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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this classic Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe that the whole family will love! This one-pot meal feeds a crowd with tender, brined and spiced meat and hearty vegetables!

Wishing for a taste of the Emerald Isle this St. Patrick’s Day? Be sure to try our Irish Apple Cake with Warm Custard Sauce, Irish Soda Bread, or Dublin Coddle (One Pot Irish Potato, Sausage & Onion Stew) as well for a true Irish feast!

An image of a sliced corned beef brisket served on a platter with boiled potatoes, cooked cabbage, and carrots.  

Best Corned Beef and Cabbage

We love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! Our kids are at that age where they believe in sneaky leprechauns and are gleeful at the tricks they play. Plus our town has a big parade and festival every year because it was settled by Irish immigrants, named Dublin, and we have four leaf clover symbols everywhere year-round as part of our town decor. And I also have a fairly strong Irish heritage myself.

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional meal for Irish-Americans, but not so much for the actual Irish, where beef was historically far too expensive for most families to afford.

It was the Irish who immigrated to America, where beef was plentiful and far less expensive, who popularized this dish, which is made with brisket and spices cooked in a dutch oven on the stovetop with liquid (anything from water to Guinness to beef broth works). Red potatoes and carrots are added towards the end, with cabbage being thrown in for the last 15 minutes. Then the tender meat is sliced against the grain and served with the vegetables and potatoes.

It’s a fabulous one-pot meal that is total comfort food. 

An image of a plate of slices of corned beef and cabbage with boiled potatoes and carrots.

Also, corned beef leftovers are the BEST. Make an amazing reuben sandwich with them or chop them up and throw them in a simple beef or chicken broth with a bunch of veggies and the leftover potatoes and cabbage for a soup. It’s SO GOOD.

An image of St. Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage.

How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage the Classic Way on the Stovetop

  1. Remove the corned beef from the packaging, reserving the spice packet and rinsing the meat well. This step isn’t crucial, but I find most corned beef is too salty without being rinsed first of the juices it is packaged in.
  2. Place the meat in the bottom of a large dutch oven, then sprinkle with the contents of the spice packet and add 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns.
  3. Add 5-6 cups beef broth (my preferred approach) or water to thee pot with the corned beef brisket. Really you just need enough liquid to cover the meat completely and I find that the type doesn’t make a huge difference when it comes down to it.
  4. Place on the stove and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the meat cook in the simmering liquid for about 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Add the carrots and potatoes, making sure to move the meat if necessary and set it on top of the potatoes so the vegetables can cook in the liquid. If needed, add an additional 2 cups of hot water to the cooking liquid. Cook for 30 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
  6. Add the cabbage wedges, pushing them down into the cooking liquid, and cook for 15 minutes longer.
  7. Remove the meat, potatoes, and vegetables from the pot. Slice the meat into thin slices against the grain, then serve on a large platter surrounded by the boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage. I like to splash a little vinegar on my cabbage before eating it, and I serve the meat with a simple whole grain mustard for extra flavor.

An image of a piece of marbled beef brisket in a dutch oven with pickling spices and bay leaves.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

  1.  You can make corned beef and cabbage in the slow cooker by just adding all of the ingredients except for the cabbage and cooking on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 8-9 hours. 
  2. Add the cabbage, then cook on HIGH for another 1 hour before removing the meat and vegetables, then slicing and serving.

What do you serve with corned beef and cabbage?

This is a pretty complete meal all on its own, but I recommend serving corned beef and cabbage with a nice crusty bread or a loaf of currant or raisin-studded Irish Soda Bread. And for a real Irish dessert, this Irish Apple Cake with Warm Custard Sauce is delicious, as is my favorite Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake with Toffee Sauce.

An image of a large plate of sliced corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots.  

More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes You’ll Love

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Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage
Yield: 8-10 Servings

Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this classic Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe that the whole family will love! This one-pot meal feeds a crowd with tender, brined and spiced meat and hearty vegetables!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-4 pound) corned beef with spice packet
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 5-6 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 1 large head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions

  1. Remove the corned beef from the packaging and rinse well.
  2. Place the meat in the bottom of a large dutch oven, then sprinkle with the contents of the spice packet and add 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns.
  3. Add enough beef broth or water to cover the meat completely.
  4. Place on the stove and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the meat cook in the simmering liquid for about 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Add the carrots and potatoes, making sure to move the meat if necessary so the vegetables can cook in the liquid. If needed, add an additional 2 cups of hot water to the cooking liquid. Continue to cook for 30 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
  6. Add the cabbage wedges, pushing them down into the cooking liquid, and cook for 15 minutes longer.
  7. Remove the meat, potatoes, and vegetables from the pot. Slice the meat into thin slices against the grain, then serve on a large platter surrounded by the boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage.

Notes

  • You can use just water instead of the beef broth, or water with 5-6 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon Beef Base.
  • I like to splash a little vinegar on my cabbage before eating it, and I serve the meat with a simple whole grain mustard for extra flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 3419mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g