To make a classic New England boiled dinner, boil 2 1/2 pounds of corned beef brisket in a large pot with a seasoning bag that contains 3 tablespoons of pickling spices, 5 black peppercorns and 3 bay leaves. Remove the spice bag, and cut 3 carrots, 2 potatoes, 2 parsnips and 2 turnips into large pieces. Quarter a head of cabbage and an onion. Add the vegetables to the meat, and cook for 30 minutes.
To make a boiled ham dinner, place an 8- to 10-pound ham in a large pot, fill the pot with water, and bring the water to a boil. Drain the water, and refill the pot with cold water. Bring the ham to a boil with 3 peeled, whole onions, and boil for 30 minutes per pound of ham.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add 1 to 2 heads of cabbage cut into wedges, 8 peeled and halved potatoes, and 1 pound of carrots cut into large pieces. Serve when the vegetables are tender.
Alternately, boil 2 1/2 pounds of smoked pork shoulder for one hour, and cut 1 pound of carrots, 2 onions, 1 cabbage and 1 turnip into quarters. Peel and halve 8 red potatoes and 1 rutabaga, and add the vegetables to the pork. Simmer for one hour or until the vegetables are tender.