it was all about. I mean, “boiled dinner,” how hard could it be? As it turns out, much harder than you might think if you want the real Newfoundland version. In addition, I have a strong aversion to meat that comes in a can, as salt beef does.
Luckily, I found a New England version that requires just one pot and consists of corned beef or plain beef brisket with cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Below you’ll find the very beginner-friendly recipe I intent to follow this St. Paddy’s Day.
1 corned beef brisket with spice packet (3 pounds)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 medium carrots, quartered
1 medium onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 small head green cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
Prepared horseradish or mustard, optional
- Place the brisket and contents of spice packet in a Dutch oven. Add the peppercorns, bay leaves and enough water to cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours or until meat is almost tender.
- Add potatoes, carrots and onion; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cabbage, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Discard bay leaves and peppercorns. Thinly slice meat; serve with vegetables and horseradish or mustard if desired.
Yield: 6 servings.