Saturday, January 16, 2010

Newfoundland Traditional Jigg's Dinner

Traditional Jiggs Dinner
Newfoundlands main course and probably the most cooked.
3 or 3 1/2 lbs of salt beef (with fat trimmed), one medium head of cabbage, 5 or 6 carrots, 6 or 8 potatoes, 1 large or 2 medium turnip, (a large bag of turnip greens can replace the cabbage).

Pease Pudding
1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas, pudding bag

Soak the salt meat in cold water overnight (6 to 8 hours).
Throw out the water in the morning. Remove the salt meat and cut about 1/2 cup into small cubes and place to one side. Place the remaining salt meat in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Place the pot with the salt meat on the stove.

Pease Pudding

Place the dried yellow split peas in the pudding bag. Tightly tie the pudding bag (leaving enough space for the peas to expand) and place it in the water with the salt meat.
Cover and let boil for a total of about 2 1/2 hours, adding more water to the pot if necessary.

Next prepare the vegetables. Peel and clean the turnip, carrot and potato. Cut the turnip into 1/2" thick slices. If the carrots and potatoes are large, cut them in half or quarters. Clean and cut the cabbage into quarters or sixths, depending on the size or (if you are using turnip greens, separate and clean the turnip greens.)

Cabbage is the first vegetable to go in the pot, carrot next, then turnip and potatoes, adding more water if necessary. Jiggs Dinner is sometimes referred to as corned beef and cabbage (salt meat and cabbage)

How long you cook the vegetables is a matter of personal taste, so you have to judge when to add them by how long you want them to cook. Some people like them cooked until they are soft and mushy and some like them crunchy. (Although the longer they are boiled, the less nutrition they have.)

Serve with pickled beets and sweet mustard pickles.
Fresh bread and butter.


  1. Jiggs Dinner is a staple here in the Oil Sands of Alberta. I want to say that our Community is made up of probably 80% Newfoundlander's. Every Sunday I create this meal for 100ppl at the Hotel. It has a very high Salt content from the Beef...and all Veg is cooked in the liquid you have boiled the Beef in. I usually make the Pease Pudding by putting the Split Pea's in a pillow case ontop of the Meat as it is cooking. You can also make Doughboy's (Dumplings) after the Veg has cooked..this is how we make it at home.

  2. Hi, I just got here, after buying the plastic pail of global naval beef...then surfing the net to see how to make a meal. Question: I can't see hwere you use the 1/2 cup of beef you cubed and reserved at the starts of the recipe. Or did I miss that somehow. Thanks, Ken, Smithers, BC.

  3. Good Catch. I think I was thinking that was being reserved to make Pea soup the next day with all the left overs.

  4. Hi Ken, I stumbled across your webpage here while searching for Nfld salt beef. I recently ordered salt beef from Coleman's in Nfld (I'm living in BC now). We did throw out the water after soaking the salt beef overnight - in fact, I remember my Mom doing this doing as well. Unfortunately the salt beef was not as salty as I remembered it. I purchased the Old Port VP salt beef in the vacuum pack bag.

    Three questions: did I end up buying the wrong type of salt beef? If yes, which brand do you recommend? And do you know of any reputable stores in BC or Alberta that sells salt beef? I prefer to buy closer to home if possible. If you could provide contact phone number, email, name & address of store, it would be most appreciated. Thank you!

  5. I don't recomend soaking the salt meat. it's been my experience to just boil the meat for two hours and add the veggies> turns out perfect!!!!!!

  6. Here in bc you can buy the chalkers 2kg bucket at save-on foods. It's brought in from newfoundland.

  7. We always had Jiggs Dinner for Sunday. Mom always soaked the meat overnight and boiled the hell out of it the next day. That was 50 years ago and now I'm having the same experience as the commenter above, the meat isn't made as salty anymore. Years ago it was preserved to last longer, especially being shipped around Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, it's easier to obtain and is consumed much faster. That's what they explained to me at Bidgoods store in Goulds, NL. Chalkers, Old Port & Out Best are brands

  8. Stumbled on this, looks so good!
    I normally do a typical Corned Beef with potatoes (mashed or chunked), carrots, and cabbage or brussel sprouts...pretty tame.
    Love the ideas of peas like that, and also turnip. What a satisfying meal !!