Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage

What you’ll learn:

  • Using Guinness beer or an Irish Stout instead of water dramatically increases the flavor of the corned beef. The resulting sauce is dark, rich, complex flavor.
  • Beef brisket is usually packed in a solution of salts and preservatives – discard the solution and rinse beef before cooking.
  • Cooking in the oven, low and slow guarantees moist, flavorful, incredibly tender corned beef recipe.
  • Cooking the vegetables separately prevents the vegetable from overcooking and becoming mushy.

For several years, I used to work for Guinness, based in the San Francisco offices. Actually, I worked for their parent company, Diageo, working on a top-secret technology project and then moving on to their wine portfolio, helping them build their Internet strategy.

One of the perks of working for Diageo, was a trip to Scotland and London, and being immersed in the world of Guinness – from culture to dozens of recipes featuring Guinness as an integral ingredient. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to make a side trip to Dublin, but perhaps in the near future, with my family.

Since that time, I’ve learned to use Guinness in place of water, stock and wine in recipes. It adds a deep, rich, earthy flavor profile to the dish. Naturally, Corned Beef with Cabbage featuring Guinness was a no-brainer to test.

We normally associate eating Corned Beef with Cabbage during St. Patrick’s Day, and ironically, the dish isn’t distinctly Irish — it’s more an Irish-American tradition, something we made up to go great with copious amounts of beer.

So I thought it would be fitting to braise this Corned Beef in Guinness Beer, instead of water or the “stuff” that the brisket is magically suspended in inside the package.

The “stuff” is a solution of salt, seasoning and other preservatives that I really don’t care for. It’s also incredibly salty. I always rinse the corned beef well, getting rid of the solution and then pat dry.

Why is it called “Corned Beef”?

After all these years of enjoying Corned Beef several times a year, I finally had the bright idea to actually look up why it was called “corned” beef.  Is there corn involved in the pickling process? Did a “Mr Corned” exist and it was named after him?

It turns out after a simple search, it’s an easy explanation. The beef brisket used in making Corned Beef is salt and pickle cured and the salt pellets used resemble corn kernals.

Okay, that makes sense.

How to Cook Corned Beef Recipe with Guinness and Cabbage

For the Corned Beef – you’ll need dark brown sugar, 2 bottles of Guinness, pickling spice (only if it doesn’t come in your corned beef package, onion, garlic and of course the corned beef meat that’s been rinsed very well and then patted dry.

This recipe works well either on the stove, oven or slow cooker.

Cut the onion and the garlic in half lengthwise. You’ll just need these halves.

In a large pot, combine the brown sugar and the Guinness.

Add the pickling spice, either that you’ve purchased (recommended) or the packet that comes with the meat.

Add the onion and garlic.

Then slide and snuggle in the beef.

Look at that beer froth!

We’re going to slow cook the Corned Beef in the oven, but first, let’s give it a head start on the stove and bring the beer to a simmer. Keep an eye on this – beer easily bubbles over and it’s a pain to clean. Of course, you could completely skip this route and throw this baby in the slow cooker.

After the liquid begins simmering, we’ll cover and slip it into the oven at 300F for 4-5 hours. Low ‘n slow.

I flip the meat once during the half-way point.

For the vegetables, here’s what you’ll need: cabbage, red potatoes, carrots and *whispers* Mangalitsa Pig Lard!!! Okay, you don’t need Mangalitsa Pig Lard — you could use bacon lardons (a la Michael Ruhlman, which I’ve borrowed his technique for the cabbage). But if either option just seems over the top, regular ol’ cooking oil will do just fine.

Why not throw the vegetable in with the corned beef? Well, two very good reasons:

1) The vegetables really don’t need that long to cook – I want my carrots to taste like carrots, not overcooked corned beef sauce.

2) Vegetables cooked with the meat always end up looking all brown and sad. I want my carrots to look like carrots!

Cooking them separately allows me to cook the vegetables perfectly. I add in some of the corned beef sauce to flavor the vegetables – just enough for nice flavor.

Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges, the potatoes and carrots into 3/4-inch chunks.

