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Healthier Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe

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st. patrick's day corned beef
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Beef Recipes » Healthier Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe

Corned beef & cabbage is a favorite meal of ours (as it is for most Americans of Irish descent) and a tradition in our house on St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve found that it’s surprisingly easy to brine my own homemade brisket too (here’s how I do it).

Brining your own corned beef makes this a much healthier dish by avoiding all of the artificial additives found in store-bought, pre-made corned beef.

Really, with these modifications, I see no reason corned beef and cabbage can’t be enjoyed any time of year!

Corned Beef & Cabbage – The Prep

Brining your own homemade brisket may sound like an extra step, but it’s worth it to avoid the added nitrites and chemicals of store-bought corned beef. It does mean planning (well) ahead of time, but once you have the corned beef, the actual dish takes virtually no time to put together!

If it’s still 3-5 days before St. Patty’s Day, you have time to brine your own corned beef brisket! (See above for the recipe.)

Once the brisket is brined and ready, the remaining prep is a snap. I use a Crock-Pot to slow cook the meat but saute the veggies separately in a pan about half an hour before the meat is done for a great texture.

Hey… Where’re the Potatoes?

Of course traditional corned beef is not complete without cabbage (which I definitely include lots of) and potatoes. Our family typically avoids white potatoes (here’s why) because they’re starchy and high on the glycemic index, but on special occasions, we will indulge in them.

I definitely favor more nutrient-dense options like sweet potatoes or cauliflower “mashed potatoes” on the side instead, but feel free to add a few potatoes to the Crock-Pot in honor of the Irish if you wish!

For other recipe ideas that honor Irish heritage in a healthier way, check out my potato-free cottage shepherd’s pie or the always popular bangers and mash. (These are also great options if there’s no time to brine a brisket!)

Updated

Corned beef & cabbage is a favorite meal of ours (as it is for most Americans of Irish descent) and a tradition in our house on St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve found that it’s surprisingly easy to brine my own homemade brisket too (here’s how I do it).

Brining your own corned beef makes this a much healthier dish by avoiding all of the artificial additives found in store-bought, pre-made corned beef.

Really, with these modifications, I see no reason corned beef and cabbage can’t be enjoyed any time of year!

Update: Instant Pot and Oven Roasting Options

Cooking the meat in the slow cooker and sauteeing the veggies on the stove is still a nice convenient option. However, I’ve recently tried a couple of new cooking methods for this recipe and they both have appealing aspects.

The first is cooking in the Instant Pot. It takes about 2 hours, versus 8 hours in the Crock-Pot, with similar results. I remove the meat after it’s done and then either cook the veggies in the Instant Pot for a few minutes or do them on the stove. Either method is fast and easy.

The second method is roasting everything in the oven. This method takes about 3 hours for a good-sized brisket. I uncover it for the last half hour and the meat gets nicely caramelized. I put all the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast them for the last hour or so. Everything has a nice bit of crunch to it that you don’t get from the Instant Pot or Crock-Pot.

st. patrick's day corned beef

Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe

Choose your cooking method to make this traditional Irish meal that uses corned beef brined at home!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Calories 548kcal
Author Katie Wells

Servings

6

Ingredients

For the brisket:

For the sides:

Instructions

For the Crock-Pot:

  • First, drain brine, rinse brisket under cool water, and put it in Crock-Pot. 
  • Add garlic, pepper, and enough fresh water to just cover meat. (Do not use the brine … it will be too salty!)
  • Turn the Crock-Pot on low and cook for 8 hours.
  • About half an hour before beef is done, chop cabbage, onion, garlic, and carrots.
  • Saute onions, carrots, and garlic in butter or ghee in large skillet until somewhat soft.
  • Add cabbage and spices and cook until soft. Add a little corned beef water from the crockpot if it starts to get dry.
  • Serve the corned beef over the cabbage and veggies.

For the Instant Pot

  • First, drain brine, rinse brisket under cool water, and put it in the Instant Pot. 
  • Add garlic, pepper, and enough fresh water to just cover meat. (Do not use the brine … it will be too salty!)
  • Put the lid on the pot and cook at high pressure for 80 minutes with a 20 minute natural pressure release. 
  • While the meat is cooking, chop the vegetables into large pieces.
  • When the 20 minutes is up, release the remaining pressure and remove the meat, keeping it covered to keep warm.
  • Add the vegetables and the remaining ingredients listed for the sides, omitting the butter, and cook at high pressure for 3-4 minutes, releasing the pressure manually when done. You can also cook the vegetables in a skillet with butter instead as detailed above in the Crock-Pot method.
  • Serve the corned beef over the veggies and enjoy!

For Oven Roasted

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Drain the brine, rinse brisket under cool water, and put it on a rack in a roasting pan. 
  • Add about an inch of water to the roasting pan, cover the meat, and place in the preheated oven on the top shelf.
  • Roast for 2 hours.
  • While the meat is cooking, chop the vegetables into large pieces and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with melted butter or olive oil, sprinkle them with the spices, and place them in the oven with the meat on the bottom shelf.
  • After half an hour, uncover the meat.
  • Cook the meat and vegetables an additional half hour or until everything is tender.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 548 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 133mg44%
Sodium 2837mg123%
Potassium 1049mg30%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 3662IU73%
Vitamin C 121mg147%
Calcium 103mg10%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Ever made your own corned beef and cabbage before? What are your tips and tricks?

Classic Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage made the healthy way, slow cooked in the crock pot.

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

29 responses to “Healthier Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe”

  1. Jacqueline Avatar
    Jacqueline

    This is awesome! I used 1 cup of juice from Bubbies naturally fermented sauerkraut. I roasted a small beet and added it to the sauerkraut juice while still warm. I let the beets soak in the juice for about two hours and then strained the beets out and added the juice to the brine as directed. I only let the meat brine from Friday evening until 3:00 Sunday afternoon and it was still awesome! So glad to not have to use the grocery store corned beef! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  2. Jennifer Thomas Avatar
    Jennifer Thomas

    Hi! I have a quick question about this portion of oven instructions:
    – roast for two hours
    – while the brisket is roasting, chop the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and spices and place in the oven,
    – uncover the meat after half an hour
    – Cook the meat and vegetables an additional half hour or until everything is tender

    My question: I’m reading this as adding the vegetables to the oven at some point before I uncover the meat at the 30-minute mark? So they’d roast for close to two hours with the meat, then cook both an additional 30 minutes? So the meat is in for 2.5 hours total; the vegetables a little less — is that correct?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      I believe the meat is in for 2.5 hours, and it’s covered for the first 30 minutes. The vegetables should cook for 30 minutes or until tender.

4.28 from 22 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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