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Delicious and Healthy BOIL-UP or POT

I love Boil-ups and have been making them for as long as I have had children. Wild food and foraging turns me on big time. Living in Aotearoa NZ, one of the best wild greens in terms of availablity and being nutrient dense is Puha. It’s packed full of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. You can turn something quite ordinary ie. meat and a few root veg into something quite extraordinary once you add a big bunch of puha. No stock, no herbs, no seasoning, just salt and pepper and you seriously have a meal fit for the gods. Ok, yes there are boil-ups and there are boil-ups. Cabbage is a pretty poor substitute for puha. I don’t ever make one without the puha. I mean that’s why you make it isn’t it. The Puha is the magic ingredient. The only thing you want to keep out of it is all the extra fat on the meat. Brisket boil-up is delicious, sans fat. Yes leave a bit on but not all of it. Some of my whanau who are very partial to a seriously fatty boil-up will still agree that my version is just as good and maybe even a little better. Just saying. The simpler it is the better it tastes. The one I have made tonight has ox-tail, puha, carrot, potato, kumara and garlic cloves. That’s it. I reckon the best meats for boil-up are brisket, ox-tail and beef shin on the bone. It’s not so traditional to consume the liquid of the boil-up but the way I see it, that’s where much of the flavour is.This is how I made it today. First I gathered my puha. I have three types growing on my property. For more details read the full post.

This is the indigenous puha Sonchus Kirkii. Prickly sow thistle. Rauroroa.


Seedlings of Introduced puha Sonchus arvensis; Perennial sow thistle.

Introduced Puha Sonchus asper; Prickly sow thistle. Rauroroa.

Gather as much puha as you can find. A good shopping bag full. I like to look after the plants so I just pick the large leaves leaving the stems, flowers and smaller leaves so the plants will continue to grow and set seed.

I placed the puha into the sink with cold water and rinsed well. Rub the leaves vigorously between your hands. Then rinse the puha again with cold running water. This will get rid of any bitterness. Put the puha aside whilst prepar the meat and other vegetables.

Next I placed the meat in a large pot with a little olive oil and browned it off for a few minutes. You don’t have to do this and certainly it is not done in a traditional boil-up. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. It depends on the meat you choose to use. You wouldn’t do this to pork bones or brisket.

I washed the potatoes, carrots and kumara and chopped them into large chunks, then peeled the garlic cloves and added them all to the pot with the meat.

I covered the meat and vegetables with water and then added the puha. Next seasoned the mix with a little salt and pepper. You can add more later to suit your taste when everything is cooked.

Cook on a good simmer for an hour or more. For me it’s ready when the meat is very tender. I gently cooked this one for about 2 hours. I skimmed most of the fat off the top before dishing up. This is such nutritious and easy digested first food for little ones. 🙂


11 thoughts on “Delicious and Healthy BOIL-UP or POT

  1. that looks great, best boilup recipe ive seen online, nothing like mine tho, i love watercress, tho im eating a puha, onionweed and cabbage boilup right now, the rest is a hunk of boiling bacon and taters, its not fatty, tho i like it when it is.
    to the other commenters, ive made vegan boilup by simply replacing meat with broccoli, you basicaly need to use watercress to give a full flavour, if you going to use puha id recommend adding something like oil

  2. Oh I crave for puha but can’t find any where I live so I will settle for silverbeet or spinach. I love this recipe and will try it tomorrow night when whanau come to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dough boys, 1 cup of flour, 1 t spoon of baking powder and salt. Mixed up with half hot water and milk. Throw em on top for 10 mins, now its complete!

  4. My favourite New Zealand dish,I usually put the greens in just before it is done to retain the colour and nutrients.

  5. other greens to use: dandelion (not while flowering though), silverbeet, kamokamo plant ends (from the first bunch of leaves to the curly end bit). they can be put in together if you only have a small amount of each.

  6. Kia ora Trisha, love your blog, it’s informative and your photo’s are beautiful and bright. I am doing a trial for my Hort Diploma on Puha and was interested in what you had to offer in your blog. And if kei te pai with you I would love to reference some of your info and/or pics. Keep up the great work Arohanui

  7. I’m sure this is tasty unfortunately I can still see fat glistening. It would help using meat that has no fat on and to make it more palatable try putting your thistle (puha) in 10 mins before serving. just bring the pot to the boil before adding it. try cooking your veges seperately 20 minutes before serving, this will help them remain firm and tasty, also avoiding cooking them in fat. hope you try this.

  8. thanks for sharing, am from China, have been NZ for over 1 year. i love this boil up~ gonna cook it up tmr.. Ka pai!

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