My Grandmothers’ Stew (AKA Boiled Dinner)

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When I was a kid, my Mom worked and my grandmother babysat us.  So most of my meals were created by her.  They were meals that she had been making for years and years.  Recipes that were used to  feed her kids, then to us…and now, to my kids.  One of my most favorite of her creations was Stew.  Or, at least that’s what she called it.  I’ve come to learn that what she called stew is actually called ‘boiled dinner’  (apparently it’s an eastcoat thing to call it stew).  Stew in it’s true definition has a gravy base.  Her’s does not.

Though my grandmother has been gone for over 6 years now, I still enjoy her stew as soon as the weather starts to turn cold.  I loved it so much that I made a point to watch her intently so I could make it just like her.

Nan’s Stew

1 large package of stew beef (she used some with bone in and some without – I just use boneless)

2 large onions coursly chopped

1 tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil, whatever you like)

5 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 lbs of carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 lbs of parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 large tunip, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 large cabbage, cut into eighths

In a very large stewing pot, heat vegetable oil, add beef and onions.  Sear beef until brown on the outside and onions have carmelized.  Fill pot 3/4 full with water.  Boil for 1 -2  hours, replacing water as needed to make a nice broth.  Add salt, pepper and a bay leaf or two.

Add vegetables in the following order:

Carrots & Parsnips (let cook for 20 minutes)

Turnip (let cook for 20 minutes)

Potatos (let cook for 20 minutes)

Cabbage (let cook until tender, around 15 – 20 minutes)

Once all the vegetables are tender and cooked the stew is complete and can be served any time.  Remember, the longer it all sits in the pot together, the better it will taste.

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  1. I just made “boiled dinner” yesterday! I also grew up calling it stew until I met my husband and his family referred to it as boiled dinner.
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  2. Whatever it is it sounds yummy. I’ll have to try this!
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  3. I am making this as I speak, smells great, wish I knew what you
    meant by “the longer it stays in the pot, the better”. Do you mean cooking or the cooling off period?

    • I just mean The longer it simmers in the pot. The flavors plend together. I always liked it best the next day :)

  4. Or as the French would call it: Pot au Feu, one of the most famous bistro dishes ever invented!

    • Really? Wow, now that I didn’t know. It is my absolute favorite thing to eat/make/cook. So easy, So healthy, soooo yummmmy.

  5. We called it Boiled Dinner in the Valley… but my dad is a foreigner (from BC, LOL).

  6. i love boiled dinner

  7. Darlene W says:

    My grandmothers stew was a favourite when I was growing up

  8. Thats a nice and healthy dinner!

  9. Judy C (Judy Cowan) says:

    Sounds like a meal that my Mom used to make, I haven’t had it in years. Thanks for reminding me about it, I must make it one of these days.

  10. I would love this Boiled Dinner in the cold Winter months!

  11. Amy Lovell says:

    Sounds delicious! Thanks!

  12. Darlene Schuller says:

    My mom makes something similar called newfie dinner. Calls for salt beef, she boils potatoes/cabbage/brussel sprouds/carrots/turnips with the beef all in one pot.. omg its the most amazing tasting stuff ever!

  13. JaimeeM says:

    Saving this for when fall and winter hits. I bet this would be awesome for those colder months.

  14. The time is getting very close for this dish. Thank You. I have to try this. Sound so good.

  15. Nancy J Montgomery says:

    This takes me back. Thanks!

  16. kathy downey says:

    Boiled Dinner in this cold Winter day would be awesome

  17. I haven’t had a boiled dinner in years – wow I have forgotten about it, and do I love it!!! I need to make this soon!!! It sounds delish!

  18. Philip Walker says:

    I grew up on boiled dinner being from the Maritimes with fresh garden vegetables ( the best ) and of course always better the next day especially when you have the mustard pickles and chow to go with it, a meal fit for a king and queen.


  1. […] list of recipes that I pull out in the fall. Many are the vary same meals that I grew up eating. Beef stew or Boiled Dinner, Hamburg and gravy with lots of root veggies. But my very favourite meal is My Grandmothers […]

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