This recipe is for an easy Boiled Dinner that is not like most Irish or New England Boiled Dinners. The recipe shows you how to make a Boiled Dinner without the sauerkraut or cabbage; those seem to turn a lot of people off. I think this is a good recipe for the tyro cook to learn and add to their repertoire.
The recipe in itself has an interesting history. We have had Boiled Dinner fairly often in the past. One day, after she left home for college, daughter Jenn called and wanted to know how to make Boiled Dinner. It was then that I discovered there was no recipe in Marlys’s Recipe Binder. Marlys gave Jenn instructions, and then Jenn wrote up this recipe for me to include in the Recipe Binders. This is the recipe as Jenn gave it to me, but I will comment about it and add my take on preparing it below.
- potatoes, chopped in half or quarters
- carrots, cut on an angle so pieces are around 2 inches
- onion, whole pearl onions or one medium onion quartered
- sausage- like kielbasa
Bring a large pot with about 2 inches of water to a boil. Add potatoes, carrots and onion to boiling water. Bring back to simmer and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add meat and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
An important factor in this meal is that you don’t need to worry about seasoning the food as you cook it. Instead, put a few condiments on the table and let each individual season their own meal. Now I like mild, creamy horseradish with my meat, and I like butter to melt over my potatoes and vegetables. Others might like mustard, or even catsup for the meat, and maybe sour cream for the potato. Just put the condiments on the table and let people do what they like.
This recipe can be made with almost any kind of encased meat- even hot dogs. We happen to like it with the kielbasa sausage. The kielbasa usually come at a weight of just under 1 pound; when Marlys and I got the sausage home, we would immediately cut it in half and freeze it as two meals- about 4 ounces per person per meal.
How much of each ingredient do you need? In general, I would use 3-5 ounces of each ingredient per person that will be eating dinner. Thus, cutting the kielbasa in half for two people allows about 3.5 ounces per person. I used 5 ounces of carrots, 4.5 ounces of new potato (red and Yukon Gold), and 3 ounces of onion per person in this demonstration. I had part of a yellow onion in the refrigerator and so used it instead of pearl onions.
While the recipe does not include green beans, I added 3 ounces per person because they are colorful, and I had them in the freezer. Being frozen, they only need to cook a couple minutes. I think the green beans work best if you cut them in half so they aren’t too long.
While Jenn’s recipe cooks everything at a simmer, I am the type that uses a heavy boil. Then, with things cut into bite-size pieces, it all cooks in about 15 minutes. So, I put everything except the green beans in the pot and boiled it hard for 15 minutes. I used a wok spider to take it all out of the boiling water and place it on the platter. I tented it with foil to keep it warm since I still had the beans to cook. I put the green beans in the boiling water, and as soon as it was boiling again, turned off the burner and let the beans sit in the hot water for 2 minutes. Now they were ready to come out and go onto the platter with everything else. That extra step might be enough to make you want to forget the beans.
If you don’t have a wok spider, you can use a colander in the sink and dump the pot of meat and vegetables into the colander to drain.
I hope you find this recipe easy to prepare and serve, and you enjoy it.