Grandma Emily's Cornish Boil

Preparation Time:

20 mins

Cooking Time:

5 hours long and slow



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This delicious recipe has been passed down by generations. It is simple, frugal and wholesome. I cannot recommend this strongly enough!


1 kg of shin of beef

2 large (outer) savoy cabbage leafs and half of the rest of the cabbage

2 large carrots

2 parsnips

half a medium swede

2 turnips

250 gram self raising flour

100 gram suet

2 medium potatoes

salt and pepper to taste


Place the shin into a casserole dish and cover with cold water and add half a teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer put lid on pot. Simmer for 4 hours, checking regularly to see that the shin is covered by the water, if it drops just top up with water and replace the lid.

After 4 hours the shin should have taken on a soft texture. Peel all the veg less the potato and cabbage and cut into good size chunks 2"/4-5cm. Now add these to the pot and check seasoning then allow to simmer for another 40 mins with the lid on. While this is simmering make the suet dumpling. Peel the potatoes and roughly chop into the flour which needs to be in a large bowl, once the roughly chopped pieces of potato are in the flour use a blade of some kind to chop them into smaller and smaller pieces until they are mixed totally in the flour. (this is a bit fiddly). Add a good dash of salt to the mixture. Now add the suet and continue to mix until it takes on an almost breadcrumb consistency. Add just enough cold water to allow it to start to bind together, once the texture is more like a wet dough and you can roll it into a ball gently place it in a large savoy cabbage leaf. Cut another leaf from the outside of the cabbage and place on top of the dumpling so the dumpling is completely wrapped in cabbage leaf. Cut half of the remaining cabbage into good size chunks and add to the pot, check seasoning. Gently place the dumpling in the pot so it is nestled on top of the large chunks. The idea being we want the dumpling to sit above the meat and veg below and steam. This will take 40-50 mins.

When cooked, lift it out of the pot gently still wrapped in the leafs and place in a bowl to one side. Ladle the meat and veg into 4 bowls and then peel back the cabbage leafs and spoon or slice the dumpling and place on top of the meat and veg. Finally, ladle some of the broth over each portion and serve while hot.

The left over dumpling can be sliced when cool and are great fried next day with breakfast. The leftover broth is wonderful as a soup for lunch. Nothing wasted!!