Recipe: To Boil Corned Beef

The aitch-bone and the brisket are considered the best pieces for boiling. If you buy them in the market already corned, they will be fit to put over the fire without a previous soaking in water. If you corn them in the brine in which you keep your BEEF through the winter, they must be soaked in cold water over night. Put the BEEF into a pot, cover with sufficient cold water, place over a brisk fire, let it come to a boil in half an hour; just before boiling remove all the scum from the pot, place the pot on the back of the fire, let it boil very slowly until quite tender.

A piece weighing eight pounds requires two and a half hours’ boiling. If you do not wish to eat it hot, let it remain in the pot after you take it from the fire until nearly cold, then lay it in a colander to drain, lay a cloth over it to retain its fresh appearance; serve with horse-radish and pickles.

If vegetables are to accompany this, making it the old-fashioned “boiled dinner,” about three-quarters of an hour before dishing up skim the liquor free from fat and turn part of it out into another kettle, into which put a cabbage carefully prepared, cutting it into four quarters; also half a dozen peeled medium-sized white turnips, cut [Pg 119]into halves; scrape four carrots and four parsnips each cut into four pieces. Into the kettle with the meat, about half an hour before serving, pour on more water from the boiling tea-kettle, and into this put peeled medium-sized potatoes. This dinner should also be accompanied by boiled beets, sliced hot, cooked separate from the rest, with vinegar over them. Cooking the cabbage separately from the meat prevents the meat from having the flavor of cabbage when cold. The carrots, parsnips and turnips will boil in about an hour. A piece of salt PORK was usually boiled with a “New England boiled dinner.”

The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)