Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

5 from 68 reviews

This family-loved traditional corned beef recipe has all the customary trimmings and it is cooked in one easy pot on the stovetop or slow cooker.


  • 34 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • water (or beef broth)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. baby yellow potatoes 
  • 5 large carrots peeled and chunked
  • 1 head green cabbage cut in wedges


  1. In Dutch Oven or large stockpot, add corned beef and cover with water or beef broth. Add spice packet and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours. The brisket should be fairly fork-tender.
  2. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and simmer for additional 30 minutes. Add cabbage; cover and simmer for 15 additional minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and discard them. Remove corned beef and vegetables from the pot and cover to keep warm.  Remove any fat from the corned beef and slice against the grain.


  • Buy good quality corned beef; after all, it is going to be the star of the show.
  • Leave the fat on the corned beef when simmering as it helps cook it really tender and gives it lots of flavor. For this method, cook it fat side up.
  • Don’t skip the spice packet. It is full of peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, anise seeds, and crushed bay leaves. It gives the corned beef its extra delicious flavor.  Simply add it to the cooking liquid with the beef.
  • The key is to simmer, not boil the beef and vegetables. Low and slow, as my late mother used to say.
  • For aesthetic purposes, peel your carrots, as you will really appreciate the bright orange color.
  • Red and gold potatoes are traditional, and they are waxy enough to stay together through the simmering. Russet potatoes will begin to break down during the cooking process.
  • Don’t forget to remove and discard the bay leaves.  They are sharp on the edges and could cut your mouth or pose a choking hazard.
  • Once cooked, trim the fat from the beef. I like to leave just a very small portion of fat on for more flavor, but my husband likes it completely trimmed.  As my mom always said, “Different strokes for different folks.”
  • Slice the corned beef against the grain, as this produces the most tender pieces that do not fall apart.
  • Corned beef is cured with salt, so it is naturally high in sodium. So go easy on any added salt.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave at reduced power.

Keywords: corned beef cabbage, how to make corned beef and cabbage. easy corned beef and cabbage, best corned beef and cabbage

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