Beyond popular belief, corned beef and cabbage really didn’t originate in Ireland. However, it has since become a meal time tradition on St. Patrick’s Day here in the United States.
The term corned beef refers to a cut of beef, usually a brisket or round primal cut that has been cured with salt.
Most often, in today’s preparation method, the cut of beef is cured in a brine solution.
However, that isn’t always the case. In fact, corned beef gets its famous name from a curing method that was used many years ago.
The technique traditionally used included large grains of rock salt, aka ‘corns’ to cure the beef. Which then, in turn, resulted in the term corned beef.
The Best Method For Cooking Corned Beef
So what is the best way to cook corned beef and cabbage? Because the brisket and round roasts are relatively tough cuts of meat, it is best to use a slow and moist cooking method.
And although you could use your oven and slow roast it for hours, we have found two other methods that make it much easier.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef
The first method is to use your slow cooker to cook your corned beef and cabbage. Simply place the vegetables, minus the cabbage in the slow cooker and add place the corned beef on top.
Spread the contents of the spice packet on top of the meat and pour in the broth.
Cook on HIGH pressure for 7 hours. Then add in the chopped cabbage and continue to cook on HIGH pressure for another hour before serving.
If you are using a programmable Crock Pot slow cooker, set the cook time for 7 hours and and once the cook time expires, it will turn to a Keep Warm setting. One hour before you are ready to eat, add the cabbage and then set the cook time for 1 additional hour on HIGH pressure
Pressure Cooking Instructions
We love how easy it is to make corned beef and cabbage in the slow cooker. But we also have found it being just as easy, if not easier, to cook it in our 6 quart Instant Pot Duo.
Place the broth, onions, garlic and the seasoning packet that came with the corned beef in the liner of the pressure cooker.
Place the trivet that came with the Instant Pot in the liquid and place the corned beef, fat side up, on top.
Pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 90 minutes. Remember, just like all pressure cooker recipes, it takes additional time for the pot to come to pressure and start the cooking process.
Once the cook time is up, allow 10 minutes for the pot to release some pressure. Carefully release any remaining pressure and remove the corned beef to a plate. Cover and let rest while you prepare the vegetables.
Cook the Vegetables
Immediately place the carrots and potatoes in the hot broth and place the cabbage wedges on top. Then pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Again, the pot will take additional time to come to pressure. However it will take less time due to hot liquid already being in the liner.
Once the cook time expires, immediately release the pressure by moving the valve to the venting position.
Place the cabbage, potatoes and carrots on the platter with the corned beef. Slice the cooked corned beef and drizzle some of the hot broth over top. Serve immediately with Irish Soda Bread.
And if you are lucky enough to have leftovers, the corned beef makes delicious Reuben sandwiches the next day!
Mary and Jim
As always, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. This article may contain affiliate links.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
How to make corned beef, cabbage and vegetables in your slow cooker or pressure cooker.
- 3-4 lb. flat cut corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
- 4 cups of beef/chicken broth
- 1 large onion cut in 8 chunks
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 6 medium red potatoes quartered
- 3 large carrots cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 small cabbage cut into 6 wedges
Rinse the corned beef under cold water to remove excess salt and any gel that has formed.
Slow Cooker Instructions
Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker, pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables, fat side up. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on High.
Cook the brisket for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour.
Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Instructions
Put the seasoning packet, broth, onion and garlic in the pressure cooker. Put the rack in the pressure pot. Place corned beef on rack with the fat side up.
Lock the lid in place and set the valve on sealing. Select High Pressure (or Meat) and set the timer for 90 minutes. When beep sounds, turn off pressure cooker. Use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, and then do a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure. When valve drops carefully remove lid.
Using silicone gloves, remove the rack and brisket and place on a plate. Cover the corned beef with aluminum foil until ready to serve.
Add the potatoes and carrots to the broth and place cabbage wedges on top. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the timer for 5 minutes. Quick pressure release. Remove from broth and serve with the corned beef.
Hint, add broth over top of the beef and vegetables for an extra moist meal.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms