While there’s never a bad time to serve corned beef and cabbage, there is one particularly perfect occasion: "I love to serve this dish around St. Patrick’s Day," says chef and food writer Annie Lampella of KetoFocus. For a perfect platter with Irish inspiration, she recommends "serving corned beef and cabbage with boiled potatoes, steamed carrots, and extra mustard on the side. I will also thinly slice any leftover corned beef and use it to make corned beef sandwiches."
Not that you’re likely to have too much of this succulent stuff left over. After slowly cooking away for three hours, the meat will be so tender and flavorful that you and your diners will more likely be fighting over seconds and thirds than worrying about leftovers.
Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional "Irish" dish. However, it traces its roots not to Ireland but rather to Jewish butchers in America, according to Smithsonian Magazine. The tasty beef used in the kosher preparation of brisket paired with affordable cabbage became a staple dish of St. Patrick’s Day here in the States, and when you tuck into this tasty dish, you won’t mind if it’s rarely served back on the Emerald Isle.
Gather your ingredients to make corned beef and cabbage
This corned beef and cabbage recipe calls for precious few ingredients when you use pre-made spices, which you can find online or at your favorite grocery store. If you want to make your own spice blend, make sure to include mustard seeds, coriander, dill seeds, allspice, cinnamon, and black pepper.
All in, you’ll need a three-pound flat-cut, ready-to-cook corned beef with a spice packet, a cup of white wine, half a head of cabbage, and three tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
As for the wine, Lampella says: "I used a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for the white wine — it’s a dry wine. Other dry wines that would be nice in this recipe are Italian Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano, or Chardonnay."
Why you should use a Dutch oven
One thing to note before we get cooking: You really need a Dutch oven to make this meal properly. Go ahead and use it as your excuse to finally get one — you’ll be thrilled by all the great recipes that are enhanced by one. Dutch ovens ensure maximum concentration and steadiness of heat while at the same time keeping liquids from evaporating off too quickly.
A Dutch oven is great both for very high-heat recipes, for low and slow heat cooking, and for mid-range heat like you need steadily applied here.
Pre-heat the oven and prepare the beef for your corned beef and cabbage
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for this corned beef and cabbage recipe. Rinse the corned beef and then pat it dry using a few paper towels. Now, open up your spice packet and keep it at the ready (or your bowl of DIY spice blend, of course).
Place the slab of corned beef with its fat cap up down into a large Dutch oven. Next, pour wine into the Dutch oven around the meat. (Note that you should have another half cup of wine at the ready at room temperature in case too much cooks off.)
Slow-cook the beef and prep the cabbage for this corned beef and cabbage
Sprinkle the spice packet (or your lovely homemade spice blend) over the top of the corned beef’s fat cap. Now, cover the Dutch oven with its lid and pop it into the oven, ideally placing it to cook on the lower rack. Let the dish cook at 325 degrees for about three hours.
"Check on your corned beef as it’s cooking periodically to make sure it still has liquid to braise in," says Lampella. "If it looks like most of the liquid has evaporated off, you can add half a cup water, chicken broth, or more wine."
When nearly three hours have passed, cut the cabbage into four wedges so you’re ready for the next step.
Add in the cabbage and keep cooking your corned beef and cabbage
Pull the Dutch oven from the oven, open it, and quickly add chopped cabbage wedges around the sides of the corned beef. Re-cover and pop the Dutch oven back in your oven and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes. Now, pull out the roasting meat once more and pull out the cabbage (using tongs!) and set it aside, then spoon the Dijon mustard evenly over the top of the corned beef. Move the Dutch oven closer to the broiler, then, with the top removed, broil on high for three to four minutes.
Now, pull out your corned beef and cabbage again and let the corned beef rest for several minutes before slicing and serving.
And if somehow there are leftovers, Lampella says: "Reheat it in the oven or on the stove top to give a nice sear." Microwave? Not ideal.
- 3 pounds flat-cut, ready-to-cook corned beef with spice packet
- 1 cup white wine
- ½ head of cabbage
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the corned beef and pat dry. Ready the spice packet or your spice blend.
- Add the corned beef, fat cap up, to a large Dutch oven. Pour wine into the Dutch oven around meat.
- Sprinkle the spice packet over the top of the corned beef. Cover and cook on the lower rack of the oven at 325 degrees for 3 hours.
- Cut cabbage into four wedges and add along the sides of the corned beef.
- Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Spoon Dijon mustard over the top of the corned beef.
- Remove the cabbage wedges and set aside. Move Dutch oven closer to the broiler. Broil on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Pull from oven and let corned beef rest for several minutes before slicing and serving with the cabbage.