Slowly simmered and fall-apart tender, Corned Beef and Cabbage is a family-friendly comfort food dinner. Prepare this corned beef entree in the oven, on a stovetop, or in your slow cooker.

Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on a round platter.

Don’t reserve Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day alone. It’s a delightful Sunday dinner to infuse your home with savory aromas any time of year, and is essentially a full meal in one easy-prep recipe.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Corned beef and cabbage recipe ingredients.

Ingredient notes

  • Corned beef: Seek out beef brisket that has been already “corned” in salt, pepper, and pickling salt, which gives the meat a bright pink color. If your corned beef comes with a spice packet, discard it and use the spice blend in this recipe instead.
  • Small red potatoes: Since they cook quickly, little red new potatoes work well.
  • Green cabbage: Look for a firm and compact head. Cut the cabbage into wedges with the stem/core intact and the portions will stay nicely held together as they cook.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Trim any excess fat off of the corned beef, then put it in a Dutch oven or large sturdy pot with the bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice berries, thyme, chopped carrots, celery, and onion. Pour in the water and broth. Make sure the liquid covers the beef by about 1 ½ inches.
Corned beef in a pot.
  1. Cover and bake in the oven for 4 ½ to 5 hours, until very tender. You should be able to stick a fork into the thickest part of the brisket with no resistance when it’s ready.
Corned beef in a pot.
  1. When the brisket is done, remove the beef from the pot and place it inside a baking dish. Strain the liquid through a mesh sieve and discard the cooked vegetables, spices, and other solids. Skim off the fat. Pour about 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the beef, cover the dish with foil, and allow the meat to rest.
Skimming fat from gravy.
  1. Return the cooking liquid to the pot and add the butter; bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes and carrots to the cooking liquid and simmer them until they just start to soften, about 10 minutes.
Red potatoes in a pot.
  1. Then nestle the cabbage wedges into the pot and cook all the vegetables together for another 15 minutes until everything is nice and tender.
Cabbage and carrots in a pot.
  1. Just before serving, place the corned beef on a clean work surface for slicing. Before you start cutting, though, make sure you figure out which way the grain of the muscle fibers run. Using a sharp knife, make 1/4-inch slices against the grain, which will yield the tenderest pieces of corned beef.
Corned beef sliced on a cutting board.
  1. Arrange the corned beef on a platter and serve with the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Season the veggies with salt and pepper before serving.
Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on a round platter.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Commercially corned beef has a high shrinkage rate. As much as 35% of what you buy is actually a saltwater solution, so it may yield less than you think. Plan for 8 servings from a 3- to 4-pound brisket.
  • Make ahead: You can make the beef a few days ahead, but the vegetables taste best fresh from the oven. Save the cooking juices and store in the refrigerator separately from the beef for up to 24 hours. To serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a cutting board, transfer meat and cut in 1/4-inch slices across the grain. Return to the baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until meat is heated through, about 25 minutes. While beef is reheating, continue with step 3 in this recipe.
  • Rinsing: If you’re using a pre-packaged corned beef, rinse it under cold running water before starting step 1.
  • Add beer: If desired, add a 12-ounce can of lager to the cooking liquid for a flavor boost.
  • Low and slow: Don’t rush it; tough cuts like brisket are at their best with low cooking temperatures over a long period of time. If in doubt about whether the corned beef is ready or not, keep cooking.
  • Stovetop: In a large Dutch oven, add the corned beef, broth, water, chopped carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, and allspice berries. Bring to a simmer. Cook until a fork slides easily in and out of the center of the brisket, about 2 to 3 hours. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface with a large spoon, then proceed with the recipe at step 2. 
  • Slow cooker: The steady and low heat of a slow cooker is ideal for corned beef and cabbage. Cook the meat covered for 8 hours on HIGH until tender. Then proceed with step 2, cooking the vegetables on the stovetop.
  • Top off cooking liquid: If the level drops below the corned beef, pour more water, broth, or beer in the pot. The beef should always be submerged.
  • Go against the grain: To locate the grain, study the muscle fibers in the meat. In a brisket, they should all be fairly visible and run in one direction. You want to make slices perpendicular to the grain, instead of along with it (the latter method will result in a chewier texture).
  • Classic accompaniments: Chopped parsley, soft Irish butter, horseradish, mustard, rye bread, and a good Irish stout.
  • Leftovers: Maybe a Reuben Sandwich or Corned Beef Hash is calling your name?
Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on a round platter.

