Corned Beef and Cabbage is an absolute must for St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s. And this is the BEST Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe ever!
Corned Beef and Cabbage just won me over with this recipe. I. Am. In. Love. My husband declared it “literally the best I’ve had” – and he’s not one to throw out compliments. Serve yours with some roasted carrots, beer bread, roasted red potatoes, & finish it off with a shamrock shake or Irish coffee!
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corned Beef and Cabbage Ingredients
- Brisket – You’ll want a cut of brisket that is specifically intended for corned beef. It will include a spice/pickling packet and will be in a brine solution.
- Sweet yellow onion – I like to slice the onion thin so that it mixes in with the cabbage and becomes indistinguishable. Mostly so my kids don’t complain that I’m feeding them onions.
- Garlic – It really is best to use freshly minced garlic in this recipe so the flavor punches through, but if you don’t have any on hand jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Beef bouillon – A bouillon cube or bouillon paste will work, or if you have beef broth, sub the water + bouillon for an equal amount of broth.
- Beer – I prefer a light beer in this recipe. We want the feel that it would be served in a cute Irish Pub, we don’t actually want it to taste like a pub.
- Bay leaf – Don’t make a special trip to the market for bay leaves, but if you happen to have one, toss it in. Every subtle layer of flavor counts. Just don’t forget to remove it before serving!
- Cabbage – I like to cut my cabbage into thin strips, almost like noodles. They’re fun to twirl around a fork, and they cook faster this way.
How Do You Make Corned Beef and Cabbage
I prefer to make crock pot corned beef and cabbage, but if you don’t have access to a slow cooker or you need the dish finished faster, it can be made in the oven as well.
⭐ First, place beef in slow cooker fatty side up. Sprinkle seasoning/pickling packet over top of meat, then add garlic and onions to sides of meat.
⭐ Next, in a separate vessel, combine water, bouillon, and beer. Pour beer/bouillon mixture into cooking over onions until it reaches nearly the top of the meat. Do not allow the liquid go over the meat as we do not want to displace the spices.
⭐ Then, cover and turn to high initially, then reduce temperature to low for remaining time.
⭐ Next, remove brisket from cooking liquid – if you’d like, you can brown the top using a baking sheet on the middle rack of your under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes. WATCH CLOSELY.
⭐ Finally, set meat aside to rest, and while meat is resting/being sliced, place sliced cabbage into cooking juices and stir well. Cover and cook an additional 5 – 10 minutes, until texture is to your liking. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving!
Corned beef and cabbage in the instant pot will have essentially the same directions as in the slow cooker, except so much faster! The instant pot will finish this recipe in about 90 minutes of pressure cooking time. Scroll down to our recipe card for exact directions in both the slow cooker and the oven.
Corned beef and cabbage in the oven will have essentially the same directions as in the slow cooker, except you will want to use a dutch oven with a lid to cook it. The oven will cook this dish about twice as fast as the slow cooker. Scroll down to our recipe card for exact directions in both the slow cooker and the oven.
Tips and tricks
🟢 Low and slow will always yield the best results for corned beef and cabbage. If you are able to make it in the crock pot, that is the preferred method for an incredibly moist and tender finish.
🟢 Make sure not to cover the meat in liquid. You want the fatty top exposed so the spices are not displaced and so it will brown in the cooker. Trust me on this!
🟢 Use a light beer so the flavor is not overpowering to your corned beef and cabbage.
What Kind of Cabbage for Corned Beef and Cabbage
Standard green cabbage is traditionally used for this recipe. You can find it in the produce section of a typical grocery store. A medium head of green cabbage typically weighs about 2 pounds.
Do I Rinse Corned Beef
You can rinse corned beef if you like, but it is not necessary. Rinsing the corned beef will remove some of the salt and give the end result a milder flavor. I prefer not to rinse mine, but many folks do.
Does Corned Beef Need to Rest
Corned beef should rest at least five minutes and up to fifteen minutes before slicing.
Can you eat undercooked corned beef?
You should not eat undercooked corned beef. That said, corned beef is from a less tender cut of beef, so it is cooked for several hours in order to tenderize the meat.
Corn beef will reach a safe temperature to eat well before it is ready to enjoy. Due to the pickling juices, the meat will always remain pink. This is not indicative of doneness.
Can corned beef give you food poisoning?
Corned beef and cabbage can give you food poisoning if you do not follow proper food safety protocal. Make sure to keep uncooked meat refrigerated, cook meat to a safe temperature (145 degrees Fahrenheit), and never leave food out for more than two hours.
Why is corned beef pink?
Corned beef is pink because it is brined (cured) in a salt water or sodium nitrite mixture, which fixes the pigment in the meat and causes it to be pink in color. This causes corned beef to remain pink after cooking, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.
When is corned beef fully cooked?
It is fully cooked when it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit – however, for ideal texture, it should be cooked for several hours longer than the time it takes to reach food safe temp.
Leftovers and Storage
How do you store leftover corned beef and cabbage?
Store leftover corn beef and cabbage in a sealed air tight container in the refrigerator. For best results, pour some of the meat juices over it before storing. Leftovers can also be frozen for up to six months.
