Traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage

Corned Beef is made in a homemade brine and then slow cooks to tender perfection along side cabbage, carrots and potatoes this is a meal in one that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.  Making corn beef from scratch is a lot easier than you think!

Corned beef in a bowl with carrots, potatoes and cabbage.

Corned Beef

At Patrick’s day is a time for fun and festivities but also to bring out the Irish in you. This corned beef is mouth watering and full of so much flavor. It tasted so good that I couldn’t stop eating it. The beef with the mix of vegetables is the perfect combination for this meal. I love how tender and juicy the potatoes are, then the carrots have so much flavor and bring out the color in the dish. Cabbage is an Irish staple and tastes so good being tender and soft with the corned beef. Enjoy this traditional corned beef and cabbage recipe that is so delicious and will melt in your mouth. It is that good!

What is Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a cut of beef brisket that is brined in a pink rock salt brine. There is no corn in the beef but because of the pink rock salt the large grains appears to be corn and gives the beef that salt and sour flavoring. When served it has carrots, potatoes and cabbage on the side. This is an Irish traditional meal especially for St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

Pink curing salt #1 in a bag and bowl next to it with seasonings and brown sugar in bowls.

Corned Beef Ingredients:

  • Water: Warm water is best.
  • Salt: Just a pinch.
  • Brown Sugar: This will sweeten the corned beef.
  • Pink Curing Salt: Add a little more coloring making this brisket that beautiful pink meat when it is done cooking.
  • Pickling Spice: This helps with flavoring the meat and the soaking the meat in the brine.
  • Beef Brisket: I prefer the flat cut but round will also slow cook well too.

Vegetables:

  • Carrots: Slice the carrots into chunks.
  • Baby Potatoes: Cut these in half.
  • Onion: Cut in quarters.
  • Salt and Pepper: Just a dash for taste and flavoring.
  • Pickling Spice: To add to the flavoring
  • Cabbage: Quarter the cabbage and separate a bit.

How to Make Corned Beef:

  1. To make the brine: Combine warm water, salt, brown sugar, and pink curing salt if using and stir until sugar and salt in a large pot until dissolved.  Add the brisket and cover and put in the fridge for 5-7 days until your meat brines equally.  If your meat starts to float, put a heavy plate on top.
  2. To make corned beef in the slow cooker: In a 5 quart slow cooker add carrots, potatoes, onion and salt and pepper.  Remove the brisket from the brine and rinse in cold water.  Place on top of the vegetables and top brisket with pickling spice.  Fill with water until meat is almost fully covered.  Cook for 7-8 hours on low and 5-6 on high adding in the cabbage the last hour of cooking.

The Recipe Critic Pro Tip:

Pink curing salt is optional but is what makes the meat turn pink in color. You can find it online or at a specialty meat shop. Read warnings about ingesting directly.

The process of making corned beef. First, brine the corned beef in a brine, then remove from the pot. Add in potatoes and carrots chopped in a slow cooker then add the corn beef and cabbage on top.

What to serve with Corned Beef and Cabbage:

We love to add in potatoes, carrots and fresh cabbage to make this crockpot corned beef a complete meal. However there are plenty of other sides that would taste delicious. Below are a few options!

Corn beef in a slow cooker with cabbage and chopped up carrots and potatoes.

FAQ’s About Corned Beef:

  • What is in the spice packet that comes with the beef? The spice packet has a seasoning that will help with flavoring of the beef. It usually is peppercorn, ginger, bay leaves and mustard seed with an assortment or variations of other seasonings and spices.  
  • Do you rinse the brisket beef before cooking? Yes! This is very important! It is best to rinse the corned beef in cool water right before placing it in the slow cooker.
  • Does corned beef need to rest? You can let it rest after it is done cooking it but that is not necessary. I will set my corned beef out for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing it. By letting it rest before slicing it seems to make it easier.
  • Which cut of corned beef is more tender? It is nice because now you can purchase already brined corned beef at your local grocery store or have a brisket ready. Flat or round cut brisket gives you a tender and juicy corned beef and it doesn’t shrink while cooking.
  • How do you know when corned beef is done? The best way to know is by using a meat thermometer. The corned beef needs to be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Can you overcook corned beef in the slow cooker? When cooking any meat there is always a possibility of overcooking even in a slow cooker. I would recommend using a meat thermometer to be sure or checking it with 1 to 2 hours left in the slow cooker. Corned beef cut into slices with a knife and fork to hold it down.

