Māori Boilup New Zealand Style

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Māori Boilup, New Zealand Style, is another creation of the Polynesians who first migrated to and populated New Zealand. You can use almost any kind of meat you like. Typical veggies are kumara (sweet potato), watercress, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. But here again, you can vary the ingredients and still create a real, authentic, and tasty New Zealand Māori Boilup.

Māori Boilup New Zealand Style

(Photo Attributed to Author: Matyas Havel)

Traditionally this meal is cooked in the hāngi. The hāngi is a kind of earth-oven, with heated rocks in a pit cooking the foods, wrapped in leaves and covered with soil. This was and still is a favored way of preparing food by the Polynesians who became the first “indigenous” natives of the majestic island of New Zealand. This New Zealand Māori Boil Up recipe can be made in a regular modern kitchen, however. For a post on how to build and cook with a traditional hāngi, click here.

Māori Boilup New Zealand Style Recipe-


(serves 4)

For the Meat and Vegetables-
  • 2 lb. meat – pork, beef, goat, lamb, chicken, whatever – chopped into large bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into large bite-sized chunks
  • 1/2 lb. Kumara (also called boniato, a tropical sweet potato)
  • 1/2 lb. cabbage, chopped into large bite-sized chunks
For the Doughboys-

(makes 10-12 doughboys)

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp. baking powder
  • salt, to taste
  • large cabbage leaves, for wrapping
  • water and milk combined half and half, as needed
To Make the Doughboys-
  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add and stir in the baking powder, mix together well.
  3. Combine water and milk, half and half, in another bowl, then pour and stir the mixture into the flour, stirring constantly. Add just enough liquid to create a doughy texture. These doughboys do not require much kneading, so just make your dough by combining the liquid with the flour.
  4. Roll the dough up into rounds about the size of a golf ball, and place them on top of the cabbage leaves.
  5. Roll the cabbage leaves up and around the dough balls tightly, then keep set aside for now. You will not drop them into the boil-up until about the last 10 or 12 minutes of overall cooking time.
To Make the Main Boil Up-
  1. Place your meat in an appropriately large sized cooking pot, add enough water the meat, plus a depth of 1-1/2″ to 2″.
  2. Bring the water to a vigorous, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to just a lively and simmer. Gently cook for about 35-45 minutes. Never allow the water to boil – a slow simmer cook will produce the most tender meat.
  3. Now and the kumara, carrots, and potatoes into the pot. Add water as needed to cover all the ingredients, and adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer.
  4. About 15 minutes after harder veggies have been cooking, add in the chopped cabbage chunks. Again adjust water levels, and keep the heat at a lively simmer, but not boiling.
  5. Wait another 12-15 minutes, and then check the water level. You want the water to be at a depth that will cover the doughboys when you drop them in. Adjust if levels if necessary, keep the heat at a simmer, and then add the doughboys into the pot.
  6. Place the lid on and raise the heat to just a mild boil; cook for 15 minutes. To see if your dish is ready, slice open a doughboy – when they are cooked through, your Māori Boilup is ready to serve.

Note: This recipe is taken from our New Zealand Cuisine page.

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