How long does leftover corned beef and cabbage last in the refrigerator?
It will last in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days when stored properly. It is a heavily salted dish so it will typically last a little bit longer than unsalted and uncured meats. Use up your leftovers in our reuben casserole recipe and they definitely won’t last long!
How long can uncooked corn beef sit out?
Uncooked corn beef should never sit out more than two hours, though ideally it should be less. Food that sits out more than two hours is considered in the “danger zone” and can harbor dangerous bacteria.
How long does uncooked corn beef last in the refrigerator?
Uncooked corned beef may be stored 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. Make sure it is unopened and remains in its pickling juices.
Can you freeze corned beef before cooking?
You can freeze corned beef before cooking. Make sure the brisket is in a sealed airtight container, and it will last up to 6 months in an upright freezer or as long as a year in a chest freezer.
Thaw a frozen corned beef in the refrigerator for 1 – 3 days, depending on the size.
Is Corned Beef and Cabbage Bad For You
Corned Beef and cabbage is not bad for you if eaten in moderation, and for special occasions, but it would not make up part of a regular healthy diet.
Corned beef is calorie heavy, containing about 285 calories for a four-ounce portion, further, it has 1,286 milligrams of sodium per serving. (More than half your daily recommended sodium intake.
In good news however, cabbage is great for you! Full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Is Corned Beef Made From Horse Meat
Corned Beef is not made from horse meat.
Is Corned Beef Red Meat
Corned beef is red meat. Corned beef is a salt-cured brisket cooked in pickling spices. The term comes from the treatment of the meat with large-grained rock salt, also called “corns” of salt.
Why do we eat corned beef and cabbage?
On St. Patrick’s Day
Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish-American dish eaten to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the United States. The dish was developed when Irish immigrants came to the US and found the meats they were used to in their home country to be too expensive.
Brisket was an affordable cut and it became what they used to prepare their famous salted meats.
For New Year’s
We eat corned beef and cabbage on New Year’s because it is associated with wealth and good fortune.
Beef or pork is the meat of choice for welcoming the new year because unlike chickens these animals do not scratch in the dirt for their food. and cabbage is green, like paper money. Another traditional New Year’s dish is a black eyed peas recipe.
Frequently asked questions
Is corned beef and cabbage really Irish?
Corned beef and Cabbage is not Irish, rather it is an Irish-American dish developed as a substitute for bacon when Irish immigrants first came over to the US in the late 19th century. It is now found commonly at Irish-American celebrations, especially St. Patrick’s Day.
Because Corned Beef and Cabbage was developed after immigrants came over to the US, it is not typically eaten in Ireland. Instead of corned beef and cabbage, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal eaten in Ireland is lamb or bacon.
Finish your meal with our serving suggestions!
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- Instant pot Italian sausage soup
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- Crack chicken in the instant pot
- See all our instant pot recipe ideas!
Tools we love
- Santuko knife – My favorite knife for cutting vegetables! This knife is the perfect size and shape, handles great, and is super reasonably priced. Also, I just love that it’s fun and colorful!
- Slow Cooker – This is the 7 quart slow cooker I’ve had since we were married in 2003. It’s the one you’re lookig at in this post!
- 6.5 Quart dutch oven – This enameled cast iron dutch oven can go from stove top to oven, and look beautiful doing it. Perfect for chilis, roasts, breads, and stews. Mine is yellow, what color will you choose?
- End grain cutting board – This is my absolute favorite cutting board and the one that I get the most compliments on. And p.s. I have a lot of cutting boards. It really is absolutely stunning, and knows how to take a beating. We use it every single day!
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How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 3 - 4 pound brisket with spice/pickling packet
- ½ medium/large sweet yellow onion sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 cup water warm
- 1 teaspoon beef bouillon paste or bouillon cube
- 8 ounces light beer
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 head cabbage cut into strips.
- Place beef in slow cooker or dutch oven, fatty side up. Sprinkle seasoning/pickling packet over top of meat.
- Add garlic and onions to sides of meat.
- In a separate cup or bowl, combine water and bouillon, then add beer. Pour beer/bouillon mixture into cooking over onions until it reaches nearly the top of the meat. Do not allow the liquid go over the meat as we do not want to displace the spices.
- If you are using a SLOW COOKER - cover and turn to high for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to low for 7 ½ hours.
- If you are using an INSTANT POT - cover and set to sealing. Turn to manual (high pressure) for 90 minutes, then NPR (natural pressure release) for at least 12 minutes.
- If you are using an OVEN - cover and place in a 325 degrees for 4 hours.
- When the cook time is finished, you can brown the top by removing the corned beef from the cooking liquid and placing it on a baking sheet on the middle rack of your under the broiler for 2 - 3 minutes. WATCH CLOSELY. This is entirely optional.
- Allow meat to rest 3 - 5 minutes, then slice thinly, against the grain, with a sharp knife.
- While meat is resting/being sliced, place sliced cabbage into cooking juices and stir well. Cover and cook an additional 5 - 10 minutes, until softened to your liking.
- Remove bay leaf before serving.