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Corned Beef and Cabbage Slow Cooker Recipe

Fork-tender and full of flavor, this Corned Beef and Cabbage Slow Cooker recipe with potatoes and carrots makes a hearty St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

This easy slow cooker corned beef recipe is one of those set-it and forget-it type meals you’re going to love. Plus, the leftovers make the best Reuben sandwiches throughout the week.

Cooked low and slow, serve Corned Beef and Cabbage with a dollop of grainy mustard or horseradish and a loaf of Irish Soda Bread, to complete the meal.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • SIMPLE: Just 5 ingredients is all you need
  • EASY: Requires minimal prep time and effort
  • TASTY: Flavorful and tender corned beef
  • NO FUSS: Made completely in the slow cooker for easy clean up!
sliced slow cooker corned beef on a white platter with carrots and potatoes with a bowl of cabbage on a table.

Behind the recipe

Whether you’re Irish or not, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is always a good excuse to enjoy traditional Irish-inspired food like today’s Corned Beef and Cabbage.

In the late 19th century, Irish immigrants began substituting corned beef—which was readily available at butcher shops and delis—in place of the more expensive bacon in their boiled meat and cabbage recipes.

Corned beef is a brine-cured beef brisket, which is why the meat has its distinct red color.

Most corned beef and cabbage recipes include potatoes and many also include carrots or onions, like most traditional beef stews.

In Ireland, Irish stew made with mutton is the normal St. Patty’s Day fare. On this side of the pond, however, the corned beef and cabbage introduced by Irish-Americans is the most popular St. Patrick’s Day choice.

ingredients for slow cooker corned beef and cabbage

Just 5 ingredients!

  • cured corned beef brisket — with seasoning packet
  • red potatoes — unpeeled and cut in half
  • carrots — peeled and cut into 3 inch pieces
  • green cabbage — outer leaves removed and quartered
  • water
a slow cooker with corned beef, carrots, and potatoes.

Instructions

  1. Rinse the brisket and pat dry, save the seasoning packet.
  2. Trim any excess fat from the meat, leaving a thin layer.
  3. Place the brisket in the slow cooker fat side up and sprinkle the top with the seasoning packet.
  4. Nestle the potatoes and carrots around the brisket and pour in the water.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
  6. Lay the cabbage wedges on top and continue cooking on LOW another 2 hours.
  7. Remove the cabbage to a bowl and dot with pats of butter and season with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
  8. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing (against the grain) and serving.
sliced slow cooker corned beef on a white platter with carrots and potatoes with a bowl of cabbage on a table.

How to choose a corned beef brisket

Corned beef cuts may come in either a round roast, a flat cut brisket, or a point cut brisket. Either of these cuts may be used in this slow cooker recipe, but I personally prefer the flat cut.

The corned beef round roast is leaner and may tend to dry out during cooking, while the point cut has the most fat and the flat cut yields more uniform slices.

In my area, corned beef briskets usually start showing up in the meat counter by the middle of February in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. When choosing a corned beef brisket, make sure the label indicates “cured” and includes a spice packet.

Cured, ready-to-cook corned beef may be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for 2 weeks before cooking.

What is in the corned beef spice packet?

That little spice packet included with the meat is essentially a pickling spice blend made up mostly of peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds, dill seeds and bay leaves. Combined with the brining process, these spices create corned beef’s distinct flavor.

FAQs

Can I cook corned beef with beer?

In fact, many people do cook corned beef in beer and love the taste, but if you are cooking vegetables at the same time in the slow cooker, I don’t recommend it. Potatoes cooked in beer? Umm…no.

Is corned beef bad for you?

Admittedly, corned beef has a lot of sodium and cholesterol, so as with many other foods you should practice moderation. Personally, I only eat corned beef around the St. Patrick’s day holiday.

Since the meat is naturally red, how can you tell when corned beef is done?

Good question! If the corned beef brisket can be easily pierced with a fork, it is done. For safe measure, you may also test the doneness with an instant read digital thermometer. The USDA recommends cooking corned beef to a minimum temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long do corned beef leftovers last?

Always refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking and be sure to consume them or toss them after 3 to 4 days.

tips

  • Rinse the meat and discard the extra liquid in the the packaging to remove excess salt.
  • Cooking the corned beef fat side up adds more flavor and tenderness to the meat.
  • Although corned beef can be cooked for a shorter time on the slow cooker’s HIGH setting, cooking on the LOW setting for a longer time will result in a better texture and tenderness.

Need a St. Patty’s Day dessert?

Corned Beef and Cabbage Slow Cooker recipe

This Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe uses water for the cooking liquid, but you may substitute beef broth for a richer flavor. If you do, be sure to use low-sodium beef broth to keep the saltiness of the dish in check.

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Yield: 6 servings

Easy Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

sliced slow cooker corned beef on a white platter with carrots and potatoes on a table.

Fork-tender and full of flavor, this Corned Beef and Cabbage Slow Cooker recipe with potatoes and carrots makes a hearty St. Patrick's Day dinner.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
  • 5 - 6 medium red potatoes, halved
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 1 small green cabbage, cut into 6 wedges

Instructions

  1. Remove the brisket from the package, reserving the seasoning packet. Rinse the meat under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat from the meat, leaving a thin layer.
  2. Place the brisket in the slow cooker fat side up and sprinkle the top with the reserved seasoning packet.
  3. Nestle the potatoes and carrots around the brisket and pour in the water or beef broth.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
  5. After 6 hours, lay the cabbage wedges on top of the brisket and continue cooking on LOW 2 more hours.
  6. Remove the cabbage to a bowl. Dot the cabbage with pats of butter and season with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
  7. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Always slice the meat diagonally against the grain.
  • Serve the corned beef brisket with a side of grainy mustard or horseradish, if desired.
  • Rinse the meat and discard the extra liquid in the the packaging to remove excess salt.
  • Cooking the corned beef fat side up adds more flavor and tenderness to the meat.
  • Although corned beef can be cooked for a shorter time on the slow cooker's HIGH setting, cooking on the LOW setting for a longer time will result in a better texture and tenderness.
  • You may use low-sodium beef broth in place of water.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 826Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 240mgSodium: 215mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 70g

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