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Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner

Introduction & method

A true Jigg's Dinner is just boiled beef and cabbage, maybe with boiled potatoes and gravy. But the Newfoundland version has expanded to include pease pudding, 3-4 root vegetables, a turkey or chicken, stuffing, and for dessert, figgy duff (a boiled raisin pudding). If you didn't spend your childhood growing up in North America in the 20th Century, you might not be aware of a syndicated cartoon strip called 'Bringing Up Father'. The main character of this is Jiggs, an Irish immigrant who wins $1 million and can't adjust to his new life. All he wants is to hang out with his mates and eat boiled beef and cabbage.

Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner Recipe

Cook the Meat and Pease Pudding

Soak the split peas and the salt beef (separately) in water overnight. Add the beef, pig's trotter and finely diced onion, carrot and celery to a large pot. Cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, put a lid on and simmer for 5 hours. Drain the soaked split peas and tip them out in the centre of a piece of muslin (cheesecloth). Tie the opposing corners of the cloth together. Place the pea-bag into the meat pot. Arrange the tied cloth loops over the pot handles. Add water to the pot so that the peas are all covered. Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer. The peas will need 1-2 hours to go really tender and start turning to mush. Once the peas are tender, tip them out into a bowl, add a generous knob of butter and mash them to a smooth puree. Taste and add salt if necessary.

The Vegetables

Peel and chop the potatoes, carrots and turnip. They need to be in bite-size chunks. Shred the cabbage. About 30 minutes before the meat is due to finish cooking, add the veg to the meat pot - top up with water if needed. Peel and chop the parsnips and add them to the pot about 10 minutes before the end - they really don't take much cooking.

The Chicken and the Stuffing

To make the stuffing, slice and dice a medium onion and sauté it gently in butter for about 5 minutes until it's soft but not browned. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add salt and thyme or savoury to the breadcrumbs, stir in the cooled onion. In stages, add enough boiling water to bring the stuffing together as a stiff paste. Melt a knob of butter into the stuffing. Place the mixture into a loaf tin, or muffin tins, or just form it into balls.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan oven, 200°C (392°F) for a conventional one, gas 6. Generously dab butter over the outside of the chicken and season with coarse salt and black pepper. Slice a medium onion, a carrot or two and a couple of sticks of celery, and lay them in a single layer in the bottom of a roasting tray. Place the chicken on top and put the tray in the oven. Pour about a centimetre of boiling water in the bottom of the tray. Roast the chicken for 1 hour 15 minutes, maybe turning it round halfway through to get more even browning. The stuffing needs to go in the oven for about 30 minutes, so put it in towards the end of the cooking time. When cooked, the internal temperature of the chicken breast should be 65°C (149°F), and the legs 75°C (167°F). Remove the chicken to a warmed plate and tent it loosely in foil to rest for 15 minutes or so.


The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams salt beef or corned beef
 1 pig's trotter
 250 grams mirepoix(finely chopped onion, carrot, celery)
 lots and lots of water
 250 grams yellow split peas
 50 grams butter
 4 medium potatoes
 4 medium carrots
 4 medium parsnips
 1 turnip
 150 grams cabbage
 125 grams coarse breadcrumbs
 1 tsp dried savoury or thyme
 1 medium onion
 1 tsp butter
 boiling water as needed
 1.5 kilos chicken
 25 grams butter


Salt and pepper as needed.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 6 
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Soaking time: 12 hours.
Cooking time: 5 hours.
Total time: 5 hours 30 minutes.