Corned beef and cabbage crock pot. My kids get super excited when I make this meal. Yet, I think I make this beef recipe once or twice a year. I don’t know why? It’s not like it’s hard. But when March rolls around, I see the Corned Beef front and center in the supermarket, and I know it’s the time!
A Classic Corned Beef And Cabbage Recipe
Because March means St Patrick’s Day is near. And, just like you see all the turkeys around before Thanksgiving, now you see all the corned beef everywhere. How can you not take advantage of that? Especially right after St Patty’s and it all goes on sale!
But even though we associate corned beef and cabbage with being an Irish dish, this style dish started in the US of A! In Ireland, the dish originated as bacon and cabbage. Since bacon was expensive in the States for Irish immigrants, they started using corned beef.
Well, corned beef is kind of like beef bacon, so that was a great idea. So now we all get to enjoy corned beef and cabbage!
What Exactly Is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is typically a section of the belly brisket that has been salted and cured. The curing process gives it a pinkish color depending on what type of salt it is cured in. Beef brisket is simply the uncured version of the beef. You can cook brisket and corned beef the same way. So, if you only have access to brisket and not corned beef, then you can use it to substitute as well.
The curing process is sort of similar to making pickles. There are a lot of similar herbs and spices added to the salty brine, like mustard and dill, garlic, and peppercorns. Some stores sell pickling spice blends so you only need to pick up one item at the grocery store.
What Is A “Deckle” And “A Flat” In Brisket?
Corned beef comes from brisket, and brisket is cut in two styles, the deckle, and the flat. The deckle is the fattier tip, so it has a more pointy look in the package or at the counter. The flat is the wider end piece and typically has more fat removed. Both work great, so go with whatever is easiest to find.
Using A Crock Pot For Corned Beef And Cabbage
The best part…put it in the crockpot and walk away!! Oh no, the best part… Only one pot to clean up afterward!!! Hold on… Eating it finally after smelling how good it is getting for hours! Actually, that is more like sweet relief. Slow-cooker corned beef is the sort of dish that makes you wonder why all the cars are slowing down in front of your house.
Ingredients Needed To Make This Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe in the Slow Cooker
I have found this to be the best way to cook corned beef and cabbage in the slow cooker. You will find the full ingredients and instructions at the bottom of this post in the printable recipe card.
- Corned Beef – You can choose either a point cut or a flat cut for this slow cooker corned beef brisket. The point cut tends to be a bit thicker and smaller with more fat than the flat cut. You will also need the spice packet that comes with your packaged corned beef.
- Water – You can substitute beef broth to make this slow-cooked corned beef.
- Green cabbage – I like using green cabbage, quartered.
- Irish Potatoes – I used cans of Irish potatoes in this crock pot corned beef. You can also use Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes to make this great meal.
- Baby Carrots- Optional and not pictured here. Sometimes I add them and sometimes I do not.
- Loaf of Rye Bread – I think rye bread goes best but you can also make up a loaf of Irish soda bread to go with this crockpot corned beef.
How to cook corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot
Prepare: Place corned beef, juices, and all in the crock pot, fat side up. I always buy the corned beef that has the seasoning packet right in it. Place them in the crockpot over the meat. Pour water over the top.
Slow Cook: Cook on high for about 6 hours.
Reduce Heat: Reduce to low. Pour potatoes in. Place cabbage on top and cover.
Continue: Continue to cook this one pot wonder for another 60-90 minutes, until the cabbage is your desired tenderness.
Cut: Slice the meat against the grain. Serve hot.
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Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner
Don’t want to wait? You can make this same recipe in your instant pot! Here is my recipe for Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage.
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FAQs About this Easy Slow Cooker Corned Beef Dinner
- Should water cover corned beef in a crock pot? Yes, it is best to make sure the corned beef is covered with water.
- Can you cook corned beef too long in the crock pot? Yes, as with any cooking technique, you can overcook the corned beef in the crockpot. Be mindful of the cooking time and make sure to follow the directions to cook the corned beef properly.
- Should you drain the liquid from corned beef before cooking? No, you do not need to drain the liquid before cooking the corned beef.
- Should you rinse corned beef before boiling it? Yes, you can rinse the corned beef if you like, this will remove any excess salt. I, however, never do.
- How do I cook corned beef in a slow cooker without vegetables? You can cook corned beef in the slow cooker without vegetables using the correct amount of liquid and spices.
Substitutions and Variations
Feel free to add a few bay leaves, mustard seeds, or a touch of brown sugar to the crock pot for a richer flavor.
Tips & Tricks for Cooking Corned Beef
Store the leftover corned beef brisket in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the corned beef for up to 3 months.
I sometimes like to add baby carrots with the cabbage, they add a nice crunch and some color.
More Inspirations For St Patrick’s Day Dishes
The legend of St Patrick might seem a bit far-fetched, owing to the fact that Ireland never really had a snake issue, but he did a great job of converting a lot of Druids to Christianity. In any event, the day has been recognized since 400 AD as a feast day and a day of celebration. So in terms of food holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is another great one.
If you need easy St. Patrick’s day recipes for inspiration, then I have you covered:
- Creamy Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup
- Lucky Leprechaun Bait (Lucky Charms Snack Mix)
- Green Grasshopper Cocktails
- Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Frosting
- Reuben Pizza
I really enjoy using my slow cooker as it just makes preparing a complete meal super easy. Pull yours out today so you can get this delicious dinner of corned beef and cabbage on the table tonight.
- 5.5-6 pounds of Corned Beef (I prefer the flats)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 head of green cabbage, quartered
- 3 cans of Irish Potatoes (New Potatoes)
- Loaf of Rye Bread, optional
- Place corned beef and its juices in the crockpot, fat side up. Sprinkle with the contents of the enclosed seasoning packet.
- Pour water over the top to cover the meat.
- Cook on high for about 6 hours.
- Reduce to low. Pour potatoes in. Place cabbage on top and cover once again.
- Continue to cook for 60-90 minutes or until the cabbage is your desired tenderness.
Add carrots to the pot halfway through the initial cooking time if you want them.
I prefer the corned beef flats - but this is only my opinion.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 921Total Fat: 65gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 333mgSodium: 3351mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 65g
Nutrition isn't always accurate.