With lots of potatoes and carrots, this stovetop corned beef and cabbage recipe is a little taste of Ireland. Simmered over low heat, it’s fall-apart tender and ready to hit your plate in time for St. Patrick’s.
Straight from Dublin, this is the best corned beef and cabbage, and it is just what your St. Patrick’s Day menu was missing for that pot-of-gold element. Seasoned with bay leaves, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds, it’s a simple but hearty meal that makes any plate look impressive.
Why We Love This Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
- Irish Flavor Fusion: Combines the tang and sweetness of corned beef with Guinness’s richness for a true taste of Ireland, plus green cabbage for a fresh crunch.
- Loaded with Veggies: Packed with potatoes, cabbage, and carrots, it’s a hearty and delicious classic dish.
- Easy to Make: Simple, stove-top cooking gives you time to relax or join the festivities while the pot works its magic.
- Crowd Pleaser: Its mouthwatering aroma and flavor are guaranteed to have everyone coming back for seconds.
What Is Corned Beef?
Despite the name, corned beef has nothing to do with corn. It’s just salt brine-cured beef, but the corned bit gets its name from the size of the salt crystals that were used to cure the meat hundreds of years ago before refrigerators. It’s usually served warm with cabbage, or it’s sliced cold to make sandwiches. Back in the 19th century, Irish immigrants in the United States popularized this dish. Originally, folks in Ireland would make bacon and cabbage, but since bacon was pricey in America, those Irish newcomers swapped in corned beef. Over the years, this switch-up turned corned beef and cabbage into the go-to St. Patrick’s Day feast.
Made with a handful of veggies, this recipe for corned beef and cabbage is simple but packed with flavor, offering your whole family a comforting meal. The combination of spices, beef, and fresh vegetables creates a perfect dinner for any gathering.
- Corned beef brisket – The best cut for corned beef is the flat cut because it has an even and uniform shape, which helps it cook more evenly. If you’re after meat that’s super tender and juicy, go for the point cut of corned beef. It’s got more fat and marbling, making it extra flavorful, fork-tender, and moist compared to the flat cut.
- Seasoning packet – This pickling spice packet should be included within your corned beef package, and the spices are essential for achieving that signature corned beef taste. It infuses the cooking liquid with a balanced mix of sweet, spicy, savory, and tangy flavors.
- Bay leaves
- Coriander seeds – Avoid fresh coriander for this recipe.
- Mustard seeds – Don’t use ground mustard. Whole spices are most effective for long cooking times.
- Salt and black pepper
- Carrots – Regular or baby carrots are okay. You can also use other types of carrots like yellow, white, and purple ones.
- Potatoes – The best ones for this recipe are Idaho, Russet, or Yukon Gold.
- Onions – Yellow onion is best, but white onion works too.
- Cabbage wedges – Although green cabbage is the most traditional, feel free to use purple cabbage instead.
How to Make Corned Beef And Cabbage
Making corned beef and cabbage on the stovetop is simpler than you might think. All it takes is tossing the ingredients into a pot, bringing them to a boil, and then reducing the heat to let everything simmer gently during a few hours of cooking.
- Season the meat. Place the brisket in a large pot. A large Dutch oven works, too. Season the meat with the spice packet, bay leaves, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it simmer. Cover the brisket with cold water. Raise the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with the lid and let the meat cook for 2 hours.
- Add the carrots. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and place the lid back on. Let it simmer for another 30 minutes or until the beef and veggies are fork-tender.
- Add the cabbage. Place the onions and cabbage in the pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low again. Cover the pot once more and let it cook for another 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Remove from the heat and serve warm.
Tips For Success
- Crock Pot corned beef. Add everything to the slow cooker and set it to LOW. Let it cook for 8-10 hours or until tender. If you want it done faster, cook it on HIGH for 4-6 hours.
- Cook it on low. Don’t be tempted to raise the heat. Corned beef is a tough cut of meat, and it is best cooked over low heat to achieve the juiciest, most tender meat.
- Add beer. Swap the cooking liquid for beef broth and Guinness beer for an extra Irish appeal.
- Add more water. Check back every 40 minutes to see if the pot still has enough water. Add more as needed, or your corned beef won’t cook properly.
- Let it rest. Letting corned beef rest for 10 to 15 minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
- Slice against the grain. Corned beef, like other meats, is made up of long muscle fibers. Cutting against the grain shortens these fibers, making the meat easier to chew. This results in a more tender bite.
My favorite way to enjoy this stovetop corned beef is to serve it with Soda Bread or mashed potatoes. My Mashed Sweet Potatoes are an Americanized side dish but it’s still delicious. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, try my Country Style Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Once I’ve got either one down, I like to make additional sides and appetizers to complete the meal. Try my Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower Bites, Creamed Spinach, and Smashed Brussel Sprouts for a veggie bite. Leftover corned beef should be used to make my fabulous Reuben Sandwich!
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Refrigerate any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Transfer it to the fridge a day before serving so it has time to thaw.
- To reheat it, sprinkle it with a couple of teaspoons of water and then microwave it for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm. If you’re reheating a large portion, use the oven. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and then transfer the corned beef to a baking dish. Pop it into the oven for about 10 minutes or until warm.
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
- 3 Pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 1 pound carrots
- 3 pounds small potatoes , peeled
- 2 large onions , cut into wedges
- 1 green cabbage , cut into wedges
- Place brisket in a large dutch oven or stock pot.
- Season with spice packet, bay leaves, coriander seed, mustard seed, salt and pepper.
- Cover with water. You can also use a combination of beef broth and a bottle of Guinness.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
- Add potatoes and carrots and return to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer; cook covered for about 30 minutes, or just until beef and vegetables are tender.
- Add onions and cabbage to the pot and return to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until onions and cabbage are tender.
- Remove from heat and serve warm.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.