The Perfect Boil Up

A “boil-up” is a very tasty method of cooking, that boils root vegetables such as potatoes, kumara, (sweet potatoe) and pumpkin or marrow (kamo kamo) with greens such as watercress, spinach or cabbage, in a meat stock. Dumplings, also known as “doughboys” usually accompany the meal to soak up the soupy goodness.

In this recipe I have used pork bones. This recipe is equally successful with any variation of the vegetables above and works with most red meat cuts including pickled pork or corned beef. This is probably, best of all, a very cost effective meal for the economical cooks among us. It also serves as a really good way to feed a group of famished individuals or party goers.

The broth itself is a meal and therefore this recipe has become a New Zealand meal of choice following a drinking session.

Try it, when prepared as shown it is sure to satisfy the hungry and the skeptic. For the converted it is sure to rival if not beat how mum used to make it.

Ingredients : for six

1 kg of pork bones (alternatively 1 pork tenderloin or 1kg of corned beef brisket or similar)

2 tablespoons of sea salt

6 potatoes

3 kumara (sweet potato)

6 pumpkin pieces (leave skin on and remove seeds)

2 bunches of watercress or puha (alternatively 1/2 a cabbage, bok choy or silverbeet chopped in large pieces)


One Cup of Flour

1 tsp of Salt

1/4 Cup of Water

How to Prepare:

Place pork bones in a large stock pot and fill with water (fill to one inch above the meat) add the salt. (no salt required if salted meat is used) Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour making sure to check the water level remains above the meat. Once the hour is up ensure fat is removed from the water surface if required, place watercress (needs to be broken into halves) in pot and simmer for a further 20 mins, then add potatoes, pumpkin and kumara. Ensure the root vegetables are cut to approximately the same size to ensure uniform cooking. Keep pot on high and boil for 15mins before adding dough boys and complete cooking for a further 20mins.

Doughboy Preparation:

Sift dry ingredients into bowl add water and mix into a sticky dough mix. Spoon the mixture on top of the root vegetables.

Serve from the pot into large soup bowls with bread and butter. Enjoy…

If cabbage or silverbeet is used instead of watercress or puha, cook the meat for 1hr and 20mins add root vegatables and after 15mins add cabbage etc with the doughboys and complete cooking for a further 20mins.

Leftovers can be reheated later in the pot, reheat but do not bring to the boil, leftovers can also be covered and microwaved to reheat.

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