New England Boiled Dinner

There are many of variations on this, some with corned beef, turnips, cabbage etc., but this is Dave’s method. Simple and wonderful.

It all depends on the size of the biggest stock pot you can find. (I got my giant stock pot for this.) It is not too far off of being a clam bake. Same routine, just dig a big pit in the sand, fill with seething hot rocks, cover with seaweed, cover with the food, more seaweed and sand.

Use enough of the following ingredients to completely fill the pot to the top:



Sweet onions

Sausage - preferably Portuguese

Corn on the cob

A lot of fresh clams - only steamer clams with feet!

Whole Maine lobsters

Also needed:

Butcher paper

Salted water

Lots of melted Butter

Good french bread

Rig some kind of rack on the bottom of the pan to keep the food above the 2 - 4 inches or so of water. A first layer of seaweed is nice, but maybe not so easy to acquire. Using the butcher paper, wrap the vegetables, clams and sausage individually. Potatoes should be sliced into quarters first. Peel carrots and cut into shorter lengths then wrap a portion. Corn can be whole or broken in half, then wrapped. If the onions are large, cut into quarters first. Make portion size packets of sausage and wrap.

Put the ingredients in the pot on top of the rack, about even with the water line. Load the wrapped portions in the same sequence as listed above. The lobsters go in last, with one package of potatoes on top. Or if you forgot, get another potato. This is the “tester”. The pot should go on a hot fire and cook for about 20 - 25 minutes after reaching the boiling point. The steam should cook everything through and you can check the “tester” to see. If the potato is done, it should all be done.

Serve everyone packets of everything, lots of french bread, little pots of melted butter, and cups of broth from the stock pot. They can add the juice from the clams and lobster to the cup of broth and dip bread and slurp down to the sandy bottom.


Real New Englanders from New Bedford carefully dip the clams into their personal broth cup as they eat each one. Some lobster roe and lobster butter makes its way into the cup. The very last thing is drinking the most powerfully flavored broth in this hemisphere–a heavenly taste that lingers on the tip of your tongue for 20 - 30 years.