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How to Make Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day

Corned Beef and Cabbage
Phillip Samuels for Getty Images


This is my very favorite recipe for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the tradition corned beef and cabbage.


This is not a recipe for the beginning cook. It’s tough and it takes some time and patience. Be sure to gather all of the ingredients ahead of time and stay organized with this one. It’s a doozy!  Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown for The Food Network. (I’ve made a few changes from his original)

Corned Beef and Cabbage


2 to 2 1/2 pound Corned-Beef Brisket*, recipe follows
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 small carrots, diced
2 small onions, diced
3 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced

1 small head cabbage, chopped, approximately 2 pounds

Corned Beef:

2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons saltpeter
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds ice
1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped


Corned Beef: (this takes 10 days)
Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.

After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.

*Cook’s note: Brisket should be prepared through the brining stage, but not cooked.

Place the corned beef and remaining spices into a large 8-quart pot along with 3-quarts of water. Cover and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low and cook, at a low simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 1/2 hours add the carrots, onions, potatoes and celery. Return to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the cabbage and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes and cabbage are tender. Remove the bay leaves and serve immediately.


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