Chefs and co-owners Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of the acclaimed Arrows and MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine, and Summer Winter in Burlington, Mass., consider their classic boiled beef dinner to be New England home cooking at its best. Their easy, crowd-pleasing Boiled Dinner, Our Way, is a simple, comforting combination of thinly sliced corned brisket of beef, slightly sweet roasted root vegetables, and classic green cabbage.
They write, "If boiled dinner is practically a religious experience in New England, we confess to one sacrilege: We prefer to roast the vegetables separately, which makes them richer and less watery. The exception is the cabbage, which takes on a pleasant, meaty taste when cooked with the brisket."
*Note: Do not remove the core or the cabbage will fall apart when cooking.
Rinse the brisket under cold running water. Put the brisket in a large pot along with the bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seed, and celery seed. Add enough cold water to cover the meat by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes per pound of meat, 2-2 ½ hours.
After the brisket has been cooking for 1 ½ hours, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Toss the potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, and turnips in a large roasting pan with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and top with the thyme and rosemary sprigs.
Bake uncovered, turning the vegetables with a large spoon every 15 minutes, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 45 minutes.
Once the brisket is tender after about 2 hours, add the cabbage to the pot and cook until it is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and transfer the cabbage to a warm large serving platter.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and slice thinly across the grain, arranging the slices in the center of the platter. Arrange the roasted root vegetables around the brisket and cabbage. Serve at once with mustard.