Best Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe

⚠️The recipe at the bottom is KETO-FRIENDLY with “only” 15g of Carb.

A Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe is a traditional Irish dish that has become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. It is a hearty and flavorful not Keto meal that combines tender corned beef brisket with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. The dish is often enjoyed with a side of Irish soda bread and a pint of Guinness.

The History of Corned Beef Cabbage

The origins of the Corned Beef Cabbage recipe can be traced back to Ireland, where it was a common meal among the working class. Corned beef refers to beef that has been cured in a brine solution with large grains of salt, known as “corns.” This method of preserving meat dates back centuries and was popular in many European countries.

In Ireland, corned beef was made from brisket, a tough cut of affordable and readily available meat. It was often paired with cabbage, potatoes, and other root vegetables, which were also inexpensive and easy to grow. The dish became associated with St. Patrick’s Day because it was a festive meal that could feed a large crowd.

The corned beef cabbage recipe gained popularity in the United States during the 19th century when many Irish immigrants settled there. They brought their traditional recipes with them and adapted them to the ingredients available in their new home. The corned beef was more readily available in America than in Ireland, where it had become more expensive due to the introduction of the potato as a staple food.

Essential Ingredients for the Best Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe

To make the best Corned Beef Cabbage recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

Corned beef brisket: This is the star of the dish and should be of the highest quality. Look for a well-marbled piece of meat with a good amount of fat, as this will help keep it moist and tender during cooking.

  • Cabbage: Choose a head of cabbage that is firm and heavy for its size. Green cabbage is the most commonly used variety, but you can also use red or savoy cabbage for added color and flavor.
  • Potatoes: Use starchy potatoes like russets or Yukon golds for the best texture. These potatoes will break down slightly during cooking and help thicken the broth.
  • Carrots: Look for carrots that are firm and brightly colored. Slice them into thick rounds or batons for even cooking.
  • Onion: A yellow or white onion will add flavor to the dish. Chop it into large pieces so that it holds its shape during cooking.
  • Garlic: For the best flavor, use fresh garlic cloves. Crush them with the side of a knife or mince them finely.
  • Bay leaves: These aromatic leaves add depth to the broth. Remove them before serving.
  • Peppercorns: Whole black peppercorns add a subtle heat to the dish. You can crush them slightly to release more flavor.

Preparing and Cooking the Corned Beef

Before cooking the corned beef, it is important to soak it in water to remove some of the excess salt. Cover the brisket in a large pot or bowl with cold water. Let it soak for at least 2 hours, changing the water once or twice if possible.

Once the beef has soaked, you can cook it in a pot on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. If using a pot, place the beef in a large pot and cover it with water. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the beef is tender.

If using a slow cooker, place the beef in the slow cooker and add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Pour in enough water to cover the beef. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours until the beef is tender.

About 30 minutes before the beef is done, add the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots to the pot or slow cooker. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

How to Make the Perfect Cabbage Accompaniment

There are several ways to prepare the cabbage for Corned Beef ‘N’ Cabbage. One popular method is to sauté it with onions and garlic. Heat some oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions and minced garlic and cook until they are soft and fragrant. Add shredded cabbage and cook until it is wilted and tender.

Another option is to boil the cabbage with potatoes and carrots. Cut the cabbage into wedges and place it in a pot with peeled and quartered potatoes and sliced carrots. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender.

For added flavor, you can also cook bacon with the cabbage. Fry bacon in a skillet until crispy, then remove it from the pan and crumble it. Sauté sliced onions and minced garlic in the bacon fat, then add shredded cabbage and cook until wilted. Stir in the crumbled bacon before serving.

