Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner (Instant Pot or Crock Pot!)

Wine a Little Cook a Lot

A traditional St. Patrick’s Day recipe, this easy corned beef and cabbage dinner can be made in the crock pot or instant pot. Made with beer, potatoes, carrots and onions it’s the best corned beef recipe that’s full of flavor!

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Corned beef brisket is cooked with savory seasonings, beer and vegetables for the best and most flavorful corned beef and cabbage dinner. 

Simple and easy to make, corned beef is a favorite St. Paddy’s Day tradition. (or at least in my family ;))

It can easily be made in the crock pot or instant pot. I’ve listed instructions for both at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Do they really eat corned beef and cabbage in Ireland?

Corned beef and cabbage is a well known Irish-American dish that became popular once brought over to America.

In Ireland, few people eat corned beef and it’s not a “traditional” St Paddy’s Day dinner like most people think.

The Irish tradition is usually lamb or bacon.

Who would have thought?

Is corned beef really even Irish?

Because the Cattle Acts prohibited the export of live cattle to England way back in the day, Ireland became one of the main distributors of meat to other countries because they were one of the first to cure and preserve the meat with salt.

That’s why we associate corned beef with Ireland.

It was actually the British who invented the term “corned beef” to describe the salt that was the size of corn kernels.

Fun fact of the day!

Today, we eat corned beef and cabbage on St Patrick’s Day because over the years it’s become adopted by the Irish Americans to replace the traditional bacon and cabbage.

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What's the best cut of meat for corned beef? Point cut vs Flat cut, what's the difference?

Corned beef is ultimately just salted and cured beef brisket.

In grocery stores, you can find two types: point cut and flat cut.

While in my opinion, both are delicious, it really depends on personal preference:

Point Cut: The more fattier cut of corned beef.

Because it’s so fatty, it tends to be more tender and juicy. The meat will literally almost shred apart!

This is what I used in my crockpot corned beef recipe, and as long as you trim the fat before cooking, it will be a good mixture of fat and meat.

More fat = more flavor so that’s why the point cut is my favorite.

Flat Cut: This is the cut most people prefer because it’s not as fatty and much more lean.

The flat cut also cuts more uniformly making it a good choice for sandwiches!

Both the crock pot and instant pot are good for fall-apart-tender meat so whether you go flat or point cut, I’m confident your corned beef will be delicious no matter which cut you use :).

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It’s no secret my family has it’s share of good cooks.

My grandma is 100% Italian so a lot of our meals stemmed around her recipes.

Yes, her Italian food can’t be beat but that’s not to say she can’t cook a mean corned beef and cabbage!

It’s without a doubt the best corned beef recipe I’ve ever had…full of flavor and always tender.

Now most recipes cook the cabbage along with the corned beef and rest of the vegetables but my grandma does it a little different.

She makes her cabbage separately in a frying pan and it’s SO worth the extra steps.

It’s cooked on high heat with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until tender and slightly caramelized. 

The high heat brings out the natural sugars in the cabbage making it slightly sweet, buttery and delicious.

If you want to add the cabbage right in the crock pot or instant pot, you can do so, but I’m telling you now it’s nowhere as flavorful as her fried cabbage ;).

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Corned Beef Dinner in the Crock Pot:

  1. Trim corned beef of excess fat. Rinse under cold water for 1-2 minutes to rinse off excess salt.
  2. Place onions, garlic, potatoes and carrots in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add corned beef brisket on top of vegetables, fat side facing up.
  3. Add seasoning packet, bay leaves, cloves, oregano, black pepper, beer, water and vinegar. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until beef is tender and falls apart with your fork.
  5. Remove corned beef from crockpot and place on a serving tray. Slice against the grain and serve with vegetables and extra juice.

Instant Pot Corned Beef Dinner:

  1. Trim corned beef of excess fat. Rinse under cold water for 1-2 minutes to rinse off excess salt.
  2. Place onions and garlic in bottom of instant pot. Place corned beef brisket on top.
  3. Add seasoning packet, bay leaves, cloves, oregano, black pepper, beer, water and vinegar. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Cover, and set instant pot to pressure cook on high for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
  5. Let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then use the quick release for remaining pressure.
  6. Open lid, flip corned beef over and remove about 2 cups of liquid with a ladle (set liquid aside).
  7. Add potatoes and carrots to instant pot. Cover and set to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Use the quick release to release pressure.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe Tips:

  • While some fat is welcome (hello flavor!), I like to trim any bulky fat off of the meat before cooking.  The top of the meat will have a coat of fat but anything thicker than ¼” should be cut off.
  • Corned beef is naturally salty so be sure to rinse it under cold water for 1-2 minutes before placing in your instant pot or slow cooker.
  • The fried cabbage is best made in a stainless steel sauté pan for nice caramelization. If you don’t have one, a non stick will be fine just be sure to keep on higher heat to get that nice golden color.
  • You should have a lot of liquid left over which you can save for leftover corned beef and cabbage soup! Just be sure to skim off the layer of fat once it cools.
  • Cutting against the grain is important when slicing your corned beef.

Happy St. Patty’s Day foodie friends :).

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