Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger

Corned beef and cabbage is everyone’s favorite meal from across the Atlantic. Beef brisket is brined in spices and many flavorings then cooked with carrots, onions and cabbage.

Corned Beef and Cabbage is a dish that is synonymous with St Patrick’s Day, but only in the U.S. What?

Yes! This is true. Of all the dishes the Irish are eating on this day, this dish is not one of them.

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Photo

Corned beef has been around for centuries and is most popular in England, not Ireland where it is also sold in cans.

In the 17th Century, the British land owners brought the cattle into Ireland, but the Irish could not afford to eat the beef because it was considered a luxury. Pork was more their traditional meat to eat, and the dish boiled bacon and cabbage.

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Picture

So how did corned beef and cabbage makes its way to the U.S.?  

In the 1800’s when the Irish first started arriving on the shores of North America, they yearned for some home-style dishes, and since beef was more readily available and cheaper to buy here, this excited them that they ate like kings.

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Image

So it became the meat of choice for the newly Irish-Americans who still eat it to this day. I’m sure that boiled bacon and cabbage is not going to catch-on anytime soon in the U.S.

The name ‘corned beef’ comes from the corn shaped rock salt that is (and used to be) used to cure the meat before cooking. For ease of product availability, I did not use or specify this salt in the recipe, I used regular coarse salt which gets the job done.

Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Pic

Irish ex-pats do love to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It seems more than the Irish back home, because on this day you will see lots of celebrating with green beer, green food and even green rivers.

In Ireland, it used to more of a religious celebration with the donning of a shamrock badge and attending mass. It has also grown over in the homeland to become a great celebration with parades and green clothing.

File 1 Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

When it came to choosing the brisket for this recipe I wanted the best and freshest cut I could find since it must brine/cure for 10 days.

I bought my brisket from a local meat market and watched them cut the beef fresh off the bone. This was a very cool experience and I knew it was going to be as fresh as I could get.

File 2 Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

This may seem like a laborious undertaking for some boiled meat, but trust me, when corned beef is done right, it can’t be beat. Another advantage of making your own from scratch, is the store bought already-brined corned beef comes with the addition of sodium nitrates which gives the beef it’s distinct pink color.

File 3 Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage

As you can see from the pictures, the beef I made has a strip of brown through the center, this shows it was not prepared with this food additive.

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Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

    6 Servings


For the Brine:
  • 1 cup Salt, coarse
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons Yellow Mustard Seed
  • 10 Whole Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice, ground
  • 3 pounds Beef Brisket
For Cooking the Brisket:
  • 1 Onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • 2 teaspoons Yellow Mustard Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 1 pound Carrot, peeled
  • 1 1/2 pounds Potatoes, red skinned, quartered
  • 1 head Cabbage, cut into 6 wedges


  1. To a large stock pot (I used an 8-quart pot) add 4 cups water and all the brining ingredients.
  2. Bring to a simmer and turn off the heat. Add 4 cups cold water and allow the brine to cool down. Refrigerate until it reaches 45°F.
  3. Submerge the brisket in the pan, cover and refrigerate for 7-10 days.
  4. After 7-10 days remove the brisket and discard the brining liquid. Rinse the meat.
  5. Add the brisket back into the cleaned pan and cover with water. Add the onion, celery, mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. After 2 1/2 hours add the carrots, potatoes and cabbage and simmer for 20 minutes.


Cooking Method:
St. Patrick's Day
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Related Recipes:
Irish Recipes, St. Patrick's Day Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Beef Recipes, Cabbage Recipes, Simmered Recipes, Potato Recipes, Carrot Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 14400 minutes
Cook Time: 150 minutes
Total Time: 14550 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 135
Calories 578

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g
  Saturated Fat 6g
Sodium 19153mg
Total Carbohydrate 53g
  Dietary Fiber 7g
  Sugars 37g
Protein 51g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!