Corned Beef and Cabbage
Updated Feb 27, 2023
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Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day the right way – with corned beef and cabbage! Slices of juicy, seasoned brisket are served with creamy horseradish sauce, and plated with classic hearty veggies that will make you feel right at home.
Yes, corned beef and cabbage is for the St. Patrick’s Day aficionados. But really, you can enjoy this classic Irish meal whenever you have an itch for some good old comfort food. Savory, juicy beef dipped in horseradish sauce, with slow-cooked potatoes, carrots, and cabbage? Yup, I’m all for it – especially since leftovers can be turned to a corned beef hash the next morning!
What Is Corned Beef Exactly?
In short – corned beef is salt-cured beef brisket. Since brisket is naturally a tougher cut of meat, it becomes extremely tender after it’s been brined with large salt crystals and pickling spices.
Although the packaged version is a bit higher in sodium, curing beef yourself is quite a long process. Especially with the 4 hours you already have to spend cooking it. So do yourself a favor, and opt to buy one that’s already been cured.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a slightly healthier option, you can buy corned turkey. It has a bit less fat content, and is cured with the same pickling spices as corned beef. Just note the flavor will be a bit lighter since turkey is white meat, compared to beefy red meat.
What You Need For A Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage
Now that we’ve gone over everything you need to know about buying corned beef, the rest is easy. All you need are a few core vegetables and aromatics to complete this idyllic Irish meal.
- Corned Beef: Head on over to the meat section at your local market, and you should be able to find packaged, ready-to-cook corned beef.
- Potatoes: Think smaller potatoes here – baby potatoes, Yukon Golds, or even red potatoes will work!
- Carrots: I like a good amount of carrots – 6 pieces to be exact! And once they simmer, they’ll be perfectly tender.
- Cabbage: Grab a green head of cabbage. As it cooks in the pot it’ll become softened and slightly sweet – so delish!
- Aromatics: You just need a few bay leaves to give an extra oomph of flavor. Because the real seasoning comes from the corned beef’s spice packet!
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to Shop for Corned Beef
- Grab a 3-pound corned beef. This is the ideal size for a party of 6 since it will slightly shrink as it cooks. If you’re feeding a larger crowd or plan to make a corned beef hash the next day, grab a larger brisket!
- Look for a deep red color. Any signs of gray coloring means it’s been refrigerated for an extensive period of time.
- Keep an eye out for an added spice packet. Most packaged corned beefs will include a spice packet, which helps to enhance the brisket’s savory flavors.
How To Make Corned Beef and Cabbage (With A Dutch Oven)
Start cooking the brisket. In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the corned beef, spice packet, and bay leaves. Cover everything with water, bring it to a boil, then down to a simmer, and cover with the lid. Allow the brisket to cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours (about 50 minutes per pound of brisket).
In goes the veggies! Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Then add the cabbage and cook for another 15 minutes, until tender.
Get ready to slice and serve. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and plate the vegetables on a separate platter. Slice the brisket against the grain into ½-inch slices and plate it with the veggies.
Make This Corned Beef and Cabbage in a Slow Cooker
If you don’t have a large pot or Dutch oven, a slow cooker is the perfect alternative! The process is almost the exact same, minus the additional hours needed to cook low and slow.
- Add the brisket and spices into the slow cooker. Place the corned beef in the slow cooker and top with the pickling spices, and bay leaves. Then cover everything with water and cook for 8-10 hours on low.
- Toss in the veggies. After the initial 4 hours, add the potatoes and carrots to the slow cooker. Then, 2 hours before serving add the sliced cabbage.
- Slice it up! Remove the corned beef from the slow cooker, let it rest for 10 minutes, and thinly slice it. Then add the sliced meat along with the veggies to a serving platter.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe Video
Watch how easy this recipe comes together in the video below!
More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with more Irish recipes that put comfort at the forefront of this holiday!
If you’re for all-in-one meals, this corned beef and cabbage ranks high. Once you make it, let me know what everyone thinks in a comment below!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 3 to 3½ pounds corned beef brisket (with spice packet)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ pound baby potatoes
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 head green cabbage, cut into 2-inch wedges
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, add the corned beef brisket along with spice packet, and bay leaves. Cover everything with water.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then down to a simmer, and cover. Cook the brisket for 2 ½ to 3 hours (about 50 minutes per pound of brisket).
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until almost tender. Add the cabbage and cook for another 15 minutes, until tender.
- Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and the vegetables to a separate serving plate. Slice the brisket against the grain and serve with the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Optionally, it's great served alongside horseradish sauce.
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