The Heart of New England
Corned Beef Harvest Supper with Horseradish Cream
By Brooke Donjny
(From her book, "Dishing Up Maine"

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Along about October, signs start appearing outside church halls and
community centers: "Harvest Supper Tonight.  All Welcome!"  Harvest
suppers, which serve as fund-raisers for organizations of all kinds, celebrate
autumn in Maine and the bounty of the season.  The menus vary.  One might
be turkey and all the trimmings, another a ham bake or spaghetti supper, or,
my favorite, a New England boiled dinner.  Boiled dinner Maine-style is
similar to Irish corned beef and cabbage with the addition f beets and
parsnips, and it's one of these hearty and soul-satisfying meals that are also
celebratory and festive -- perfect for a large informal gathering.  While it's not
necessarily traditional, I like to serve this horseradish-spiked sour cream
sauce, which is a welcome rich and sharp counterpoint to the plain boiled
meat and vegetables.

Horseradish Cream

3/4 cup sour cream, regular or low fat
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grainy mustard

Beef and Vegetables
1 corned beef brisket or round (4-5 pounds)
12 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
12 medium-sized beets (about 2 pounds), trimmed
About 15 small red-skinned potatoes, cut in half if larger
10 large carrots (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3- to 4 inch lengths
6 parsnips (about 1.5 pounds) peeled and cut into 3 inch lengths
1 medium-sized green cabbage, cut into 16 wedges
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 generous servings, with some leftovers

To make the Horseradish Cream, combine the sour cream, horseradish,
scallions, and mustard in a small bowl and refrigerate.  Return to room
temperature before serving.

Place the corned beef in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a
boil.  Skim off the foam that rises to the surface for the first few minutes.  Add
the peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, and mustard seeds.  Reduce the heat to
low and simmer, covered, until the meat is tested with a fork, 2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, cook the beets in a pot of boiling salted water until tender, about
30 minutes.  Drain, and when cool enough to handle, peel. Leave whole if
small and halve or quarter if larger. Set aside in a bowl and reheat in a
microwave before using.

Cook the potatoes in another large pot in boiling salted water to cover for 10
minutes.  Add the carrots and parsnips and cook until all three vegetables
are tender, about 10 minutes longer.  Drain, reheat in a microwave before
serving, if necessary.

About 15 minutes before the beef is done, add the cabbage to the pot and
cook until tender.

Cut the corned beef into thin crosswise slices and arrange on a large platter.  
Surround the beef with the vegetables, dot with butter, and spoon a bit of hot
cooking liquid over, to heat.  Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to
taste.  Pass the horseradish cream at the table.

About the author:

Brooke Donjny, winner of the James Beard Award, is the author of more than
a dozen cookbooks, including The New England Clam Shack Cookbook and
The New England Cookbook.  She lives year-round on the coast of Maine.  
This recipe was taken from her book, "Dishing Up Maine!"
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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