Everyone’s favorite Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe made in either the Slow Cooker or on the Stovetop. Filled with tender corned beef brisket, carrots, potatoes, onions, and cabbage, enjoy this delicious and well-rounded one-pot meal on St. Patrick’s Day or any day of the year!
Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
There are several ways to cook corned beef and cabbage. This post shares two of those ways with you – via the slow cooker and stovetop. Each method has its own set of pros and cons. I prefer cooking mine on the stovetop because I don’t have a slow cooker large enough to fit all the veggies I like to include. If you don’t care about veggies as much, or you know you’ll be in and out of the house all day, then the slow cooker method is definitely for you.
My dad would make corned beef and cabbage for us every year (via the crockpot) until we flew the coop and moved out. It always had carrots, cabbage, and potatoes, and he always cut with the grain rather than across. It was a St. Patrick’s Day favorite that we all looked forward to each year.
Despite its association with St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States, corned beef is not actually considered a national Irish dish. The corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish immigrants in the late 19th century in the Irish-American variation of the Irish dish, bacon and cabbage.
How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage on the Stovetop
For the full list and amounts of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
The biggest problem I face with recipes like this is making sure to use a pot large enough to accommodate all vegetables I want. I face this problem with any beef stew I make (like this Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon or this Instant Pot Beef Stew), particularly if they include carrots. For this reason, unless I know I will be out and about all day, I typically prefer to make my corned beef in a very large pot or Dutch oven.
To get started,
Grab your largest Dutch oven or stockpot. I used my favorite 7.5-quart Dutch oven and found that even this was a little snug. Next, remove the corned beef brisket from its packaging and transfer it to a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the seasoning packet, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Cover with enough water to fully submerge the brisket. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover.
Cook the corned beef – separate from any vegetables – for at least 2-3 hours. Add additional water, if needed, to keep corned beef covered.
After 2-3 hours, add the onions, carrots, and potatoes to your pot. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until vegetables are tender.
In the last 15-30 minutes of cooking, add the cabbage and return to a simmer. If the pot is too full, use a slotted spoon to remove enough carrots and potatoes to make room for the cabbage – set aside to a clean plate and return to reheat for a few minutes before serving.
Remove corned beef and vegetables to a clean serving plate. Cut into thin slices and serve with spicy mustard or Horseradish Sauce, if desired.
How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage in the Slow Cooker
Cooking corned beef in the Crockpot isn’t much different from cooking it on the stovetop. They both need a large cooking vessel, each cook low and slow, and the result, in both cases, is a complete meal all in one!
To make corned beef and cabbage in the Crockpot simply:
Transfer the corned beef brisket, seasoning packet, brown sugar, and bay leaves to a large 8-10 quart slow cooker. Add the carrots, potatoes, and onions and cover with 4-5 cups of water (it’s ok if the brisket is not fully submerged).
- Note: If your slow cooker is smaller than 8-quarts, reduce the total amount of carrots, potatoes, and onions by half (otherwise everything may not fit).
Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or on LOW for 6 hours. I recommend cooking on low, especially if you plan to use the slow cooker. I find that the meat turns out more tender.
Add the cabbage and continue to cook for an additional 1 hour, or until tender.
Remove corned beef and vegetables. Cut into thin slices and serve with spicy mustard or Horseradish Sauce, if desired.
What Cut of Beef is Best?
There are two popular cuts of brisket for corned beef. The first, and most common, is the “flat” cut which is of a relatively consistent thickness, cut square, less fatty, and slices easily. The second, the “point”, is the thicker end of the brisket, which is fattier and better for shredding. You may also have the option to purchase the whole brisket, which includes both the flat and the point. A much harder option to find sold in stores, this is believed by many to be the best option as it’s the best of both worlds.
What to Serve with Corned Beef and Cabbage
My favorite part about this recipe is that it doesn’t really need anything more. Perhaps a few condiments – like mustard or horseradish (or ketchup for the kids) – but there’s no need to make a huge production with this humble recipe.
If you are looking for a little something more, soft dinner rolls with butter or homemade applesauce are the perfect additions.
