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Even though crockpot corned beef and cabbage is not a popular meal in Ireland (it’s true), every year I look forward to making it on Saint Patrick’s Day. Since this meal is technically a New England boiled dinner, it speaks to my Irish-American New England roots.
I was born into a loud, crazy Irish-American family. My grandfather was 100% Irish and that side of the family is exactly what one might expect. Large, fun, and pretty amazing.
We also take our corned beef and Irish pride pretty seriously.
A lot of people don’t like corned beef and cabbage but it’s my guess that most people just boil it in water with the packet that comes with the corned beef and call that a meal.
Nope. Not me. If you’re looking for a corned beef and cabbage recipe with some real flavor, you’ve come to the right place!
How to make delicious crockpot corned beef and cabbage
For this recipe, you will need a small cabbage, about 8 small red potatoes, a large onion, baby carrots or 3-4 large carrots, and an 11-ounce bottle of stout beer such as Guinness, pickling spice, and flat cut corned beef. Do not substitute with a point cut or a regular brisket.
- Cut up your potatoes into large cubes or use small red and yellow potatoes; enough to cover the bottom of a crockpot.
- Add a handful or two of baby carrots then rough chop your onion and throw it in.
- Cover the vegetables with water; about four cups.
Now for the coup de grâce, stout beer. Use the stout of your choice as long as it isn’t flavored with chocolate, coffee, or anything else. Pour the whole bottle in.
*Note: the first few years I made this recipe I used Guinness which is easy to find and perfectly fine to use. A couple of years ago I discovered a stout beer that I find more flavorful and it really kicks this recipe up a few notches. If you can find Dragon’s Milk stout, I highly recommend picking up a bottle.
Now throw away that spice packet that comes with the corned beef and get a good quality pickling spice; one with visible leaves and berries in it. I prefer Penzey’s pickling spice, but McCormick or any other spice brand is better than the packet that comes with it.
Put the corned beef on top of the vegetables and water fat side up then liberally cover the top with pickling spice. About 2 tablespoons, but you could use a little less if you’d like.
The pickling spice includes whole cloves and juniper berries which will be in the vegetables. If you would prefer, you can put the spices in a spice ball instead.
Now for the cabbage. Cover the top of your corned beef with as much cabbage as you can and still be able to get the lid on the crockpot. I used 3/4 of a small cabbage.
Put the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours and enjoy!
To get the core out, I cut my cabbage into quarters then cut at an angle to remove the core. You will have to do this with each quarter.
- 1 FLAT CUT corned beef, about 4lbs.
- 1 bottle stout beer such as Guinness. (note: Dragon's Milk stout is even better, but any stout that is NOT chocolate or coffee flavored will work.)
- About 8 small red or gold potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1½ cups baby carrots, or 3-4 large carrots
- 4 cups water
- 1 small green cabbage
- 2 tbsp pickling spice
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- Rough chop your vegetables
- Put the potatoes, carrots,garlic, and onion at the bottom of the crock pot and cover with water.
- Add the corned beef on top of the vegetables, fat side up. Cover with pickling spice.
- Pour stout over the corned beef then add chopped cabbage.
- Cook in the slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours if you're short on time.
1. The pickling spice includes whole cloves and juniper berries which will be in the vegetables. If you would prefer, you can put the spices in a spice ball instead.
2. If you're unable to fit the cabbage in your slow cooker, steam it separately on the stove then add it to the liquid with the rest of the vegetables after you've removed the corned beef from the slow cooker. Let it soak up the flavor while slicing the corned beef and remove the vegetables from the liquid to serve.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 880Total Fat: 45.9gSaturated Fat: 19.6gCholesterol: 227mgSodium: 3279mgCarbohydrates: 56.3gFiber: 8.3gSugar: 8.8gProtein: 56.5g
Note: as with anything cooked in a slow cooker, the vegetables will be very soft. If you prefer them to have more bite, I would suggest doing a quick boil on the stove then adding them to the juice in the crockpot to soak in some flavor after the meat is removed.