Corned Beef & Cabbage

Growing up, we always had corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. I really, really loved it (even when it wasn’t cool to like corned beef or cabbage). Because a) my family is of Irish descent and b) we were the only people I knew who ate corned beef and cabbage, I assumed that a) corned beef and cabbage was definitely Irish and b) no one else really ate it.

Turns out I was wrong on both counts–lots and lots of Americans eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day and it’s not an Irish meal–corned beef is actually more traditionally Jewish (while the cabbage and potatoes are more Irish). But. Back in the day when Jews and the Irish were both poor and despised immigrants, they lived together in big cities and, in many ways, their cultures became enmeshed. Which I think is really kind of cool…I mean, one of the reasons why Sara and I love this gig so much is the way that food brings people together.

Corned beef and cabbage is still one of my favorite meals and I make it a few times a year, even when it’s not St. Patrick’s Day.

To make the beef, you’re going to need a flat cut corned beef roast (make sure it’s a flat cut–while it’s still pretty fatty, it’s not as fatty as a point cut), the seasoning packet that’s included with the roast, some murky apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s), garlic, and some braising liquid. You can use water or, if you’re cool with cooking with beer, you can use a bottle of beer and then top it off with water until the roast is covered.

Cut open the package over the sink and drain the excess liquid (there’s usually quite a lot). Place the brisket in the bottom of the crockpot. Add smashed garlic, the contents of the seasoning packet,

apple cider vinegar, and enough liquid to cover the roast.

Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

For the veggies, you’ll need half a head of cabbage, 4 carrots, a small onion, and a 1 1/2 pound bag of very small baby or fingerling potatoes.

To prepare the vegetables in an electric pressure cooker (this is our favorite), place the prepared veggies in the pot of the pressure cooker and add 1 cup chicken broth.

Use the manual setting for 8 minutes, then use the quick release. While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together some apple cider vinegar, olive oil (I use our bacon olive oil), and Creole or mild coarse grain mustard. (If you aren’t using a pressure cooker, steam them in the chicken broth on the stovetop or microwave).

To serve, drain the vegetables and toss in the vinegar/oil/mustard mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the meat from the crockpot and remove any very fatty pieces that are still attached. Slice or shred. Serve immediately with the vegetables. Makes 6-8 servings.



  1. Corned beef and cabbage is a thing in my family and I’ve always loved it, but it took some work to convert my husband. In my family we always finish it by topping the roast with yellow mustard and brown sugar, then popping it in the oven to set it into a glaze. I admit the little crust of brown-sugar-mustard-and-fat at the top is my favorite. Seriously better than candy. I’ve never tried using vinegar and garlic in the braising liquid. Does it make the meat more tender? I’ll have to try that! Thanks!

  2. I boil my corned beef and cook the chopped cabbage in the broth after the corned beef is done. Carrots and potatoes are cooked separately so the broth doesn’t get ‘thick’ from the starches. While the beef is cooking, I saute chopped celery, carrots, and onions and cook a pot of basmati rice. As soon as the cabbage is lifted from the pot of broth, I dump in the sauteed veggies, the rice, and some chopped corned beef for the my family’s very favorite soup! There is something incredible about corned beef and basmati!

  3. Your comments about this dish that seems so Irish being an Irish-American invention reminded me of a conversation with my neighbors several years ago. David is from Ireland, but was in the US studying and dating Melissa, an American. They happened to drive past a Hibernian Hall that was advertising a corned beef and cabbage dinner and she jokingly said, “I’m sure you’d love to stop by!” His quizzical response was, “What’s corned beef and cabbage.” That’s when she discovered that this was in fact not an staple in Ireland (not to mention, in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday, not a day for drinking and partying). In any event, I’m super excited to make this for the first time this year!

  4. 1. I was so confused at “with the mother” instructions and had to look it up. Learn something new every day!
    2. I totally am out of good vinegar, and it’s the one thing I forgot to grab off my list. I do have some “clear” cider vinegar (actually like 1/4 cup left…I’m seriously lacking in the vinegar department right now) should I use that, or just leave out the vinegar?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *