Traditional Irish Boiled Dinner Recipe

Boiled Dinner - Corned Beef & Cabbage
Steve Manson/Getty Images
  • 4 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Ratings (4)

Boiled dinner is a comfort food in most Irish homes. It is a full meal made in a single dish and includes everything you need for a hearty, home-cooked dinner, complete with meat, potatoes, and lots of vegetables.

The meal is made of a hearty beef brisket that is slow-cooked with cabbage, leeks, carrots, potatoes, and turnips. Two bottles of beer are added to give depth and richness to the broth without lending any beer flavor.

It all comes together in no time at all, with most of the effort going into preparing all the fresh veggies. You will, however, have to let this cook for at least 3 1/2 hours, so it's ideal for a wholesome weekend dinner that the whole family will enjoy.

What You'll Need

  • 3 1/2 pound beef brisket
  • 2 (12 oz.) bottles beer (lager)
  • 2 cups water (or enough to cover)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns (black)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons  salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 cups leeks (white parts only, chopped and rinsed)
  • 1 medium onion (yellow, peeled and sliced)
  • 3/4 pound large carrots (cut into large pieces)
  • 3/4 pound potatoes (small, red)
  • 1 pound turnips (peeled and quartered)
  • 2 pounds cabbage (green, cut in sixths, secured with toothpicks)
  • 1 dash salt (to taste)
  • 1 dash black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)

How to Make It

  1. Place an 8- to 10-quart stove-top covered casserole dish (such as a Dutch oven) on the burner. Add the beef, beer, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, and salt.
  2. Heat a separate frying pan and add the butter or olive oil.
  3. Saute the garlic, leeks, and yellow onion for a few minutes and add to the casserole.
  4. Cover the casserole and simmer gently for 3 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. This will normally take about 1 hour per pound of brisket.
  1. In the last 25 minutes of cooking, add the carrots and red potatoes.
  2. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the turnips, cabbage, salt, and pepper.
  3. If the vegetables are not done to your liking, cook them longer, but do not overcook. Remove the toothpicks from the cabbage before serving.

Source: "The Frugal Gourmet On Our Immigrant Ancestors" by Jeff Smith (William Morrow & Co). Reprinted with permission.