Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage

3/15/12 Update:

*Waving hi!* Thought I’d repost this from last year for you Corned Beef lovahs. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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. I had just assumed either some guy named Mr. Corny came up with the dish and named it after himself or that somehow corn was involved in the brining process, which makes absolutely no sense. I’ve just let that explanation go, there were more important matters that needed my attention than the origins of Corned Beef.

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. But certainly not as fun as a story about Mr Corny.

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.

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 crockpot.

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.

Just to humor you, here’s a closeup of this beautiful Mangalitsa Pig Lard. The Mangalitsa is prized not necessarily for its meat, but for it’s fat and well marbled meat! These pigs are some chunky chunky monkeys but produce the lightest, cleanest fat. Pastry chefs will tell you that Mangalitsa Lard makes the most amazing pie crust. But I digress…..

Wait, I’m not done digressing….

If the closeup isn’t enough, here’s a four-pound tub of it that my friend, Tim Mar of Chef Shop in Seattle sent over to me. *waving thanks tim!*

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

You’ll brown the cabbage wedges on each side in either the lard, bacon drippings or cooking oil. 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 10-15 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 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, but I prefer to use my own spices.


For the Corned Beef
2 bottles Guinness beer (or other dark beer)
2 tablespoons dark 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 big spoonful of lard or bacon drippings (you can substitute simply with just cooking oil)
a few 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 the lard/bacon drippings/oil on medium-high heat. When hot, swirl the pan around to get the fat to evenly coat the pan. Add the cabbage wedges, carrots and potatoes and cook until browned, about a 3-4 minutes. Turn to brown the other side. 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 minutes or cooked though (pierce with fork to check doneness). Sprinkle with parsley and plate out 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 90

  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

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