You’ll brown the cabbage wedges on each side. Medium heat, just a few minutes per side.

Then flip to brown the other side.

Next add the potatoes and the carrots.

Pour in 2 cups of the Corned Beef cooking liquid into the pot. The liquid is incredibly flavorful and will do wonders for the vegetables. I promise you, this is way better than just boiling cabbage in water!

Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cabbage (it should be done by now) and leave the carrots and potatoes to cook for another 5-7 minutes, until they are cooked through. You can check by piercing with a paring knife or fork.

The last step is to sprinkle with freshly minced parsley.

Slice the corned beef and serve with the vegetables. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over the meat.



Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours

Normally, brisket for corned beef is packaged suspended in some kind of brine loaded with preservatives and may come with a small pickling spice already. You want to make sure you rinse the brisket well, removing the thick brine. Pat very dry. You can use the small seasoning pickling spice in the package, or you can use your own spices.

You can use a slow cooker instead of cooking in oven.


For the Corned Beef
2 bottles Guinness beer (or other stout beer)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 1/2 pound uncooked brisket for corned beef, rinsed well and patted dry
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1/2 onion
1 head garlic, halvedFor the Vegetables
1 head cabbage
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4-5 carrots, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 pound of red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 tablespoons freshly minced fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a large pot, whisk together the beer and the brown sugar. Snuggle in the brisket, it should almost be completely covered by the beer (see photo). Add the pickling spice, onion and the garlic. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, uncovered is best so you can keep an eye on it. Boiled-over beer is no fun to clean.

2. Once it begins simmering, cover the pot and place in oven to roast for 4-6 hours, flipping meat once during halfway point. Remove from oven. Spoon out 2 cups of the corned beef braising liquid to cook the cabbage.

3. To make the vegetables, cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. In a separate large, wide pot, heat up oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add the cabbage wedges and cook until browned, about a 3-4 minutes. Turn to brown the other side. Add in the carrots and potatoes. Pour in the reserved corned beef cooking liquid, bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and let cook for 10-15 minutes. Use tongs or a large spoon to carefully remove the cabbage and reserve. Continue cooking the carrots and potato another 5-10 minutes or cooked though (pierce with fork to check doneness). Sprinkle with parsley and plate up with the cabbage.

4. Slice up the corned beef and serve with the cabbage and vegetables. Pour a bit of the sauce over the corned beef just before serving.

Comments 113

  1. Pingback: 101 Ways to Cook With Beer

  2. Leslie Wenks

    Awesome recipe!!! My fisrt time making. Corned Beef with cabbage.
    It came out perfect and so delicious. This will be a keeper in my recipes.
    My two year old daughter loved it and kept asking for more….

  3. Singing Cook

    This recipe looks yummy! and can’t wait to try cooking with Mangalitsa Pig Lard, thank you for sharing! Quick question though… where did you get that Black cooking pot??? Would love to add that to my kitchen :)

  4. Constantine

    I can tell this is a good recipe just by looking at the corned beef recipe. Did you take the yummy pictures yourself while cooking? They make the corned beef look so enticing. :)

  5. SmileinBob

    So if you cook this in the crockpot on low should it still only be 4 hours or the 6 to 8 that i cook most roasts at.. i like the crock pot because i can start it as i leave for work and dinner is ready when i get home.

    1. From Cork

      4 hours on high, 6 on low. The beef will be slightly difficult to slice because the meat breaks down pretty easily. Slice in wide slices vs. thin sandwich slices

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  7. Pingback: Your Pot of Gold: 17 St. Paddy's Day Recipes

  8. Maurene

    All-Clad Cast Aluminum 5-1/2-Quart Dutch Oven is
    the black potasked about by the “singing Cook”

  9. Keith

    WOW! Delicious! Easy to make too. I built this for my friends and the ate it ALL! Which makes me sad cause I have no left overs. It’s OK, I’ll make more.

  10. Dana in St. Louis

    This is in the oven right now. It smells wonderful, I want to chew my arm off! :)

    How many ounces of beer did you add? We added two bottles of Guinness from a 6-pack, but it only came up about 1/2 way. So I added water to almost cover – hopefully that’s the right call, we wanted come beer to drink!

