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This simple, homestyle corned beef and cabbage dish is so flavourful, delicious, and easy to make. The beef is slowly stewed over three hours, resulting in tender meat and flavour-packed vegetables. And since it’s all made in one pot, clean up is a cinch! Slather this delicious meal in butter and enjoy with fresh bread to soak up the savoury broth.
My grandmother, who was a fantastic cook and avid gardener, would prepare this dish often. We would drive three hours to get to her house, which was absolutely miserable for me at the time, as long car rides would cause me immense nausea.
But I was always rewarded with a warm hug and a delicious, homemade meal served with her freshly baked bread. This corned beef and cabbage was one of my favourites. The nostalgia is so real with this one.
Why is it called ‘corned beef,’ there’s no corn?
You may be wondering where the corn is in all of this. The word English word ‘corn’ originated from the German word, ‘kurnam,’ meaning ‘small seed.’ In 17th century England, they would use fairly large ‘kernels’ of rock salt to preserve the beef. This led to salted beef being coined ‘corned beef.’
How to make corned beef and cabbage
Removing the salt:
Start by rinsing the corned beef to remove the seasoned brine that it comes soaked in.
Place the beef into a stock pot. You will need a pot that is at least seven to eight quarts in order to fit everything. Add water, covering the meat by two to three inches. Cover the pot and boil it over medium-high heat for an hour and a half.
Drain the pot and rinse the beef again. Also, rinse out the pot to remove any excess brine that has stuck to the sides. Slice the beef into two inch thick pieces.
Making the stew:
Place the beef back into the pot and add fresh water, covering the meat by an inch or two of water. Add salt, pepper, and parsley. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, cooking for another thirty minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the carrots and cut them into thirds.
Peel the rutabaga. Cut it into half inch slices, then cut the slices into quarters.
Remove the first couple outer leaves of the cabbage, then cut the cabbage into eight wedges.
Add the cabbage into the pot, arranging it evenly over the beef.
When the pot returns to a boil, add the carrots and rutabaga on top. Cover the pot and boil for an hour and an fifteen minutes. There should always be one to two inches of broth in the pot. Keep an eye on it and top it up with fresh water whenever needed.
I find that corned beef can vary greatly in how salty it is. You will need to taste the broth at this point to determine whether you need to add more salt and seasoning or not, then season accordingly.
Once the broth is seasoned to your liking, peel and halve the potatoes. Add them into the pot and cook until they are tender, about twenty minutes.
Ready to serve:
Do a final taste test, then the food is ready to serve. Try to keep the wedges of cabbage intact when removing them from the pot. I find that tongs help to do this.
Make sure to add some broth to each plate, and slather the cabbage and vegetables with butter. Serve with fresh bread to soak up the delicious broth.
Do you have any leftover meat? That’s great! It’s so fantastic to use in sandwiches. This time we paired it with an apple dijon mustard on my mother’s homemade bread. It was so, so good.
If you have a love for beef, you will love these other recipes too
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This delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner comes together in one pot (making clean up a cinch). Slowly stewed, tender beef with buttery, flavourful vegetables – just like grandma made.
1 1/2 kg corned beef brisket*
5 medium carrots
1 medium rutabaga
1 medium cabbage
8 medium white potatoes
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried parsley
butter, for serving
Rinse corned beef and put it into a stock pot (7-8 quarts). Add water, covering the meat by 2-3 inches. Cover the pot and boil over medium-high heat for an hour and a half. Drain the pot and rinse the beef again, and rinse the inside of the pot to remove any excess brine.
Slice the corned beef into 2-inch thick pieces. Put them back into the pot. Add fresh water to the pot, covering the meat by an inch or two of water. Add in salt, pepper, and parsley. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel carrots and cut them into thirds. Peel the rutabaga, slice into 1/2″ slices, and quarter the slices. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, then cut the cabbage into 8 wedges.
Add the cabbage into the pot, arranging it evenly over the meat. When the pot returns to boiling, add in the carrots and rutabaga. Cover and boil for another 1 hour 15 minutes. There should always be 1-2 inches of broth in the pot. Keep an eye on the level of it while cooking and top up with water as needed. I usually have to do this a few times.
Taste the broth. Corned beef can vary greatly in how salty it is (I think they used to make it much saltier than the versions I’ve found in the last few years). Add more seasoning, depending on flavour of the broth.
Peel and halve the potatoes. Add them into the pot and cook until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Taste test again and season to taste.
Serve slathered with butter, preferably with some fresh bread to dip into the delicious broth.
* I would use 1 1/2 – 2 kg of corned beef for this recipe. It will shrink to about half the size. And any leftovers are amazing to use in sandwiches! Look for a piece with minimal fat.
Try to keep the cabbage wedges intact when serving for the best presentation.
Keywords: corned beef and cabbage