Different Ways of Cooking Corned Beef:

  • To make corned beef on the stovetop:  You will want to rinse the cut with water to remove all of the extra salt.  Next you will want to put the corned beef in a large pot with water and add the spices.  Next you can cover and bring to a boil.  At this point you can reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 50 minutes per pound.  If you are including vegetables, you can add them for the last hour.  With cabbage, you will want to wait until about 15 minutes before servings.
  • To make corned beef in the instant pot: You will want to rinse the corned beef with water to remove salt. Place the beef in the instant pot and fill with water and pickling spice. Select high pressure and cook for 90 minutes. When finished cooking quick release the pressure according to the manual. Remove the brisket and leave 2 cups water. Add in the potatoes, carrots, onion and top with cabbage. Salt and pepper. Select manual setting and cook on high for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Release the pressure according to the manual.
  • To make corned beef in the oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the brisket into a roasting pan and add 3 cups of water and pickling spice. Cook for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and add vegetables. Bake uncovered for another hour until vegetables are tender.Corned beef sliced in a row with potatoes, carrots and cabbage on the side.

 

  • WP Recipe Maker #99791remove Traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage Corned Beef is a homemade brine that slow cooks to tender perfection along side cabbage, carrots and potatoes this is a meal in one that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.  Making corn beef from scratch is a lot easier than you think! Course: Dinner, Main Course Cuisine: Irish Keyword: Corned beef, Corned beef and cabbage, corned beef and cabbage recipe, Corned beef recipe Prep Time: 20m Cook Time: 480m Total Time: 500m Servings: 6 People Author: Alyssa Rivers Brine: – 1 gallon warm water – 2 cups salt – 1/4 cup brown sugar – 5 teaspoons pink curing salt not pink Himalayan salt* – 2 tablespoons pickling spice – 1 4-5 pound flat cut beef brisket Vegetables: – 4 medium carrots sliced – 1 pound baby potatoes halved – 1 onion quartered – salt and pepper – 1 tablespoon pickling spice – 1/2 cabbage quartered To make the brine: 1) Combine warm water, salt, brown sugar, and pink curing salt if using and stir until sugar and salt in a large pot until dissolved. Add the brisket and cover and put in the fridge for 5-7 days until your meat brines equally. If your meat starts to float, put a heavy plate on top. To make corned beef in the slow cooker: 1) In a 5 quart slow cooker add carrots, potatoes, onion and salt and pepper. Remove the brisket from the brine and rinse in cold water. Place on top of the vegetables and top brisket with pickling spice. Fill with water until meat is almost fully covered. Cook for 7-8 hours on low and 5-6 on high adding in the cabbage the last hour of cooking. *Pink curing salt is optional but is what makes the meat turn pink in color.  You can find it online or at a specialty meat shop.  Read warnings about ingesting directly.  To make corned beef on the stovetop:  Rinse the corned beef with water to remove salt.  Place the corned beef in a large pot and fill with water and add pickling spice.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer to 50 minutes per pound or until tender.  Add in the vegetables the last hour and cabbage the last 15 minutes before serving.   To make corned beef in the instant pot: Rinse the corned beef with water to remove salt. Place the beef in the instant pot and fill with water and pickling spice.  Select high pressure and cook for 90 minutes.  When finished cooking quick release the pressure according to the manual.   Remove the brisket and leave 2 cups water.  Add in the potatoes, carrots, onion and top with cabbage.  Salt and pepper.  Select manual setting and cook on high for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender.  Release the pressure according to the manual. To make corned beef in the oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the brisket into a roasting pan and add 3 cups of water and pickling spice.  Cook for 2 hours.  Remove from the oven and add vegetables.  Bake uncovered for another hour until vegetables are tender.   calories 892 carbohydrates 35 protein 59 fat 57 saturated_fat 18 cholesterol 204 sodium 42408 potassium 1778 fiber 6 sugar 15 vitamin_a 6879 vitamin_c 150 calcium 153 iron 8  

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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St Patrick's Day

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  1. thank you for this very detailed walk through, I don’t make corned beef often enough to remember all of the steps, but will need it fairly soon!

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