Boil up

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Boil Up Recipe

Easy as traditional Maori boil up NZ style, with dumplings and lashings of both root and leafy vegetables.

What is a Boil Up?

NZ Boil Up is a traditional method of cooking used by the Maori in New Zealand.
Starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, potatoes, cabbage leaves, are boiled together with pork bones, spinach/watercress.

Dumplings, also known as “doughboys”, usually accompany the boil up to soak up the soupy goodness of what some do call pork bones soup.

This classic NZ boil up is easy to make, delicious to eat, and is sure to please even the fussiest eaters.
You can whip up on a Sunday and let the stockpot or slow cooker do all the hard work!

Try this delicious and easy-to-make One Pot Meal and create a hearty and warming meal that is healthy as well.

It’s also one of those that you can make the day ahead because it’s even better the second or third day.

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Yield: Yield: 6 Serves

Boil Up Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

This Boil up recipe is an easy-to-make, one-pot meal that is great for a casual family dinner or to share with friends. A hearty, healthy & warming meal.
You need to try this delicious and easy-to-make One Pot Meal today.

This creates a hearty and warming meal that is healthy as well.


NZ Boil up

  • 1kg meaty pork bones
  • 1 bacon hock
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large kumara
  • ½ pumpkin
  • 4 cabbage leaves
  • 1 large bunch watercress
  • ½ tsp salt

Boil Up Doughboys

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water


NZ Boil up;

  1. Peel and dice potatoes, pumpkin and kumara into 2cm cubes.
  2. Wash and roughly chop the watercress and cabbage.
  3. Slice onion and place with pork bones and hock in a large stockpot.
  4. Pour in just enough water to cover bones and hock, season with salt and then gently simmer for 1½ hours.
  5. Skim off any fat from top and remove bones, scraping off any remaining meat off the bones back in to the pot.
  6. Peel the hock, chop the meat then add it in.
  7. Add all vegies to pot and simmer a further 20 minutes.

Boil Up Doughboys;

  1. Lightly season the flour with salt.
  2. Gradually add water to form a dough.
  3. Break off small bits of dough and form 2-3cm balls.

Finish it off;

  1. Place doughboys on top of boil-up, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Don't lift lid while cooking. Larger doughboys will take a bit longer.


When shopping, try to get the freshest and best quality produce and ingredients you can.

This pork bones soup is one of those dishes that seem to taste even better on the second or third cook.

Boil up in slow cooker

Of course you can cook your boil up in a slow cooker.
Follow the first 4 steps as per the recipe above, but use your slow cooker instead of the stockpot, you will need to cook gently for 2-3 hours instead of simmering.

Follow steps 5, 6 and 7 but cook on for a further 1-2 hours.

Boil Up serving Suggestions

  • Serve your boil up in soup bowls with buttered bread on the side.
  • Serve your hot boil up in large bowls with dollops of butter placed on top. Let the butter melt through and enjoy.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.
  • Goes great on a bed of steamed rice.
  • Serve Cheese scones on the side instead of doughboys.

Boil up ingredient Substitutions

For the ingredients, they are easily found at your local fruit and vegie market and butcher.
If you are having a hard time finding particular ingredients, then here are some substitution ideas.

  • Kumara;
    Kumara is simply the Maori word for (Purple)sweet potato. You can replace with any root vegetable you like.
  • Pork bones;
    Pork chops or Pork ribs, such as spareribs are a good substitute for this recipe.
    You can substitute with most kinds of meaty bones including beef, lamb, mutton or goat.
  • Bacon hock;
    Smokey bacon can be a substitute for bacon hock this recipe.
  • Watercress;
    Substitutes for Watercress could be Spinach, Silverbeet, Kale or Nasturtium Leaves.

For a healthier Maori Boil Up

This recipe is already healthy but you can always;

  1. Lower Sodium
    Eliminate salt from boil up ingredients
  2. Add more vegetables such as sliced carrots.

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per ServingCalories 621Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 149mgSodium 689mgCarbohydrates 48gFibre 5gSugar 5gProtein 51g

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