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

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Corned beef and cabbage is a dish that's often seen on St. Patrick's Day, especially around the United States. But there's no reason this Irish dish can't be enjoyed all year round. Corned beef is really just beef brisket that's been cured in brine (salt) and boiled. If you get a flat cut, the resulting beef will be tender and easily cut into slices, while a point cut will give you beef that's extremely tender and will fall apart as you take it out of the slow cooker. Either is a great option for this corned beef and cabbage recipe!
Corned beef typically also requires a long, slow braising time, which makes it perfect for the slow cooker. The cabbage is added at the end so that it doesn't get too wilted, and keeping the head intact and in wedges (as opposed to shredding it) is the authentic way to serve this dish. But while the corned beef and cabbage in this dish certainly are impressive, it's really about that sauce. That sauce is everything.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
10 minutes
8 hours, 30 minutes
8 hours, 55 minutes
2 pounds (900 g) small new potatoes, cut in half
4 carrots, cut into 2" pieces
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 stalks celery, cut into 2" pieces
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 4-pound (2 kg) corned beef brisket, rinsed
12 ounces (350 ml) dark beer
2-5 cups water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) pickling spice
1 small head green cabbage, cut into wedges
1/2 cup (125 ml) sour cream
1/4 cup (60 ml) horseradish
1 tablespoon (15 ml) yellow mustard
Place potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and thyme into a 6 to 8-quart slow cooker. Place beef brisket on top.
Top with pickling spice then pour beer over top of beef brisket and around the sides. If the brisket is not covered, add water until it is fully covered.
Cover slow cooker, set heat to low, and cook for about 8 hours, until the brisket is tender.
Add the cabbage, arranging it over and around the brisket. Cover and cook just until the cabbage has softened, another 30 minutes on high.
While brisket is cooking, combine the sour cream with horseradish and mustard to make the sauce.
When brisket is finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Strain the vegetables and arrange them on a platter. Slice brisket and arrange it over half of the vegetables, with the cabbage over the other half.
Pro Tip: For those who prefer gravy with their brisket instead of sauce, remove everything from the slow cooker and bring juices to a boil. Combine 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of flour with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water to make a slurry and add to the juices until thick.
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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