Recipe: Corned Beef and Cabbage

by Caitlyn Stace

Corned beef and cabbageCorned beef and cabbage has become an American tradition to help celebrate Irish heritage and Saint Patrick's Day.

Ironically, corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish dish at all. It's reported that Irish immigrants made the dish popular when they opted for the beef instead of the traditional bacon the dish called for.

Roots of origin aside, this salted meat is still a fantastic meal in itself. Top with a mustard crust (we've included three choices) and serve with some ice cold green beer (if allowed)!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Prep time: 20 minutes | Total time: 4 hours | Yield: 12 servings


• 1 four pound corned beef brisket
• Seasoning packet OR
  - 4 allspice berries
   -2 bay leaves
   -1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 1 onion, quartered
• 3 cloves garlic, cut in half
• 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 2 carrots, cut into 1" sections
• 12 whole small potatoes or 6 large, cut into quarters
• 2 small, solid heads cabbage, cut into eighths

Spicy Mustard Crust
• 3 tablespoons prepared deli or other type mustard
• 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce

Simple Mustard Crust
• 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
• 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

Honey Mustard Crust
• 1/3 cup marmalade
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoons dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons grainy mustard


Trim the corned beef of excess fat. Place beef in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, spices and 2 1/2 cups water (or more if necessary to cover) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Remove the meat from the pot. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a broiler pan with foil and place the corned beef on top.

Mix together ingredients for the crust. Spread on top of the corned beef. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, add the carrots and potatoes to the pot of boiling water. Cook 15 minutes or until almost tender. Add cabbage and steam 8 to 10 minutes or until tender.

Slice the corned beef against the grain and surround with the vegetables on a platter. Serve with Irish soda bread. Round out your Irish-themed meal with shamrock cookies or a rainbow cake.

Cook's Note

Is corned beef and cabbage a traditional Irish food? It turns out the answer is no. It was not a part of the Irish diet until the last century or so. Cattle were kept, but for their milk not their meat. Corned beef was a costly delicacy. It was more common for the Irish people to eat pork -- cured in corn sized kernels of salt. The back leg of the pig was considered ham; everything else "bacon."

If you want to cook the traditional Irish meal, hunt up an old fashioned hunk of Irish bacon and cook up a pot of "Bacon and Cabbage." Parsley sauce or whole-grain mustard sauce is the usual accompaniment, along with boiled potatoes, turnips, and carrots.

Will you be cooking this dish for St. Patrick's Day?

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