    I LOVE your technique for the veggies, it really adds a lot of depth. I think I will also pan-roast the carrots as well.

  11. Pingback: Daily Dinner Idea: Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage | The Nest Blog – Home Décor, Cooking, Money, Health & Sex News & Advice

  12. Kim

    This was an outstanding recipe…truly remarkable! My only addition was a cup of Irish whiskey. This turned out amazingly tender and incredibly flavorful. Loved the vegetable cooking method…what an awesome technique! Thank you!!!!

  13. Brandi A

    Cooking this right now and my house smells amazing! The guinness did leave the beef a little bitter for my liking but everyone else thinks it’s amazing! About to start the veggies now and try to keep everyone from eating the beef before it’s all done! =)

  14. MyFrogs

    Made this again this year, and again it was a hit! We literally can’t wait for St. Patty’s day so we can make this every year. I also made it around Oct because we were craving it. I don’t make the veggies this way (I roast mine), but the meat is DELICIOUS!

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  16. Susan

    I plan on cooking this tonight because it sounds very good. To the previous poster who mentioned the beer left a bitter taste, try using Guinness Draught. If you use the stout beer it will be bitter.

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  18. Sherry Siedlecki

    Ok thus looks fantastic!! You’ve sold me on the exact way of cooking corned beef. I also instantly eyed the la chamba pot. I just did a search and they are pretty nicely priced. One question how big is the “right or prefect size” I really need your help on this one. I Love Love Love this pot and I’m seriously buying it but I’m uncertain which size I should get. Thank you for Any help or feedback you could give. I can’t believe you can put this on the stove too!! I read it’s a clay pot. I’ve seen them in the Chinese markets and I’m soooo glad I’ve always gd out….till now!! :-) thank you and Sincerely, Mrs. Sherry Siedlecki

    1. Chefcathy

      I have several Chamba pots but use the large soup pot the most in my commercial kitchen or at home! You will love this pot, grat for soups, chile, stew , it imparts a slightly smokey taste to the food you cook in it.

  19. Pingback: 9 Food Bloggers’ Recipes For A Mouthwatering St. Patty’s Day | Jetset Times

  20. Patrick

    I was looking for just a good vegetable recipe,since I also don’t like cooking my vegetable with my corn beef,man this was it,the only change I made was I smoked my corn beef,then used half of the broth from the smoked corn beef and half chicken broth to cover my vegetables and cook,thanks it was Awesome!

  21. Joan FItzgerald Riley

    I made this Saturday night, it was hands down the best corned beef and cabbage and vegetables I have ever tasted. It was so good, my family asked me to make it again the next night. And again next week. I cooked the cabbage in one pot and the potatoes and carrots in another and mixed them together for serving, only because I didn’t have a large enough pot. Still delicious. No leftovers here!

  22. Linda B

    I found one thing confusing. Next to the 1/2 bulb of garlic it says *For the Vegetables* – what do you mean by that? Are we to add it to the veggies or just the meat? I’m cooking mine in a big cast iron pot which is hard to handle by myself, but I managed to get it into the oven :0)! So looking forward to this dish tonight.

  23. Kellie

    I guess I am the only one that thought this was terrible. The beer was so strong we could not even eat the broth. I would not recommend this.

  24. I'm from County Cork

    This is an outstanding recipe for corned beef. I really like the veggies prepared separately and not cooked with the brisket until they fall apart. Lightly browning the cabbage gave it a wonderful sweet taste. A perfect meal for the family and God Bless the left overs on Russian Rye. The URL is my cousins web site

  25. fallingsnow

    I’ve been making Corned Beef & Cabbage for yeeeeeears and it never came out this good.
    This will be my go-to recipe from now on!

