Jigg’s Dinner. An iconic Newfoundland meal that’s our take on corned beef and cabbage. A link is also included to instructions for making homemade Newfoundland style salt meat!
After asking local expert Lori McCarthy to show us How to make Homemade Salt Beef recently, I decided to again ask Chef Mark McCrowe to lend a helping hand. His assignment of course, was to show us a tutorial on the proper steps for cooking an authentic Jigg’s dinner.
As you can see from his ink, Mark is a very dedicated Jigg’s dinner fan. His Classic Corning-ware tattoo also reminds me of childhood in the kitchen with my mom or Nan.
Like Mark this meal would have been served on practically every Sunday when we were growing up. Mark’s family love dumplings with their’s but in our family a Figgy Duff or a Blueberry Duff would also be an addition to the plate.
A Sunday roast dinner in Newfoundland might well include another protein like chicken or beef. However, I’ve always been taught growing up that a proper Jigg’s dinner has nothing but salt meat as a protein and certainly no gravy!
A ladle of “pot liquor” taken from the boiler the meal was cooking in, is often the only accompaniment. If you have some mustard pickles and a few bottled pickled beets, they are also very often seen served with this outstanding comfort food meal. (Pickle recipes coming soon!)
Jigg’s Dinner by Chef Mark McCrowe. Follow him on Instagram.
This one hits differently for me, growing up as Nannies little boy, we still eat this most Sundays. One could say it is the iconic Newfoundland meal.
And there are so many variations and side dishes that could be added. The text book “jiggs dinner” starts with root vegetables, salt beef and peas pudding all boiled in the same pot, so everything gets married together and seasoned by that lovely salt beef flavour.
It has European influence and dates back to the early 20th century. Being named after a cartoon character from a comic strip called Bringing Up Father.
Jiggs, its main character was an Irish immigrant living in America. And apparently was boiling his dinners with corned beef.
So, No matter what you call it or what goes in it, it’s a dish with heart and takes love and nurturing to make it right. Timing is important, it feeds a crew of people and nobody makes it as good as my Grandmother.
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Jigg's Dinner. An iconic Newfoundland meal that's our take on corned beef and cabbage. A link is also included to instructions for making homemade Newfoundland style salt meat!
- 2 lb salt beef
- 1 green cabbage
- 1 turnip
- 6 carrots
- Water to fill large stock pot
- 6 large potatoes
- 2 c yellow split peas
- 3 tbsp butter
- Cracked black pepper
For the dumplings
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 3/4 c water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
The night Before
Add your split peas to a bowl and cover with cold water, soak overnight on your countertop.
Add your salt beef to a bowl and cover with cool water, then seal the bowl with plastic wrap.
Soak overnight in the fridge then drain and rinse before cooking the next day.
The next day
Transfer your peas to a cloth pudding bag or in 5 layers of cheese-cloth.
Use butcher’s twine to tie the bag/cheesecloth shut.
Add your rinsed, drained salt beef and split peas to a 6-8 L stock pot. Fill water almost to the top and boil on medium heat for 2 hours.
While the pot is simmering, prepare your vegetables. Cut your cabbage into 6-8 wedges.
Next wash and peel your carrots. Peel your turnip and slice into 1 inch thick wedges.
Add cabbage, carrots and turnips to pot with salt beef and split peas. Boil for approx 30 min until almost tender, skimming and impurities that float to the top.
At this point add your potatoes to boiling mixture and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
While potatoes are boiling, start your dumpling batter.
Mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add enough water so dough has a sticky consistency when mixed, about ¾ cups.
Form small dough balls and and steam right on top of the vegetables, cover with a lid for the last 10 minutes of the time it takes to cook the potatoes.
Check your potatoes, if they are tender and your are ready serve.
Remove your split peas and mash with butter and season with black pepper.
Remove your dough balls, add both to a large serving platter.
Using a slotted spoon add all vegetables and meat to same platter, garnish with chopped parsley if you like, give a generous season of black pepper and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving Calories 950Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 165mgSodium 1997mgCarbohydrates 112gFiber 15gSugar 11gProtein 46g
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.