Corned Beef and Cabbage with Carrots and Apples


March 2019 UPDATED RECIPE:  I've tweaked the recipe to work in either a slow cooker on in an Instant Pot.  Either way is easy enough to make; it depends on your cooking vessel and your time. My original post of this has been kicking around for over 10 years, and I've been cooking this for well-over 15 years now! It's definitely my go-to corned beef and cabbage recipe. Tried and true, I'm res-sharing it with you!

It's not St. Patrick's Day with out the "national dish" of Ireland, Corned Beef and Cabbage. So good that everyone will want to eat it. It won't stink up the house, it tastes fantastic, and it's full of good for you vegetables.

How's this for an international twist? Me, and Italian/Polish lesbian, who learned a version of this recipe from a gay Greek/Cypriot man. Through in a dash of Tomato paste - Italian, some shredded Apples - Jewish, and sauteed Cabbage - Polish or Irish and enjoy! It's an easy recipe that cooks mostly in a crock pot - for at least 6 hours. Then once the long slow cooking is done, it only takes about 30 minutes from prep to saute to cook the cabbage and vegetables to mix in with the meat.

This can also be made in an Instant Pot - it will take 90 minutes to cook and then let the pressure come down naturally, for about 20-30 minutes more.  A larger, 5 pound or more sized corned beef may take longer to cook.  If the corned beef isn't as tender as you want, seal and cook for another 10 minutes, then let the pressure come down naturally for another 15-20 minutes.

Follow the saute directions for the cabbage and vegetables as indicated in the directions.  To slice the corned beef vs having it shredded or falling apart, you'll want to rest and chill the corned beef for several hours.  Otherwise, if you serve this soon after making it, it won't have time to set and firm up. Like most slow cooked or pressure cooker dishes I find this always tastes better once the flavors have had the chance to "marry" and develop.  The great thing about this recipe is that the second cooking of the cabbage allows you to make the corned beef first then you can make the sauteed cabbage, apples, and onions at your leisure.

Step One Ingredients:
  • Corned Beef Brisket - trimmed of fat and rinsed well
  • 1 small onion - large slices
  • 1 Cup Green Cabbage - large slices
  • 1 Tablespoon Pickling Spices
  • 6 Whole Clove Seeds
Step Two Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable, Canola or Light Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion - finely sliced or shredded
  • 2 Large Carrots - peeled and shredded
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple - peeled and shredded
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Celery Seed
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste or Ketchup
  • 1 Cup Reserved Cooking Water from Corned Beef Brisket
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper - to taste
Directions:
  1. Prepare Corned Beef Brisket - cut and trim away any excess fat. Rinse the brisket well and set into the bottom of a crock pot.
  2. Sprinkle the corned beef with the pickling spices and cloves.  If using a pre-brined, fresh corned beef, then there's no need to use the pickling spices, but the addition of whole cloves is essential.
  3. Layer the onions and cabbage on top of the corned beef.
  4. Cover completely with water until it the water level is two inches above the brisket, or until it is fully submerged.
  5. Turn on the crock pot to low if you have 6 or more hours to cook it, otherwise turn it onto high and cook for 4 hours.
  6. When the meat is cooked - remove it from the crock pot and set aside to cool. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of the cooking water and discard the rest with the cooked cabbage and onions - they've given up their usefulness so it's okay to throw them away!
  7. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Saute the onions until they turn translucent - about 4 minutes.
  8. Add in the shredded carrots, apple and minced garlic and saute for another 4 minutes.
  9. Add the cabbage and toss to combine. Saute the cabbage until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Then add in some of the reserved cooking liquid from the corned beef. Bring to a low boil and reduce the heat to a bare simmer.
  10. Sprinkle in the celery seed and keep the cabbage mixture at a simmer for another 10 minutes. If the mixture is beginning to dry out, add in more of the reserved cooking liquid. The mixture shouldn't be too liquid - you only want enough liquid in the pan to braise the cabbage but not enough to make it soupy.
  11. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste or ketchup and toss thoroughly to combine. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Go easy on the salt - the corned beef and its cooking liquid are very salty.
  12. Sliced or shred the corned beef and add it to the cabbage mixture.
  13. Serve hot over mashed, smashed or baked potatoes. To round out your meal with something green, serve the corned beef and cabbage with steamed broccolini, grilled asparagus or sauteed string beans. Erin go bragh!

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