The Very Best Corned Beef and Cabbage
This Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe is easy to make. Ale braised corned beef is roasted with simple ingredients and paired with a caramelized pan roasted cabbage to create a dish that goes beyond the usual boiled dinner. Instructions are included for both the oven and slow cooker or crock pot.
Every year, on St. Patrick’s Day, we had corned beef and cabbage for dinner that was cooked in the slow cooker all day long. The smell of the cabbage was simply overwhelming….filling the house with the off-gasses from the vegetable that, by the end of the day, made me want to eat anything OTHER than corned beef and cabbage. It was like I could taste it all day…so, why bother eating it. I was ready for something else. Like Bangers and Mash….or peanut butter or jelly.
When I moved out on my own, I vowed to never make Corned Beef and Cabbage ever again. I lived in an apartment building and, frankly, I didn’t want my neighbors to hate me…even though the lady downstairs used to bang on the ceiling with a broom handle and had a hang up with people parking in “her” spot. But that’s a story for another day. I really didn’t want to stink up the joint so I celebrated St. Patrick’s day with my usual Bangers and a few Bailey’s spiked cupcakes. It worked for awhile until I realized…maybe there was a better way. I did LOVE corned beef and I really LOVED cabbage…maybe the problem was in the preparation. Maybe the cabbage needed a little extra love all on it’s own so it didn’t start to stench like a week old garbage pail in 90 degree heat. Get what I’m saying here?
So, I decided to try my hand at creating the most flavorful…the BEST Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe on the planet. And I think I succeeded…maybe not the best on the planet but if you’ve ever been to Katz’s Deli in New York City…..this corned beef rivals it. Now, we’re not curing our own beef here so don’t run away. But you’re creating two very simple dishes and then serving them together. It’s pretty simple. The Corned Beef is braised in ale (or a lager if you’re not an ale fan) with a few carrots, celery and spices for 3 hours. (or 6-7 hours on low in the slow cooker/crock pot) Yep, it’s long but you can do this. And the cabbage is fried in a skillet with some onions until they begin to caramelize then finished off with a quick roast in the oven. This prevents the cabbage from making everything taste and smell like cabbage…it also prevents the cabbage from becoming overwhelmed with the salty corned beef flavor. What you get is a deep, rich flavor of sweet and salty that will completely blow your mind.
Trust me when I say….once you try the Very Best Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe, you will never make it any other way again. Serve it with some simple boiled potatoes, Colcannon and a few Mini Soda Bread Muffins. The leftovers are incredible in a reuben the next day….so good, in fact, you will not be saving this recipe for once a year any longer.
The Very Best Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 3 pound corned beef brisket
- 12 ounces ale or lager
- 24 ounces water
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cups sliced Vidalia onion (about one large onion)
- 1 head savoy or green cabbage, core removed and sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- If oven cooking, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- In a large dutch oven (or skillet, if cooking in the slow cooker), heat the oil over med-high heat. Add the brisket to the pan fat side down and cook until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes. Turn the brisket over and brown the other side, approximately 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain the fat. (If cooking in the slow cooker, transfer the brisket to the slow cooker at this time.) Pour the ale over the brisket. Stir in the water, carrots, celery, mustard, thyme, mustard seeds and bay leaf. Cover and transfer to the oven for 3 hours. (Or cover and turn the slow cooker on low for 6-7 hours.)
- When the brisket has one hour left of cook time, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in the butter until melted. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the cabbage. Cook until wilted and beginning to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes stirring after 10 minutes. (The onions and cabbage should start to turn golden brown and caramelize.)
- When the brisket is done, it should be tender enough to pull apart with a fork. If it's still tough, continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes covered with foil before slicing against the grain. Serve with the cabbage.