This is the best method for cooking corned beef if you aren’t home during the day to watch the pot. Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage is an absolute must in our house on St. Patrick’s Day!
Not too long ago, when I was a busy mama running to and fro from my office, to the kids’ schools, to their sporting events, to orthodontic appointments (I have a feeling you know what I’m talking about here), my slow cooker was my best friend. Truth. And, that friendship is still going strong.
Walking in the door to the aroma of a delicious meal simmering away in the Crock-Pot is instantly soothing. It provided much-needed relief from the horrifying scenario of having to run out and pick something up to feed my family of six and, it was the only possible way I could do a traditional boiled dinner, aka, Corned Beef and Cabbage, on St. Patrick’s Day. The typical stovetop method requires three or more hours for a nice, tender result, but with this method, you can throw it all in your slow cooker, get out the door, and come home to a super tasty meal.
The recipe is simple – you don’t need to do a whole lot to make this delicious cut of meat taste good. With just a couple of tips and tricks, you’ll have a perfectly prepared boiled dinner on your table with very little effort.
You should be seeing the corned beef briskets at the grocery store by now. They pop up in the meat department a few weeks before St. Patrick’s Day every year. This Shenson Boneless Corned Beef Brisket is my favorite and I’ve found them both at my local grocery store and Costco. Whatever the brand, just be sure you pick up a brisket that includes a spice packet.
You’ll also need some creamer or baby Dutch potatoes – the little, tiny ones like in the package above. It’s important that all the veggies that go in the slow cooker are all approximately the same size so if you’re using larger potatoes, be sure to cut them down. This 1-1/2 pound package of red and yellow creamer potatoes is pre-washed and ready to go and worked perfectly for this recipe. I also peeled about 8 carrots and chopped them on the diagonal into 2″ chunks.
Place your corned beef brisket, fat side up, in the slow cooker and sprinkle it with the pickling spices. Pour in enough low-sodium beef broth to come up around the edges of the brisket – about 2 to 2-1/2 cups. The brisket does not need to be completely immersed but the broth should be visible and level with the top edges of the corned beef. Add the potatoes and carrots around the edges of the brisket, over the top of the broth, and top them with a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic. Place the cover on the slow cooker and cook it on LOW for approximately 8 to 9 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours. You will know it’s ready when both the veggies and the brisket are fork tender.
I prefer using beef broth instead of the water called for in many recipes. Along with the pickling spices and garlic, it adds a nice depth of flavor to the veggies. I also prefer to cook the veggies on top of the brisket instead of underneath, which assures they will not be overcooked (overcooked veggies = yuck).
At the end of the cooking time remove the corned beef to a cutting board and cover it with foil to keep it warm while you cook the cabbage. Use a slotted spoon the transfer the veggies to a serving platter.
Don’t toss the cooking liquid! You’ll need it next.
Transfer the cooking liquid to a large pot and add the cored wedges of cabbage. Place the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer the cabbage just long enough for the cabbage to soften to get tender. It won’t take long – approximately 5 minutes to 10 minutes – so watch it close.
Slice the brisket against the grain and add it to the serving platter along with the veggies and cabbage. I like to add some small pats of butter to the warm veggies and cabbage and season them both with a little salt and pepper.
Serve this flavorful, delicious dish with a loaf of crusty bread and some cold beer (basically required on St. Patrick’s Day). If you want to try something special for the holiday, check out this delicious beer cocktail that would be absolutely perfect with this meal.
For my favorite stovetop recipe take a gander at my Guinness Corned Beef and for a totally delicious way to use the leftovers, you should totally try this Corned Beef Hash . It’s worth cooking the corned beef just to get those leftovers!
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 3 to 3 ½ pound boneless corned beef brisket, with pickling spice packet
- 1 to 1 ½ pounds creamer or Dutch baby potatoes
- 8 to 10 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 to 3 cups low sodium beef broth, (definitely use low-sodium broth)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 head green cabbage, cored and sliced into small wedges
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Remove the corned beef from the packaging and set aside the spice packet. Give the brisket a good rinse under cool water, place it into a 6-quart slow cooker insert fat side up and sprinkle with pickling spices. Pour in enough low sodium beef broth to come to the top of the brisket. Scatter potatoes and carrots around the edges of the brisket. Sprinkle minced garlic over the potatoes and carrots.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, until both the corned beef and vegetables are fork tender.
- Lift brisket from the slow cooker, allowing the veggies to drop down into the broth. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and cover with a sheet of foil to keep it warm. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the veggies to serving bowl or platter.
- Pour cooking liquid from slow cooker insert into a large pot or Dutch oven and place over high heat. Add wedges of cabbage and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium, cover, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, just until cabbage is softened and slightly tender. Remove cabbage with a slotted spoon and transfer to serving platter with other veggies. Dot veggies and cabbage with butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Slice corned beef across the grain and serve with veggies and cabbage (and beer!).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
Five stars for the ease and deliciousness of this recipe. Everything turned out great – the cabbage was perfect! I did forget to add the garlic, and we didn’t miss it. Smelled great while it was cooking. I was worried about flavor, but didn’t need a thing! I cooked on high for about 5 and a half hours.
This seems a good basic recipe, but not a ‘keeper’, as it lacks some information about what to do with the spices included in the recipe/packet, as to whether or not they are edible…Picking them out before eating, or…And what to do with the leftover cooking liquid instead of pouring the nutrient-rich broth down the drain…And why peel any veggies when the outer layer often contains flavorful nutrients…and where are the options like onions, rutabagas, celery, turnips, parsnips or the wonderful variety in the ‘cruciferous family’~? And how about some information on the different kinds of cuts of Corned Beef~?!
Hi Ivana. I didn’t consider stating that the pickling spices are edible because of course you would never cook with something inedible. As far as the cooking liquid, it is transferred to a pot to cook the cabbage, as stated in the post. You can spoon some of the broth over servings of the corned beef and vegetables but it can be quite salty so it’s a matter of preference. This is a recipe for a traditional meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage with carrots and potatoes. You can substitute or add any ingredients you prefer.
Why couldn’t you add the cabbage to the pot while cooking the rest of it. One pot meal. Sounds more convenient.Just saying.
A 6-quart slow cooker doesn’t have the capacity to hold a good sized brisket, the carrots and potatoes, and a big head of cabbage. Plus, the cabbage cooks very quickly and I like to control exactly how much it cooks, which is easier to do in a pot on the stove just before serving.
Thank you Valerie,
I’m using your recipe today in a crockpot and in my dutch oven. Looking forward to it and planning to try your beef stew recipe next week. Thank you for your fast reply.
Do you ever use quartered onions in your corned beef recipes? If not, why?
Hi Jeff. You can toss in some onions if you’d like. I do add then in my Instant Pot Corned Beef recipe to give the meat something to rest on while it cooks and more flavor to the cooking liquid. There’s so much flavor in this recipe that I really don’t think it’s a necessary addition but it won’t hurt if you’ve got enough space left to add them.
Hi Val! Making this today so that is is ready after a day of adventuring in the wine country. Made your Guinness Corned Beef last year and it was amazing. I love following you and your recipes. Keep them coming!!
That sounds like the perfect day! I hope you enjoy it 🙂 Thanks, Selina.
Shenson corned beef is horrible. Just cooked one I bought at Costco and I had to throw it out. I will not buy Shenson again.
I have always wanted to make this. This does look easy and so good.
Thanks, Mary. I hope you give it a try!
Thank you for the nice recipe and easy instructions.
You are very welcome, Liz 🙂