New England Boiled Dinner

So I have been interested in Chef Walter Staib’s television show A Taste of History for almost one year.  I was watching it when I was so ill I couldn’t work, and it helped me survive that time.  I have been jotting down some recipes I have wanted to try, and this was one of them.  I waited until now when we have ample meat to use.  I received A Taste of History Cookbook for Christmas, and the recipe is in it as well as on the PBS site.  I rewatched the John Adams episode where he makes this over a hearth in preparation for my making this meal.  Here he is having prepared this dish.

The recipe he does in the show is somewhat different from the recipes in the book and at  I took notes of how he did it in the show and merged the two for my cooking.


I did make some substitutions given that there are only two of us.  I used two pork steaks instead of the 5# pork shoulder, and I used small venison leg roast instead of a 4# beef brisket.  I used leek greens, whole small red onions, small carrots with roots and stems, and celery leaves in the water for boiling the venison and pork.  Here it is:

While this was simmering for 1.5 hours I started to prepare the vegetables.  I was able to use some of our onions, carrots, parsnips, leeks and beets for the recipe.  So this is a farm meal since I used our pork and chicken as well as Tom’s venison.  I didi have to buy quite a few vegetables too, however.

Then I got the chicken going.  There was not enough room in my first pot to put the chicken in so I started another pot with some of our thyme, parsley, onion, and carrots.

I further prepared the vegetables while the two pots were simmering.  Unfortunately, I figured out too late that I had more or less halved the amount of meats in the recipe but hadn’t halved the amount of vegetables.  Oh well.

I also prepared the grated beet and horseradish root.

Once the chicken was done, I pulled it, the pork and the venison out of the pots.  I put them on plates in the oven to keep them warm.  I strained the stock and put it back in the rinsed pots.  I added the vegetables to the stock to boil them.

Tom is not a fan of Brussel sprouts, rutabagas nor beets so I decided to make it easier and boil those vegetables in the second pot.

I them assembled the vegetables on a platter with the ones Tom doesn’t like on the left.

Tom carved the meats.  They really didn’t need carving as they were quite soft.  The meat went on top of the vegetables.  The pork is on the left, the dark and white chicken meat in the center and the venison roast is on the right.  The grated beet and horseradish root is in the serving bowl.

And here it is on my plate.

I thought it was really good and was quite filling. And the grated beet and horseradish was not that spicy.   I probably will not do this again as it is a lot of work.  Tom pointed out that it tastes a lot like a pot roast (which is  a lot easier).  But it was fun to do once.  Now I need to figure out what to do with all the leftovers.

This entry was posted in Historic recipes, Recipes- farm. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New England Boiled Dinner

  1. Jeanne says:

    Well, did you come up with something to do with the leftovers? It seemed as if there would be a lot of them! It looked very good, though not something i would make. You did a good job!

    • Donna says:

      I have had leftovers once yesterday and again tomorrow. There are four more servings in the freezer. There still is leftover broth I will freeze as well. That was a lot of food.

Leave a Reply