How to make slow cooker corned beef and cabbage (video)

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Saint Patrick's day is one of my favorite holidays. Bring on the green beer and corned beef and cabbage! It's hard to imagine a St. Paddy's day without it. Although synonymous with Ireland, the origin of corned beef is actually unknown. It is thought to have originally come from ancient Europe and the Middle East many years ago. The salty but tender dish remains quite popular in the United Kingdom and is commonly used in sandwiches and corned beef hash or eaten with potatoes and pickles.
Corned beef is literally salt-pickled (brined) beef brisket. It is first set in a saltwater brine with sugar and spices for about five days. Then the brisket is traditionally simmered in water until it becomes tender. During this slow cooking process, the extra salt is released into the cooking liquid. The end result is a very flavorful, tender piece of preserved beef. In this classic corned beef and cabbage recipe, we skip the brining process and use prebrined corned beef, which you can usually find in the meat section of your grocery or butcher shop. You can serve this by itself, but I prefer to serve it as a sandwich. The special mustard sauce included in this recipe is the perfect accompaniment to the fatty and savory chunks of corned beef. Serve it all on your favorite rye bread for an AMAZING sandwich. And what beverage would you pair it with? Beer, of course!
Cooktop Cove
Slow cooker Corned Beef and cabbage
20 minutes
10 hours
10 hours, 20 minutes
2 pounds uncooked corned beef (prebrined)
1 large onion, large diced
1 medium carrot, large diced
1 stalk celery, large diced
2 tablespoons pickling spice mix
4 bay leaves
1 12-ounce can beer (pale ale)
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 quarts water
1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
16 slices rye bread
For special mustard sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Place prebrined corned beef, onion, carrot, celery, pickling spice, bay leaves, beer and fresh thyme in a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add water. Water should cover beef by about 1 inch. Adjust if needed.
Cover and cook on low for 9 hours.
Add cabbage and cook on low for an additional 1 hour.
Remove beef and cabbage from slow cooker. Set cabbage aside. Discard onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, thyme and as much pickling spice as you are able to. Discard cooking liquid, but save 2 cups.
Chop corned beef into bite-sized chunks. Add the chunks back into the slow cooker along with the 2 cups of cooking liquid to keep warm.
To make special mustard sauce: In a small mixing bowl, combine everything from mayonnaise to black pepper.
Lightly toast rye bread (optional).
Slather each piece of bread with special mustard sauce.
Place warm chopped corned beef on top of bread. Place cabbage on corned beef and top with bread.
Pro tip: Add a slice of Swiss cheese on the sandwich and place in oven to melt the cheese for an amazing variation of a Reuben sandwich. If you'd like an authentic Reuben, mix in a can of sauerkraut and replace the cup of whole-grain mustard in the sauce with 4 tablespoons ketchup.
Note: All slow cookers are a little bit different in temperature and calibration. This recipe was tested in Cooktop Cove's Test Kitchen using this slow cooker, which is available for purchase here.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which help support our website.
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