Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patty’s Day is just around the corner meaning it’s time for you to cure your corned beef. Corned beef and cabbage has become a largely popular meal to celebrate St. Patrick’s day among Irish-Americans. But many wonder if the popular meal is actually Irish. Yes and no. Corned beef does have it’s ties with Ireland, but not necessarily with the holiday. Read more about corned beef’s history in this detailed Smithsonian article.

How To Make Corned Beef and Cabbage

Many recipes online call for “one corned beef”. You can often times find “corned beef” raw in the store around St. Patrick’s Day. Pre-cured corned beef only needs to be cooked. While beef brisket made to be corned beef has to be cured before it’s cooked.

Corned beef is typically cured for 10 days before cooking, but some sources have cured it for less time still getting great results. If you’re getting to this late, you can always buy cured corned beef and cabbage at the grocery store. I’ll show you instructions on how to cure your beef brisket and cook it once it’s been cured.

Corned Beef and cabbage in a dish

Ingredients for Beef Brisket Brine

Before cooking corned beef, you need to cure it in a brine.

  • 4-5 pound Beef Brisket
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons of curing salt (saltpeter/ potassium nitrate)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

How to Cure Corned Beef (Directions)

  1. In a large stockpot, add water, brown sugar, salts, cinnamon, mustard, allspice, ginger, red pepper flakes, whole cloves, and the bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until salt and sugar molecules are dissolved.
  2. Remove the brine from heat and cool to room temperature. This can be done in a few ways to be “food safe”. You can either (1) add ice to cool it down faster, (2) place it in the freezer, (3) transfer it to a cooler container, let cool on counter top for ~1-2 hours, then place in fridge.
  3. Place brisket in a 2-gallon zip-loc bag and carefully add the brine. Seal the bag, lay it flat in a container, and let it sit in the refrigerator for 10 days. Make sure brisket is completely covered in the brine.
  4. After 10 days, remove the brisket from the brine and follow the directions below!

Ingredients For Corned Beef and Cabbage

  • 3-4 lb of Corned Beef Brisket
  • 1 Head of Cabbage, sliced into large slices
  • 2 Large Carrots, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 White Onions, chopped
  • 2 Stalks of Celery, chopped into large chunks
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Bay Leaves


  1. Rinse brisket under cool water. Add to a large stock pot with carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaves. Cover completely in water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once water reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 2 1/2 – 3 hours until meat is fork tender. I typically add the cabbage slices in the last half hour of cooking.
  3. When brisket is fork tender, remove from heat, let rest for a few minutes, and then slice thinly across the grain.
Corned beef and cabbage with carrots in a glass dish.

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