A New England Boiled Dinner has deep roots in the New England Culture. It is a time consuming, hearty tradition providing sustenance for a family at the end of harvest. A New England Boiled Dinner is never cooked for just one. Rarely two. The meal almost requires friends, neighbors and family be called with an invitation to dwell around the dining room table for as long as is needed. Filled with solid, earthy vegetables a boiled dinner satisfies the belly as much as it satisfies the soul.
Traditionally, this meal is cooked in one large pot layered with meat, cabbage, turnip, and other veggies…each added in the order it takes to cook. The more dense vegetables go in first, the least dense vegetables go last. Beets are added and onions are included.
If you’re in my family or you want to cheat a little and don’t mind having some extra pots and pans to wash, you cook each veggie separate and add them together just before serving.
Yankee Magazine has a great article for further reading on a New England Boiled Dinner.