Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage

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Active Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 40 Minutes
Serves 4-6
There are those who will inform you that corned beef and cabbage is an American invention, unknown in Ireland. In fact, the Irish have been preserving meat in corns (i.e., grains) of salt since the 11th centruy, and have long served this homey dish on special occasions. Be forewarned: In cooking, the meat shrinks by half.
2 medium yellow onions, peeled
6 whole cloves
3 1/2 pound piece corned beef, preferably bottom round
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
1 medium head green cabbage
4-6 russet potatoes, peeled and halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hot mustard (optional)

Stud onions with cloves. Rinse corned beef in cold water to remove brine. Put beef in a large pot and add onions, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, skimming occasionally.

Wash cabbage, remove core and any torn leaves, then cut into 6 wedges. Add cabbage and potatoes to beef, then cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Transfer beef to a cutting board and cover with a plate weighted with heavy cans (weighting makes meat easier to slice). Transfer onions, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes to a platter. Remove cloves from onions. Strain cooking liquid, discarding bay leaves and peppercorns. Return liquid to pot and cook over high heat until reduced by one-third, 20-30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return vegetables to stock and heat through for about 5 minutes. Remove plate and cans from meat and cut across the grain, in 1/4″-thick slices. Arrange beef and vegetables on warmed platter. Moisten with stock. Serve with additional stock and hot mustard if you like.


“I love making breakfast,” writes SAVEUR executive editor Christopher Hirsheimer. “Not every day, of course – but give me a lazy weekend and watch me! My favorite breakfast dish is corned beef hash, topped with perfectly poached eggs. Sometimes I make corned beef and cabbage for dinner just so I can have the leftovers the next morning for hash. If I don’t, then I start the night before anyway, simmering a big piece of corned beef (I prefer the bottom round) until it’s so tender it falls off a fork. Then I refrigerate it and go to bed. In the morning, I shred the meat and cook 2 potatoes and 2 onions in the corned beef cooking water to add even more salty flavor. I mix the corned beef, the chopped onions, and the potatoes together and cook them to a crisp ‘cake’ in butter for about 5 minutes on each side. I poach the eggs ahead of time, holding them in cold water until it’s time to eat; then I reheat them quickly and put them gently on top of the golden-crusted hash.”

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