Friday, May 2, 2008

Jiggs Dinner

Newfoundlanders have traditional food like any culture. The most infamous is the Jiggs Dinner. I found the recipe on a Gros Morne website today (click the title of today's post if you want to take a look). Not that I need a recipe! But! I thought it would be interesting to share. any recipe and any culture every newfie has their own 'variation' on this recipe.
For example, some say a "true" jiggs dinner doesn't have a roast or chicken with it. ONLY the salt beef. The argument being if there's the additional meat then it would be called "Sunday's dinner" because Jiggs dinner is usually cooked on Sunday. Some also argue it's the best hangover food, I think there's even a group on Facebook.
My personal variation usually includes homemade stuffing (which newfies call dressing, or Stove Top if I'm lazy that day), usually some pastry pudding, and sometimes greens cooked in with the veggies/beef for the last couple of minutes. I never make peas pudding but my brother loves the stuff and begs my Grandmother Ball to make it whenever we visit her. I don't soak the beef because I like the salty taste it puts on the vegetables. I also don't use a full head of cabbage and cook it BEFORE all the other veggies instead of after. Again, it's my version :)
Also note that most Jiggs dinners are accompanied with side condiments of bottled beets and mustard pickles.
And now without further ado, the recipe:

Jiggs Dinner
Preparation time: 30 mins
Total time: 3 - 3 1/2 hours
Serves: 4-6
2 pounds corned beef(salt beef) or salt spareribs
1 cup yellow split peas
6 - 8 medium potatoes
6 carrots
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut in chunks
1 medium cabbage, cut in wedges
2 tablespoons butter pepper to taste

Step 1: Soak meat in cold water overnight (6 - 8 hours). Drain meat and place in large pot.
Step 2: Tie peas in cloth bag, leaving room for expansion, and put bag in pot with beef. Cover beef and peas with water. Heat to boiling; cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Step 3: Prepare vegetables. Small carrots and potatoes may be left whole, larger ones cut in half. Slice turnip and cut cabbage into wedges.
Step 4: After meat and peas have cooked for 2 hours add vegetables and cook until tender, adding cabbage last.
Step 5: Remove peas from bag, place in bowl and mash with butter and pepper to form 'peas pudding'. Remove meat and cut into serving-size pieces.
Step 6: Arrange meat and vegetables on platter. Serve the 'peas pudding' in a separate bowl.
The pot stock (liquor) is usually thickened for gravy to accompany the roast (moose, beef, or chicken) that is also served at a true newfoundland scoff.
In fact, I'll be making my own scoff this Sunday. It's been too long since I've had a good 'ol Newfie Jiggs dinner.
Happy Friday & Have a GREAT Weekend!

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