Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner . $5.30

I can hardly wait every year as St. Patrick’s Day approaches. I love my Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe, below – and I love the left overs just as much! I hope you’ll love this little series of Corned Beef recipes just as much! Reuben Sandwiches, oh my goodness…Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups? Traditional Corned Beef Hash? Who could turn that down?

Corned Beef & Cabbage - traditionally cooked
Corned Beef & Cabbage – traditionally cooked

There are two ways to make Corned Beef – throw it in a crock pot and let it go all day long or do it the right way. Many of us don’t have any choice other than the crock pot given schedules and busy lives. If you do have a few hours around the house, tenderly braise the Corned Beef and pay attention to the timing and you’ll be rewarded with perfectly done brisket with a concentrated flavor and gorgeous vegetables. Both methods are below.

As far as cost, this is an example where individual ingredients come out to play on more than one night: Yep, leftovers. Planning for them effectively allows one to average the cost of the pricy corned beef over several meals.

While a family might groan over a second “reheat” of the previous night’s dinner, they’re much more likely to love a Reuben Sandwich served with Irish Potato Cakes and crunchy pickles a few days later and Nested Corned Beef Hash Cups or Traditional Corned Beef Hash for brunch on the following weekend, and those dishes will “stretch” the left over Corned Beef.

Update: This year (2015) I went a little crazy (see I love Reubens & Corned Beef hash so much, I don’t like to “waste” my precious corned beef on anything else!) and made the Connemara Soup from the Simon Pearce Restaurant in Vermont and Reuben Potstickers with Cheesy Sriracha Dipping Sauce. Both were excellent, especially the rather homely soup!

When you buy your Corned Beef, pick up enough potatoes for the hash and for potato cakes (very traditionally Irish) to go with the Ruebens, some Pumpernickel or Rye bread and sauerkraut. These items, along with onions, carrots, potatoes and cabbage are almost always on deep sale. See Saving on St. Patrick’s Day and below, under Strategies Applied for cost information.

As you slice your Corned Beef, set aside enough for the Ruebens and the Hash, and remember the less you eat now, the more for later, and 4 pounds is not a huge brisket. It’s a bit healthier to not eat massive portions of Corned Beef in one sitting. If your family is likely to feel deprived, make sure you have some Soda Bread on hand (a super fast quick bread) and plenty of the potatoes, cabbage and carrots. After all, that’s how the Irish have done it for centuries!

By the way, a Kitchen Slicer makes beautiful work of slicing Brisket for a meal and/or sandwiches.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

  • Servings: 4 with leftovers
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 pounds Corned Beef Brisket, rinsed well with the heinous little packet discarded.
  • 2 large onions, one peeled and studded with about 4 cloves, the other peeled and quartered through the root end
  • 4 cloves (see above)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • water
  • 5 red potatoes (about 6 ounces each, more if smaller the Irish rule is “one per person and one for the pot.”)
  • 4 large carrots, scraped and cut into about 4 inch chunks
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, quartered through the root end so it will
  • remain intact

Put meat in Dutch oven with all ingredients except potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Cover with water about 3/4 up the sides of the corned beef, but not over, and bring just to a boil, skimming off any foam.

Immediately turn down, put on a lid and simmer very gently for an hour and a half. (When I say very gently, I mean a small bubbles popping up here and there on a regular basis.) Put in vegetables, cabbage on top and simmer gently another hour. (You may want to check the level of the cooking liquid during the long simmer.)

Alternative, this could be cooked in the oven rather than stove top.
When done, the Corned Beef should be fork tender but not stringy and falling apart and have a temperature of at least 160 degrees. Rest it for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into thin slices, across the grain. Serve on a platter with the vegetables and pass the cooking liquid on the side as a sauce.

If you’d like, you can cook the corned beef till done, then remove it to rest, covered. Cut your vegetables into chunks (except cabbage, keep it quartered.) Add your vegetables to the pot, turn up the heat and simmer until they’re done. They can simmer faster and there will be more room for more vegetables.

General rule of thumb for different weights:  Cook 30 minutes, then an additional 30 minutes per pound. Smaller cuts may need slightly less time. Information on cooking in a crock pot is below.

from the kitchen of

Corned Beef in the Crock Pot

If you need to cook this in a crock pot, throw everything together, rinsed Corned Beef on the bottom, then the potatoes, carrots and the cabbage on top. Add enough water to just cover the corned beef. Set it on low and leave for six to nine hours.

If there is time to cook in the evening, cook the brisket in the crock pot, then simmer the potatoes, cabbage and carrots in the broth for about 30 to 40 minutes when you get home.

Left Over Corned Beef Dinner?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

Saving on St. Patrick's
Saving on St. Patrick’s
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving money/time, prices to buy at and managing this recipe.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.

Left Overs:

While I’ve mentioned some of my favorite left overs, a few more things come to mind. Left Over Cabbage can be added to Runzas, and since Runzas often contain sauerkraut, why not mix any left over from the Reubens, as well? If you don’t use a whole head of cabbage, why not make Apple Braised Cabbage or Cole Slaw with the remainder. Cook up extra potatoes if you’d like to use them for both hash and potato cakes….

Recipe originally made in 2012; repriced in March of 2014 – and only went up by pennies.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s