More Stew Recipes,
Cioppino Recipe (Seafood Stew)
Norwegian Salt Cod Stew (Bacalao)
Instant Pot Pork Green Chili Stew
If you try making this Corned Beef and Cabbage, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe (Slow Cooker and Stovetop)
- Dutch oven
- 1 corned beef brisket - (approx. 4 pounds) with seasoning
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 pounds red potatoes - halved
- 8-10 large carrots - chopped into 2-3" pieces
- 2 yellow onions - peeled and quartered
- 1 large green cabbage - cut into wedges
Stovetop Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Remove corned beef brisket from its packaging and transfer to a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the seasoning packet, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Cover with enough water to fully submerge the brisket (see notes). Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Allow corned beef to cook - separate from any vegetables - for at least 2-3 hours. Refill with additional water, if needed, to keep corned beef covered.
- After 2-3 hours, add the onions, carrots, and potatoes to your pot. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until vegetables are tender (see notes).
- In the last 15-30 minutes of cooking, add the cabbage and return to a simmer. If the pot is too full, use a slotted spoon to remove enough carrots and potatoes to make room - set aside to a clean plate and return to reheat for a few minutes before serving.
- Remove corned beef and vegetables. Cut beef into thin slices and serve with spicy mustard or Horseradish Sauce, if desired.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Transfer the corned beef brisket, seasoning packet, brown sugar, and bay leaves to a large 8-10 quart slow cooker (see notes). Add the carrots, potatoes, and onions and cover with 4-5 cups of water (it's ok if the brisket is not fully submerged).
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or on LOW for 6 hours.
- Add the cabbage and continue to cook for an additional 1 hour, or until tender.
- Remove corned beef and vegetables. Cut into thin slices and serve with spicy mustard or Horseradish Sauce, if desired.
- Add 1 can of light or dark Irish beer plus water for a more flavorful broth.
- The vegetables can be cooked longer than 1 hour, however, they will start to turn mushy and fall apart the longer they cook.
- If your slow cooker is smaller than 8-quarts, reduce the total amount of carrots, potatoes, and onions by half.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
I’m curious as you why you prefer to slice it with the grain. Wouldn’t that make the meat stringy?
Jessica Randhawa says
Slicing corned beef with the grain or parallel to the lines of muscle fibers in the meat can make it more tender and easier to chew. This is because slicing against the grain or perpendicular to the fibers can result in tougher and chewier pieces of meat because of the cross-cut section.
Yes, the muscle strands are longer per slice as seen in the pictures, but you will still cut each bite into smaller pieces before chewing.
My father cooked corned beef and cabbage a lot growing up, and this is what he always cut it 🙂
Get yourself an 8 quart pressure cooker. For example, I bought the 8qt Instant Pot Duo Crisp for only $70 at a closeout. With it, you can pressure cook as well as slow cook. And even sous vide and air fry! In other words, you’d have four ways to cook the corned beef. Pressure cooking is the fastest, taking only 60-90 minutes. Sous vide takes the longest, from 10-36 hours, depending on the recipe. But it’s also the most flexible, allowing you to precisely control the texture by varying the time and temperature. I was able to make corned beef with a chewy steak-like texture and it was a huge hit. I have not tried air frying it yet but my guess is that it’s like roasting, but faster.
Anyway, my point is that an 8 quart pressure cooker can accommodate two corned beefs easily. And you can use the slow cooking mode if you like. I’m using it tonight to make yogurt. The finished product is thicker than Greek yogurt and I don’t even have to strain out the whey. Plus, it’s all yogurt, without any thickeners, e.g. gums, starches, gelatins, etc.
Hey Jess, I really enjoyed this recipe. The corn beef was melt in your mouth delicious and the cabbage was the perfect compliment to the beef. Here in Australia the cornbeef I found at the supermarkets didn’t come with a seasoning packet so I just improvised with some ground coriander, ground mustard seeds, peppercorns, star anise and chilli flakes. Let me know if there is any other spices you think might take my beef to the next level. It was really great, thank you so much for your delicious recipe.
Jessica Randhawa says
Thanks for the feedback Andrea, the combination of spices you used sounds good to me 😀
Hi, just made my first corned beef today, per your recipe. My experience was not very good. I had a small brisket, I am a senior and live alone. I saw there was a layer of fat on the bottom but thought it was not very much, it looked lean to me. I have cooked all my life. Added the cabbage and potatoes. Everything was so greasy I could only eat a tiny bit. I put it in a colander and washed all of it with very hot water. It is still greasy in my mouth on on my lips. Tomorrow I think I will cook more cabbage in a pot and try to use some of the meat. Not a big deal, I guess I should have trimmed it first. Just a thought. No ones fault but I probably won’t make it again.