(Not Necessarily Irish) Corned Beef & Cabbage

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March 10, 2013 by Jason Rice MD

I’m not Irish. Not even a little bit. The closest I am to being Irish is a lifetime of living in Chicago. So, if this isn’t the way your great-great-great grandmother made corned beef, read the the first sentence of this post again. That aside, I do enjoy when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around and corned beef briskets go on sale cheaper than ground beef. Over the years, I’ve worked on different recipes to put those briskets to use in different ways. This is the best I’ve come up with so far…in fact, Mrs. Eats For All Ages said this is her favorite of all the dishes on this blog. Eats For All Ages Junior was a fan as well.

So, if you’re looking for the ultra traditional corned beef and cabbage, you may want to look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a great way to make corned beef with cabbage and other veggies, give this method a shot. It may not be the original, but it sure is tasty with a pint of stout! (Or milk, if you’re one of our younger readers/eaters.)

One warning: this barely fit in my 6-quart slow cooker, so if you have a smaller slow cooker, you may need to cut the quantities accordingly. That said, here we go…

photo 1


  • 2-3 lb corned beef brisket, flat cut
  • 4 parsnips
  • 4 carrots
  • 8-10 small potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 8oz white mushrooms
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of savoy cabbage
  • 1/4 cup pearled barley, rinsed
  • 32oz vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 shakes worchestershire sauce


Open up your brisked and lay it, whole and intact, fat side down into your slow cooker. If it came with a seasoning packet, sprinkle that over the meat as well as a little black pepper. Next, peel the parsnips and carrots, and cut them into thick coins.

photo 1 (1)

Slice the onions into half inch wide strips.

photo 3 (1)

Quarter the potatoes and the mushrooms and add them to the slow cooker. Also mince your garlic cloves (or measure it out if you’re using minced garlic from a jar), and add this with the onions, parsnips and carrots to the mix. Also add the barley at this point.

photo 2 (1)

Next, take your cabbage head and slice it in half. I chose to use savoy cabbage since it has the best flavor, in my opinion. You’ll need to make a triangular cut to remove the thick stem portion, leaving the more tender leafy portions to work with.

photo 4 (1)

Once you remove the tough stem portion, cut the cabbage into chunks.

photo 2 (2)

The cabbage will start to fall apart some, but there is no need to break it up much as it will further separate throughout the cooking process. Add the cabbage to the slow cooker, and cover everything with the vegetable stock. Add a little salt and pepper if desired and, as per usual here at Eats For All Ages, a few shakes of worchestershire sauce.

photo 3 (2)

As mentioned before, this barely fit into the slow cooker, as evidenced above. Not to worry, the steam that accumulates while the cooker runs will cook everything just fine, but I did stir the whole thing once during the process. Using a few less potatoes or cutting out the mushrooms would also save a little space, but I cannot speak to how this would affect the overall outcome.

Once everything is in the cooker, give it a gentle stir if you want, and set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

photo 4 (2)

When the eight long hours are up, you will be rewarded with fork-tender corned beef and tasty veggies. All that’s left to do is break up the meat and dish it out.

photo 2 (3)

A little bread to mop up the juice is definitely a wise idea…

This is dish is easy for little eaters to eat, even with their hands. It breaks up nicely and is easy to break down for a toddler plate. Older kids will easily be able to dig into an adult bowl and break up the meat and veggies with just a fork or spoon as well.

photo 3 (3)

Now, I know many of you may be wondering about how to work some beer into this meal. In my younger days, I used to add a can of Irish stout to the cooking liquid. If you have no little eaters, this is a nice addition to the recipe. However, even with the recipe just as it is above, there’s nothing to stop mommies and daddies from having a nice stout with this meal…

photo 4 (3)

From left to right:
Founder’s Breakfast Stout (also in the glass), Two Brothers North Wind Imperial Stout and New Glarus Coffee Stout

Above are my three favorite stouts. Since it’s already been established that I’m not Irish, neither are my stouts of choice. They are all midwestern microbrews, and they’re excellent. Whether you have a pint of beer, a glass of milk or a warm glass of tap water, I hope you enjoy this corned beef recipe as much as we did…for Saint Paddy’s Day or just because – Enjoy!


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© Jason Rice and "Eats For All Ages" - 2012 to present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that full credit and citation is given to Jason Rice and/or "Eats For All Ages" with appropriate links or direction to the original content being used.
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