  26. Jan

    First time making this. I used stout guinness beer, four bottles. I cooked the corn beef for about 6 hours. It was very tender, but I found that it didn’t have much taste or flavor that I was hoping for. Yes, you could taste the saltiness of the Corn Beef, but it wasn’t over powering. A very slight carmell with a post lingering pepper taste. The carmell could be the Dark Brown Sugar that was added. By letting it cook for the 6 hrs it also reduced the broth to about half. It got late by the time I got it out of the oven, so we elected to put in the frig and cut when it’s cold. Then cook the vegis when were ready to have dinner and reheat the meat. I’m sure the process described will be a hit. I give this about a 3.

  27. Ted

    This is the best corned beef with cabbage. I really like cooking the veggies separately and braising the cabbage. It lets everything keep its flavor and build a really nice depth for the meal. I strongly suggest using Guiness draft in the bottle to avoid bitterness, especially if you cut back on the brown sugar. I have also used fresh local honey and it was a fine treat. ENJOY!! Thanks for the great recipe.

    BTW – I am of Irish decent and have spent many days in Cork and Tuam near Galway. CB&C is not Irish pub fare unless you’re in a tourist place.

  28. Pingback: St. Patrick's Day Feast: Guinness Beef Stew Recipe | Simple Bites

  29. Trent @ Food Assault


    We’ve just started Autumn Downunder so I’ve put this aside for the winter months Jaden. Thanks for the recipe :)

    It will be interesting to have corned beef (Silverside as we call it) with a brown gravy instead of a cheesy white sauce.

  30. Nappy

    I miss your smile in your previous website. Can you put them back and Andrew and Nathan and Scott too in. I love corned beef with cabbage I have to try this recipe. Thank you

  31. Jim

    I used bear lard to brown the cabbage because I didn’t have hog or pig lard, it worked just fine.

  32. maggie

    if i chose to cook my corn beef in a slow cooker do i still cook it on the stove top first and then put it in the slow cooker? i would do it in the oven but i dont have a great pan.

    1. Post
  33. Tom

    I want to let you know that I made this twice last year and again this past Sunday. It’s really a good recipe and worth the time. I used a thirteen pound whole corned beef brisket and removed as much fat as I could. Also use homemade pickling spice and skipped the brown sugar as we were out of it.

    The only other variation is that we browned the cabbage wedges in bacon grease and then set aside. Cooked the other veggies in some broth as described and then added the cabbage back in for the last ten minutes or so.

    Tonight is leftovers as Rueben sandwiches.

    Happy St. Paddy’s and thanks for the recipe.

    1. Post
  34. Karen C

    I just tasted my corned beef, the odor in my kitchen is amazing…however, the meat was bitter. I went online to do some research about cooking with Guinness beer and found that one should use Guinness Draught not Stout, as Stout will make the meat bitter. Now I am wondering if my vegetables will be bitter too.
    Did you or anyone else have this problem?

    1. Post

      Hi Karen – I’ve never experienced bitter meat in all the years of cooking this recipe – and in all the years of having this recipe up online with hundreds of testers!

  35. Karen C

    Mine was very bitter, I used the same brand of beer in your picture, and did the exact recipe. There are comments about bitterness from this beer. I have cooked with other beers and never had an issue.

  36. Phil

    Done it with Guinness for years, but mention it, people say they never heard of it.
    Then they forget the next year and have the same old corned beef they’ve always had.

  37. Krip

    I am NEVER cooking corned beef any other way in future. It was more like pulled corned beef as it was soooo tender but the taste, OMG! I was sure one could cook this in the oven. I didn’t have Guinness so I used water and some beef stock cubes. I tossed in a small halved onion, some roughly chopped carrot and celery, parsley stalks, two tablespoons of black peppercorns, a decent splash of apple cider vinegar and a heaped tablespoon of brown sugar. Wow. For the first time, I kept the delicious cooking liquid – so flavoursome – it will make a top soup. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Post
  38. Winnie

    How will this work with the Instant Pot? I love the Instant Pot and want to cook as much with it. Thanks.

    1. Post
  39. Pat Hodges

    Love corned beef and cabbage (having the maiden name of Kelly might have something to do with that) but could never find THE recipe. I have the feeling that this is it and can hardly wait to get the family (kids, grands and great-grands) together so we can give it a try. Thanks so very much.

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