Corned beef & cabbage is an simple yet tasty classic Irish-American dish. Particularly eaten on St. Patrick’s Day, make this version in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Updated 2019 with Instant Pot instructions
Am I the only one that eats corned beef and cabbage once a year? I actually like it but for some reason I only eat it around St. Patrick’s Day.
What Is Corned Beef
Corned beef is beef brisket that’s cured in a seasoned brine. When cooked, the corned beef will have a dull, gray color on the outside. Don’t worry, this is normal. This means it’s cooked. When you slice the corned beef, the inside should have the normal pink coloring that you’re used to. The pink coloring in corned beef comes from the beef being cured in either saltpeter or sodium nitrates.
Traditional Irish Food?
I recently read an article about the history of corned beef and cabbage that referred to it “as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs”. In short, the story goes that back in the day in Ireland, a common dish to serve for dinner was pork and potatoes. When the Irish immigrated to America, the working class Irish-Americans started eating corned beef rather than pork because it was more affordable. From there a new tradition was born and pork and potatoes was replaced with corned beef and cabbage. It’s Irish American!
What Type Of Potatoes To Use
Waxy potatoes. Waxy potatoes work best because they hold their shape well during the long cook time. I like to use baby yellow or red potatoes. If you use a potato like russet or even sweet potatoes, I suggest you cut them in larger chunks than you usually would. This will help them not turn to mush when they cook. The potatoes are combined with the carrots and onion and placed at the bottom of the slow cooker. If you over-cook them, they might turn a bit soft but if they’re in the bottom of the slow cooker they should be okay as long at they’re left undisturbed.
Only 5 Ingredients
This was a very easy recipe to keep to five or less ingredients because most times corned beef comes with a spice packet. I definitely buy corned beef with the spice packet. I’m not even going to pretend like I created my own. For those on whole30, I get my compliant corned beef from Costco. If there’s ever a question, about whether or not your corned beef is compliant, check the ingredients against the the whole30 additives sheet to be sure.
Long Cook Time
Corned beef is a tougher cut of beef so it needs to cook a little longer than other cuts. My 3 pound corned beef took 9 hours on low in the slow cooker and 105 minutes in the electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot). Every appliance is different. How long it takes to cook will depend on how your appliance heats and how large or thick your corned beef is. You’ll know the corned beef is done when a knife pierces through the meat easily.
Looking for other St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Check these out:
Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage VIDEO:
- 2–3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
- 1 small head green cabbage
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds potatoes, chopped or cut in half (depending on size)
- 3–4 medium size carrots, chopped
- 1 medium-size onion, chopped
- 4 cups water
- Add potatoes, carrots and onion to bottom of slow cooker.
- Add corned beef brisket on top. Pour water on top of all the food. Sprinkle spice packet on top the meat.
- Cook HIGH 4-5 hours or LOW 8-10.
- Add cabbage and cook an additional 15-30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
- Add trivet or wire rack to electric pressure cooker and place corned beef brisket on top, fat side UP.
- Add enough water to cover the corned beef. Approximately 6 cups.
- Add onion and spice packet onion on top of corned beef.
- Close and seal vent. Select manual setting and cook 35 minutes per pound of corned beef. Natural release pressure 10 minutes, then quick release remaining pressure.
- Remove corned beef and add cabbage, potatoes, and carrots on trivet. Add lid, close and seal vent. Select manual setting and set time for 3 minutes. Quick release pressure and serve.
- Place the corned beef directly in the bottom of the pressure cooker, fat side UP. Add enough water to cover the corned beef, approximately 4 cups.
- Add spice packet and onion on top of corned beef.
- Close and seal vent. Select manual setting and cook 35 minutes per pound of corned beef. Quick release pressure.
- Open pressure cooker and add cabbage, potatoes, and carrots on top of corned beef. Close and seal vent. Select manual setting and set time for 3 minutes. Quick release pressure and serve.
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