Goodbye, Green Beer. Hello, Corned Beef and Cabbage!
We’re real St. Paddy’s Day enthusiasts over here—we take our pinch of Irish heritage and basically run wild with it. But we’re not talking about getting decked out in shamrock gear and glugging green beer—though if that’s your thing, we salute you. While you do that, we’ll just be over here cooking up a big pot of traditional corned beef and cabbage. Served with a little Guinness to wash it all down (and in the corned beef recipe too, for that matter) this corned beef and cabbage recipe makes for a true St. Patrick’s Day feast!
What Is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is simply salt-cured beef brisket. While you can go the extra mile and cure your own beef brisket at home, we prefer to take the simpler route and buy our corned beef already cured and ready to go! Making your own corned beef is a multi-day process, and honestly, with a four-to-eight hour cook time (depending on which cooking method you choose) this corned beef and cabbage recipe takes long enough as it is.
Crock-Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage? Or Stove Top? There’s No Wrong Way.
Our corned beef and cabbage recipe is all about a nice, slow cook, which you can achieve either with a slow-cooker, or using a big pot with a lid on top of the stove. Whichever way you prefer is just fine. Some people love the set-it-and-forget-it ease of a slow-cooker, while others feel like it’s a hassle to think so far ahead. And speaking of time, heads up! In the slow-cooker, the corned beef brisket will take 8 to 10 hours to cook, whereas the stove top version takes only 4.5 to 5 hours. A great rule of thumb for the stove top version is that you’ll need about 45 minutes per pound of brisket, but you can always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. For brisket, you’re looking for an internal temperature of 195°F.
What You’ll Need to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage
The main thing this recipe requires is TIME. There’s no workaround for that. But the ingredients are pretty basic! Here’s what you’ll need to make our easy corned beef and cabbage recipe:
- Corned beef brisket. Around St. Patrick’s Day, it’s easy to find corned beef brisket at the supermarket. They come pre-cured and pre-packed along with a little packet of pickling spices.
- A good stout beer—like Guinness!
- Dried chillies or red pepper flakes
- Cinnamon sticks
- Bay leaves
- Red potatoes
How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage
Really, the meat (ha—couldn’t resist) of this recipe is the process of making the corned beef. The cabbage and veggies are added relatively late in the cooking process and just kind of soak up all of the juicy goodness leftover from cooking the corned beef. For the most part, the stove top and slow-cooker cooking methods are the same—the primary difference is the amount of time the meal takes to cook. Here’s how to make the very best corned beef and cabbage this side of the pond:
- Put the corned beef brisket, pickling spice packet and the remaining spices in a large pot or slow-cooker. Pour stout (in our house, it’s got to be Guinness, but any stout will do!) and water over the top until the corned beef is covered.
- Cook the corned beef brisket! Low and slow—either about 4.5 to 5 hours simmering on the stove top, or 8 to 10 hours in a Crock-Pot.
- If you’re using a slow-cooker, add the carrots and potatoes around the three-hour mark. A few hours later, when you’ve got just about an hour of cooking time left, add the cabbage.
- If you’re cooking the corned beef on the stove-top, cook the corned beef until it’s totally finished. Take the cooked corned beef brisket out of the pan, and put the carrots and potatoes in to the pot to simmer in the brisket cooking liquid. 20 minutes later, add the cabbage and simmer until it’s all cooked through.
- Slice (against the grain!) and serve!
Tools You’ll Need:
- Sharp knife.
- Tongs are handy.
- Cutting board.
- Slow-cooker OR a large pot with a lid (like a Dutch oven.)
More Slow-Cooker Recipes We Love:
Is there a better feeling than coming home and remembering that dinner is already done?! Oh yes, slow-cookers FTW. These five slow-cooker recipes are huge hits, every time: