This recipe is very flexible and hard to mess up. Vary the vegetables based on your taste and the number of people you are serving. On the issue of saltiness, I have seen recipes that recommend rinsing the beef before cooking to remove some of the saltiness and some that recommend replacing the boiling liquid with fresh water before cooking the vegetables to remove even more saltiness. Then there are some that recommend adding additional salt when cooking the vegetables. Personally, I think the salty cooking water gives the vegetables their wonderful flavor and I do not find that it is necessary to add or remove salt.
And finally, do not hesitate to cook extra corned beef. Leftovers make wonderful corned beef hash or Reuben sandwiches.
New England Boiled Dinner
one corned beef brisket, about 4 pounds
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, whole
6 carrots, quartered
1 small turnip or parsnip (optional)
4 medium onions, whole
6 medium potatoes, quartered and unpeeled
1 head of cabbage, cut into wedges
Place corned beef in a large dutch oven and cover with water. Add the peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic. Cover the pot and simmer over very low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
Turn up the heat to medium low. Add the carrots, onions and potatoes. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.