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Corned beef and cabbageTraditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

(Using a Crockpot / Slo-cooker - See this page for an ordinary pot on the stove instead)

Click here for a PDF print version to use while you cook!

Corned Beef is a traditional meal of Irish-Americans, especially on St. Patrick's Day, or any cold winter day. And it is so easy to make and is a meal in itself! It only takes about 20 minutes to prepare then about 8 or 9 hours in a crockpot or slo-cooker; or in a large pot on the stove.

Yield / servings

Allowing 1/2 pound (250 gm) of meat per person means that the average 4 to 6 lb. corned beef available at Costco serves 8 to 12 people.


Corned beef is not an Irish dish; it's connection with Saint Patrick's Day occured in America in the Irish-American culture,  How so? See this page for the history of corned beef and cabbage.


Guinness Stout

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbagecorned beef raw


  • 1 corned beef brisket with spice packet (4 to 6 lbs.)Onion
  • 2 lbs. peeled baby carrots (or you can peel any carrots you have)
  • 15 small potatoes (about the size of a golf ball.)
    Or 6 large potatoes. Washed, not peeled.  You can use larger potatoes and cut them into golf ball sized pieces or use white potatoes, too.
  • 1 very large onion (like a Vidalia) , peeled and cut into ping pong ball sized pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cans (or bottles) of beer (Guinness would be ideal... but any beer willcabbage work) And no, you don't have to use beer, you can use water in stead... but it's better withthe beer, and the alcohol boils off anyway.
  • 1 large head of cabbage (about 2- 3 lbs.) cut into eighths quarters (4 equal pieces)







  • Crock pot
  • cutting board
  • ladle
  • vegetable peeler
  • Measuring cup
  • knives, etc.




chopped onoinStep 1 - chop the onion

Peel and chop one large onion.







onions in potStep - 2 - Add to crockpot

Put the onion pieces into the bottom of a slow cooker  .




Step 3 - Lay the beef on the onions

Remove the beef from the packaging, do not rinse it off (it is seasoned), recover the spice packet and set it aside. Lay the whole piece of corned beef on top of the onions.


Add the beer 



Step 4 - Add the beer and water

Add in the beer and water to the crockpot.



Step 5 - Add the spices

Sprinkle the spices from the spice packet into the crockpot. If you want a stronger flavor, feel free to add another teaspoon of thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice, a 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns, and 1/2potatoes teaspoon of minced garlic.



Step 6 - Cover and cook on high

Cover, and turn the slo cooker on high or stove top on medium if you are using a pot.



Step 7 - Peel and cut the potatoes

Pretty simple, wash, peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into roughly golf ball sized pieces.



Step 8 - after 6 hours, add potatoes and carrots

After 6 hours add the potatoes and carrots. and put the cover back on.


Step 9 - Prepare the cabbage and add it

Peel the outer leaves and wash the cabbage. Cut the cabbage  into 8ths, cutting through the stem (it helps to hold it together in the pot). At hour 7 add the cabbage.(If you put it in earlier will become mushy!)cabbage added

  Cabbage cut into 8ths



Step 10 - After 9 hours, it is done!

After 9 hours, it is done! The meat should be tender and start to fall apart as you cut it.  The potatoes, carrots and cabbage should be tender.

Corned beef done








Other traditional St. Patrick's Day dishes:

Other Traditional Irish foods: