Corn Beef and Cabbage

My husband and I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year by cooking corned beef and cabbage.  While I was looking for a hearty slow cooker recipe, I stumbled upon a few different versions of it and had to give it a try.

Although this may look like a lot of steps, it only entails chopping vegetables, seasoning, and waiting patiently for everything to cook.

You can easily follow the slow-cooker directions at the bottom, or cut the wait time in half by choosing the stove top version, explained first.

Corn Beef and Cabbage

Mainly influenced by N.Y.C. Corned Beef and Cabbage, I cooked this dish on the stove top in under 4 hours.

It feeds six, but with two in our family this meal took us three days to finish, and I was grateful for the leftovers during a busy week.


Corned Beef & Cabbage

4 pounds lean raw corned beef brisket

1 packet of pickling spice (included with brisket) + 1 tbsp

1 bunch fresh parsley

1 tbsp peppercorn

2 dried bay leaves

1 medium rutabaga, halved and cut into wedges

1 pound large carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces

1 1/4 pounds small red potatoes

1 sweet onion, quartered, then cut into eighths

1 head cabbage, cut into wedges

1 bottle of beer (preferably dark ale)

1 clove garlic (for potatoes)

prep time: 30 minutes

cook time: minimum of 3 hours

servings: 6

Horseradish Cream

1/3 cup horseradish, drained

1/3 cup creme sour cream


Get a large stock pot that will hold everything all at once.

Place the brisket (best side up) in the bottom of the pot.  Do not rinse.

Add the spice packet of peppercorns, pickling spice and bay leaves.

Add enough hot water (4 to 6 cups) to cover the meat by at least 1 inch, add bottle of beer and cover.

– Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours. –

While meat is cooking, you have plenty of time to prep the vegetables.  Scrub and rinse potatoes and remove any eyes and bad spots.  Quarter them, or half if they are tiny.

Cover with water until you are ready for them.

Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, until all leaves are light green.  Rinse and cut into quarters through the spine so they stay together.

Set aside.  Peel the carrots and cut into quarters.  Set aside.

Peel the onion and cut it into eighths.  Set aside.

Rinse the parsley and only chop the tops into tiny pieces.  Once again, set aside.

After the beef has been cooking for 2 hours

Add potatoes and rutabaga on top of the brisket.  Add more water to cover everything.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cabbage on top of the potatoes and add onion and carrot on top of the cabbage.

Add more water to everything.  Bring to a boil.

Check to see if the cabbage is tender.  If not, simmer another 5 minutes.

When done

In a large serving bowl, crush the garlic and rub the inside of the bowl.

Place the potatoes in the bowl (while hot) and add butter and a handful of chopped parsley.

Gently stir until butter is melted.  (If a few vegetables sneak in, that is okay!)

Put the rest of the parsley into a tiny serving bowl for those who want to add more to their potatoes.

Slice the brisket, cross grain.

Serve on a large serving plate or let everyone help themselves.  We chose the latter.

Horseradish Cream Sauce

In a small serving bowl, mix a cup of brisket broth with the horseradish and sour creme.

Plate up, with or without the horseradish cream.

This version only takes a few hours, while the slow-cooker version can take up to 8.

There are less directions to follow, and it is a great way to knock out the majority of the cooking ahead of time.

Using the slow-cooker allows you to prepare dinner before work and come home to a ready-in-minutes Irish dinner.

Slow-cooker Directions

(from the Food Network)

1. Place the corned beef in a slow cooker and scatter the pickling spices on top.

2. Prep all vegetables and set aside.

2. Layer the rutabaga, carrots, and potatoes in the cooker (in this order for even cooking).

3. Add enough hot water (4 to 6 cups) to cover the meat by at least 1 inch, put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high, 7 to 8 hours.

4. Remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker and keep warm.

5. Put the cabbage in a microwave-safe dish with 2 cups cooking liquid from the slow cooker, cover and microwave until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, boil another cup of cooking liquid in a small skillet until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

7. Mix with the horseradish and sour cream in a small bowl.

8. Slice the corned beef and serve with the slow-cooked vegetables, cabbage and sauce.



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