This Crock Pot Corned Beef is cooked in Guinness beer, making it crispy, juicy, and simply mouthwatering. Throw in potatoes and carrots for an easy, hearty, and complete meal.
My Favorite Crock Pot Corned Beef Recipe
Now, I may not be Irish or Jewish – corned beef is common in both Jewish and Irish traditions – but I sure love to eat like I am! When I think of big family dinners, especially around St. Paddy’s Day, I automatically think of Corned Beef and Cabbage! Corned Beef is a family favorite in my house, and I try to make it often. I especially like to prepare it in the Crock Pot because it’s easier, simple, and hands-off.
This also makes it great for serving at large celebrations because I can pop it in the Crock Pot earlier in the day and ensure my house is tidy and the table is set when family and friends arrive. It also frees me up to host and enjoy the time with everyone and drink some Guinness!
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is a way to describe a cooking technique typically used on the brisket cut of beef. With this technique, the beef is preserved through salt-curing. In this method, the beef cut undergoes curing in a brine solution infused with various spices, and it is gently simmered on low heat until the meat becomes exceptionally flavorful and tender.
When you purchase corned beef, it will likely come with a spice pack that includes bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice. Some spice packs might include ginger or cinnamon. All of these spices are, of course, accompanied by lots of salt, FYI.
Why Make Corned Beef in a Crock Pot?
I am a huge fan of the ease of slow cooker meals. While cooking corned beef in a traditional fashion on the stovetop is quite delicious and cozy, the Crock Pot is just so much easier. Since corned beef is meant to be simmered on low for a long time, it is perfect for cooking in the slow cooker. Once it is set in there, you can walk away for hours – or until it’s time to add the potatoes and carrots. And, when it’s done, you have a complete meal with a super simple cleanup.
How to Make Slow Cooker Corned Beef
Now, let’s look at the step-by-step process of making succulent crock pot corned beef, from preparing the meat to achieving that perfect tenderness. It’s a complete meal featuring meat, potatoes, and veggies all in one!
Recipe Ingredients For Corned Beef
- Corned beef brisket with spice packet
- Light brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance the savory flavors in the dish and enhances caramelization.
- Guinness beer provides a deep, rich flavor to the dish and helps tenderize the meat.
- Carrots lend texture to the dish, complementing the corned beef and potatoes.
- Baby potatoes offer a starchy component to the meal and absorb the flavorful juices from the corned beef and beer.
- Prep: Place the corned beef, fat side up, into the slow cooker and season it with the spice packet. Then, sprinkle with brown sugar, and add the garlic and beer.
- Cook: Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
- Add: Remove the lid and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and continue to cook for 2 to 3 more hours or until the corned beef is tender.
- Rest: Take the corned beef out of the slow cooker and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Then, thinly slice the corned beef against the grain.
- Serve: Garnish with parsley and serve the beef with the carrots and potatoes.
Tips for Making the Best Crock Pot Corned Beef
- If your corned beef is not browned on top, or if you like a bit more browning, put the corned beef under the oven broiler for a few minutes or until browned to your liking.
- To add an extra layer of flavor and texture to the corned beef, consider searing it in a hot skillet before placing it in the slow cooker.
- Add cabbage: For a more traditional recipe, add freshly chopped cabbage 1 hour before the meat is done cooking.
- Let the corned beef rest for about 15 minutes after cooking and before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, keeping the meat moist and tender.
- Be sure to slice the beef against the grain for the most tender results.
How to Serve Corned Beef
- I enjoy my corned beef served with potatoes and carrots, but I also love corned beef with Fried Cabbage!
- You can always opt to mash the potatoes. The juices from the crock pot would be so yummy spooned over mashed potatoes!
- If you are avoiding carbs, you can serve it alongside roasted veggies instead.
Ideas For Using Corned Beef Leftovers
- I look forward to reusing my corned beef leftovers, especially in a tasty Reuben Sandwich! Another knock-your-socks-off idea is making a corned beef hash with your leftovers.
- You could also make a modified Cuban sandwich with your leftover corned beef.
- Try out a cool Irish taco recipe, or top your Irish nachos with leftover shredded corned beef.
Corned Beef FAQs
The cut of beef used for corned beef is the brisket. The brisket is located in the front of the cow, toward the bottom, near the cow’s front legs. For corned beef, you can use a point cut or a flat cut. Point cut is typically cheaper and harder to find. It’s considered less attractive and often used if the meat will be shredded. The flat cut is much leaner than the point cut. This cut is easy to find in supermarkets and best for slicing. You could also choose the whole brisket, which will include both cuts.
Corned beef is cooked through when the internal temperature registers at 145˚F. To ensure accurate results, I suggest using an instant read meat thermometer.
Crock Pot Corned Beef
- 3 pounds raw corned beef brisket with spice packet
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 2 cups Guinness beer
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- 6 large carrots
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Place corned beef, fat side up, into the slow cooker and season it with the spice packet.
- Sprinkle with sugar; add garlic and pour the beer around it.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
- Remove lid and add carrots and potatoes; cover and continue to cook for 2 to 3 more hours or until tender. Corned beef is cooked through when the internal temperature registers at 145˚F. Use an instant-read meat thermometer for accurate results.
- Take the corned beef out of the slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board; let it stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
- Thinly slice the corned beef against the grain.
- Serve with the carrots and potatoes and garnish with parsley.
- If the corned beef is not browned on top, or if you like a bit more browning, put the corned beef under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned to your liking.
- Corned Beef: The cut used for corned beef is the brisket. The brisket is located in the front of the cow, toward the bottom, and near the cow’s front legs. For this corned beef recipe, you can use a flat cut. The flat cut is much leaner than the point cut; it is easier to find in supermarkets and is best for slicing.
- Vegetables: Use any root vegetables you like, or have on hand. Potatoes and carrots are our favorites, but you can also throw in some turnips, onions, sweet potatoes, etc…
- Add cabbage: For a traditional spin on this corned beef recipe, add chopped cabbage to the slow cooker about 1 hour before the meat is done cooking.
- Store Corned Beef in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
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.