More classic Irish recipes

Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on a round platter.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Slowly simmered and fall-apart tender, Corned Beef and Cabbage is a family-friendly comfort food dinner. Prepare this corned beef entree in the oven, on a stovetop, or in your slow cooker.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Calories 347

Ingredients 

  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) corned beef rinsed, fat trimmed to ¼ inch, spice packet discarded (see note 1)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 carrots peeled and divided, (3 chopped, 9 halved crosswise)
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes scrubbed (about 9, see note 2)
  • 1 head green cabbage cut into 8 wedges (about 2 pounds, see note 3)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh parsley minced, for garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a Dutch oven, combine beef brisket, chicken broth, water, chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and allspice berries. Cover and bake until a fork inserted into brisket goes in and out easily, about 4 ½ to 5 hours.
  • Transfer meat to a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Strain liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl and discard the solids. Skim fat from liquid. Pour 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the beef, cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Return the remaining cooking liquid to the Dutch oven, add the butter and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and simmer until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the carrot halves and cabbage, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a serving platter, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  • To serve, slice the brisket across the grain in 1/4-inch slices. Arrange slices on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables to the platter and lightly moisten with cooking liquid as needed until served. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

  1. Corned beef: Seek out beef brisket that has been already “corned” in salt, pepper, and pickling salt, which gives the meat a bright pink color. If your corned beef comes with a spice packet, discard it and use the spice blend in this recipe instead.
  2. Small red potatoes: Since they cook quickly, little red new potatoes work well.
  3. Green cabbage: Look for a firm and compact head. Cut the cabbage into wedges with the stem/core intact and the portions will stay nicely held together as they cook.
  4. Yield: Commercially corned beef has a high shrinkage rate. As much as 35% of what you buy is actually a saltwater solution, so it may yield less than you think. Plan for 8 servings from a 3- to 4-pound brisket.
  5. Make ahead: You can make the beef a few days ahead, but the vegetables taste best fresh from the oven. Save the cooking juices and store in the refrigerator separately from the beef for up to 24 hours. To serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a cutting board, transfer meat and cut in 1/4-inch slices across the grain. Return to the baking dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until meat is heated through, about 25 minutes. While beef is reheating, continue with step 3 in this recipe.
  6. Rinsing: If you’re using a pre-packaged corned beef, rinse it under cold running water before starting step 1.
  7. Add beer: If desired, add a 12-ounce can of lager to the cooking liquid for a flavor boost.
  8. Low and slow: Don’t rush it; tough cuts like brisket are at their best with low cooking temperatures over a long period of time. If in doubt about whether the corned beef is ready or not, keep cooking.
  9. Stovetop: In a large Dutch oven, add the corned beef, broth, water, chopped carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, and allspice berries. Bring to a simmer. Cook until a fork slides easily in and out of the center of the brisket, about 2 to 3 hours. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface with a large spoon, then proceed with the recipe at step 2. 
  10. Slow cooker: The steady and low heat of a slow cooker is ideal for corned beef and cabbage. Cook the meat covered for 8 hours on HIGH until tender. Then proceed with step 2, cooking the vegetables on the stovetop.
  11. Top off cooking liquid: If the level drops below the corned beef, pour more water, broth, or beer in the pot. The beef should always be submerged.
  12. Go against the grain: To locate the grain, study the muscle fibers in the meat. In a brisket, they should all be fairly visible and run in one direction. You want to make slices perpendicular to the grain, instead of along with it (the latter method will result in a chewier texture).
  13. Classic accompaniments: Chopped parsley, soft Irish butter, horseradish, mustard, rye bread, and a good Irish stout.
  14. Leftovers: Maybe a Reuben Sandwich or Corned Beef Hash is calling your name?

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 20gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1946mgPotassium: 992mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 15630IUVitamin C: 89mgCalcium: 116mgIron: 3mg
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Comments

  1. This is a great recipe. The flavor and aroma of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes can not be beat. If possible, buy corned beef brisket. Most of those found in the big box stores are cured from another cut of beef but still very flavorful and less expensive. If I have time, I prefer to cure my own briskets and then smoke the second one for pastrami for making Reuben’s on homemade marbled rye or pumpernickel. Yum!!5 stars