Adding Flavor with Spices and Seasonings

Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe

You can add various spices and seasonings to enhance the flavor of this Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe. Some popular options include:

  • Mustard: Serve the dish with a side of mustard for dipping. Dijon or whole-grain mustard works well.
  • Horseradish: Mix horseradish with sour cream or mayonnaise for a tangy and spicy sauce to serve with the beef.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the cooking liquid for added depth of flavor.
  • Brown sugar: Sprinkle brown sugar over the beef before cooking to add a touch of sweetness.
  • Vinegar: For a tangy kick, add a splash of vinegar, such as apple cider or white wine vinegar, to the cooking liquid.

Tips for Achieving Tender and Juicy Corned Beef

To ensure that your Corned Beef Cabbage recipe is tender and juicy, follow these tips:

  • Cooking time and temperature: Cook the beef low and slow to allow the collagen in the meat to break down and become tender. Simmer it gently over low heat or cook it in a slow cooker for several hours.
  • Resting the meat before slicing: After cooking, let the beef rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and moist final dish.
  • Slicing against the grain: When slicing the corned beef, be sure to cut against the grain. This will help break up the muscle fibers and tender the meat.

Serving Suggestions for This Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe

There are several ways to serve Corned Beef Cabbage:

  • Plating options: Place slices of corned beef on a plate and arrange the cooked vegetables around it. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over the meat and vegetables. Garnish with fresh parsley or chives.
  • Pairing with beer or other beverages: Corned Beef ‘N’ Cabbage pairs well with a pint of Guinness or other Irish stout. You can also serve it with a glass of red wine or a non-alcoholic beverage, such as ginger ale or apple cider.
  • Serving with Irish soda bread: Corned Beef ‘N’ Cabbage is traditionally enjoyed with Irish soda bread. The bread’s dense and slightly sweet texture complements the savory flavors of the dish.

Variations on the Classic Recipe

While Corned Beef Cabbage is delicious on its own, there are several variations you can try:

  • Reuben sandwiches: Use leftover corned beef to make Reuben sandwiches. Layer slices of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing between two slices of rye bread. Grill the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
  • Corned beef hash: Chop leftover corned beef into small pieces and sauté it with diced potatoes and onions. Cook until the potatoes are crispy, and the mixture is heated through. Serve with fried eggs for a hearty breakfast or brunch.
  • Corned beef and cabbage soup: Chop leftover corned beef into small pieces and add it to a vegetable or chicken broth pot. Add shredded cabbage, diced potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, and the flavors have melded together.

Frequently Asked Questions About Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe

Here are answers to some common questions about Corned Beef ‘N’ Cabbage:

  • How to make it a Keto recipe? See the Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe below.
  • How long does it take to cook corned beef? The cooking time can vary depending on the size of the brisket and the cooking method used. Simmering corned beef on the stovetop takes about 2-3 hours or 8-10 hours in a slow cooker.
  • Can I use a different cut of beef? While brisket is the traditional cut of meat used for Corned Beef ‘N’ Cabbage, you can also use other cuts, such as bottom round or rump roast. Keep in mind that these cuts may be leaner and less tender than brisket, so they may require longer cooking times.
  • Can I make corned beef in advance? Yes, you can reheat it before serving. Store the cooked corned beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the beef in a pot with some of the cooking liquid and heat gently over low heat until warmed through.
  • What other vegetables can I add to the dish? In addition to cabbage, potatoes, and carrots, you can add other vegetables to Corned Beef ‘N’ Cabbage, such as turnips, parsnips, or rutabagas. Chop them into similar-sized pieces and add them to the pot or slow cooker at the same time.

Keto Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe


  • 3 lb. corned beef brisket with spice packet 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 lb. baby potatoes, halved
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 2” long pieces, halved if large
  • 1 small head of green cabbage, cut into wedges


  • Place brisket in a large Dutch oven and cover with water.
  • Add spice packet, bay leaves, and thyme, and place on medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook until tender, skimming occasionally, checking every 30 minutes, and adding water if needed, until the beef is tender, about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and carrots and bring back up to a boil.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, then add cabbage and boil 5 minutes more.
  • Remove meat and drain vegetables. Let meat rest 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

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