Delivered boiled dinner

Tim Colby asks:

Does anyone know where I can get a great boiled dinner delivered in Boston?




Best Boiled Dinner

I ever had was last Wed. pm at the Tinker's Son in Norwell. I doubt there could be any such thing as a "delivered" boiled dinner, though. Unless we're talking about five minutes, by the time it arrived it would be a soggy mess and the cabbage would be overcooked.

Boiled dinner: a disappearing old-timey dish

The sorts of places you might expect to serve it, like Durgin-Park, don't anymore; Durgin has gone sadly downhill since it was bought by chain Ark Restaurants, which owns historical tourist traps all over the US. The still-good Doyle's Cafe in JP still serves it occasionally as a weeknight special. Haven't been back there on a weeknight in a long time. You might find it at the kind of small diner that has been around for 90 years, the sort of place that still serves pot roast, liver & onions, and franks & beans. The Busy Bee in Brookline is an example; they do boiled dinner on Thursdays (or used to).

Many faux-Irish pubs around town will do corned beef and cabbage on a regular basis. This is similar, but not boiled dinner, which generally has more broth (sometimes served on the side) and a bigger variety of root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips, parsnips, sometimes beets) in addition to cabbage. Predictably, the awful Tommy Doyle's screws it up by serving it with mashed potatoes. I've had a better version at JJ Foley's Cafe in the South End, but I haven't seen it on their menu recently. It is, of course, traditional for St. Paddy's Day around here, though it would be more so served instead with smoked shoulder (picnic ham). But I haven't smoked shoulder on local menus since The Quiet Man and Terrie's Place in Southie closed.

(Historical side note: the version of this dish traditionally served in Ireland included not beef, which only the British gentry could afford, but Irish bacon, what we would call Canadian bacon. Ironically, corned beef and cabbage, a Yankee invention, has now made its way to pubs in Ireland serving the American tourist trade, much the way California rolls, another American invention, can now be found in Japanese sushi restaurants.)

So, the trick is first finding a place that serves boiled dinner regularly, then figuring out how to get it delivered. Many of the kinds of places that might have it don't deliver; online services like Foodler may help there. Good luck!


Nice summary, Slim. It's a

Nice summary, Slim. It's a shame that boiled dinner (or C.B. & C.) has apparently become the solid-food equivalent of green beer, i.e., something you get once a year on St. Paddy's Day for the novelty, rather than (when prepared well) a delicious staple of New England winters. Now that I've moved south, I've invited a couple of my coworkers over to experience "New England soul food" and will be curing my own corned beef using Penzey's blend of seasonings and (modified) Alton Brown's recipe.

With the passing of the old

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With the passing of the old folks, a lot is lost, the simple things, like a good boiled diner or a leg of lamb on Sunday. I remember picking out a roast for the brine and next week's corned beef. Simple food but good , and served with the sweetest sound of all , the brogue. And dont forget the PEI spuds !

Sounds like you are spot on!

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Sounds like you are spot on!
Here is what I found on menupages

Andy's Diner
2030 Massachusetts Ave (Btwn Creighton & Regent St)
(617) 497-1444.
Thursday Lunch Special. A Classic " New England Boiled Dinner" corned beef, potato, carrots, turnip, cabbage & beets.
And looks like they serve "Franks & Beans served with brown bread"

Bob Barnet. Does microwaving food remove its nutritional value?

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By Bob Barnett
Does microwaving food remove its nutritional value?

Even in Straitened Times, Portugal Loves Its Bimby Cooking Robots
German-Made Appliance Promises to Make Cooking Cheap and Easy

It Depends...

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I think the two articles you referenced are fairly accurate; it very much depends on the particular food and its featured nutrients. Although they can be handy for reheating leftovers, most foods just aren't as tasty when cooked in the microwave. If you're making them as an individual side dish, many vegetables are best cooked by steaming. Boiling vegetables leaches out lots of their nutrients, and especially their flavor. Many people who claim they dislike vegetables are probably basing that on experiences of vegetables that were boiled to death!

Boiled dinner can be an exception if done correctly. Potatoes and cabbage can pick up the flavor of the meat (corned beef or ham) they're cooked with, but since the meat takes longer to cook, you need to add the vegetables later so they're not overdone. Still, because you typically don't drink the cooking broth, some nutrients are going to be washed away.

Cast iron is superior to other cookware; it's wonderful for sautéing, roasting, baking, or broiling vegetables and all kinds of food. For just a few dollars you can find absolutely fabulous pieces of cast iron in many shapes and sizes; Saturdays and Sundays at the Lynnflea market on the Lynnway in Lynn.

Of course, I'm assuming you're starting with fresh ingredients. If you're using processed foods, cook them however you please; the manufacturer has already done a thorough job of nutrient removal for you.