Tender corned beef brisket cooked with chicken broth, cabbage, and other vegetables to make a delicious meal for these winter months.
» You might also like this Instant Pot Pork & Sauerkraut Recipe.
When it’s so cold outside, all you want is an easy meal that will warm you up. With this corned beef and cabbage recipe, you will get just that. You don’t have to brine your own beef brisket to make this recipe. We start with a corned beef that you can buy at the store, though usually only around St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S.
That is a great excuse to make some of these delicious St. Patrick’s Day recipes that include corned beef and our favorite side dish, Colcannon.
The instant pot makes the beef brisket fall apart easily, and vegetables just soak up all of the broth. Since all the ingredients are cooked together, there is no need to make an additional side for this recipe. It’s simple and flavorful.
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is a beef brisket that has been pickled in salt and spices for a long period of time to make it a super flavorful meat. You can buy it already brined at the store and it comes with a seasoning packet that you can use to cook it in.
Why is it called corned beef? I’ve heard that the name comes from the large piece of salt and spices that it is brined it. They look a little like corn as it’s brining. Not sure if that’s true, but we’ll go with it for now.
You might be wondering if they have corned beef in Ireland. There is something similar, called Irish spiced beef that comes from County Cork. It’s more of a traditional Christmas meal. It’s salt beef that’s been cured with spices and braised. So, yes, it’s similar, but it’s definitely not the same.
While Americans eat corned beef around St. Patrick’s Day, it’s not a thing in Ireland.
Ingredients You Need
- Corned beef brisket: Buy corned beef brisket that’s already been brined, with a seasoning packet, to make things easier when cooking. You can buy it in a point cut or flat cut. Either is fine.
- Onion: Yellow or white onions are best for this recipe as they are sweeter in taste.
- Chicken or Beef stock: This will add lots of flavor, but you can use water and a beef bouillon cube if you don’t have beef stock.
- Cabbage: Be careful to not overcook the cabbage as it will ruin the texture and change the taste.
- Baby potatoes: Use waxy potatoes like yellow or red potatoes to keep a strong texture. Using non-waxy potatoes like russet will create a mushy texture.
- Carrots: Add a nice sweetness to the dish to round out the other flavors. Keep them big and chunky, so they don’t become mushy when cooking.
- Parsley: This is an optional addition, but it adds a touch of peppery flavor to the corned beef brisket.
How to Make Corned Beef
There are a couple of ways you can make corned beef. You can slow cook it in the oven, or in the slow cooker, or you can make the process a bit faster by using the Instant Pot. Choose whichever method works best for you.
For cooking in the oven
Rinse the corned beef to remove any excess salt. Since this is a brined beef, it will be salty, so you want to rinse it well.
Tear off a large piece of tin foil and place it inside a baking pan with high walls. Place the onion wedges inside the foil, then place the corned beef brisket, fat side up, on top of the onions. Sprinkle on the seasoning packet.
Wrap the foil tightly around the brisket and bake for 250°F for 3-4 hours. The meat needs to cook to and internal temperature of 160°F to be safe, but for optimal tenderness, cook it to 190°F. This is easiest to achieve with a digital thermometer inserted into the meat while it’s cooking. If you don’t have one, check the temp of the meat with an instant read thermometer towards the end of cooking.
For cooking in the Instant Pot
Place the onion wedges in the inner pot of the Instant Pot, then place the rinsed corned beef brisket, fat side up, on top of the onions. This will keep the meat raised so it doesn’t get tough on the bottom. Sprinkle on the seasoning packet and pour in the chicken or beef broth.
Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 80 minutes. This is good for a 2-pound brisket. If you have a larger brisket, you may need to cook it longer. Try 85 minutes for 2.5 pounds and 90 minutes for 3+ pounds.
When the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. It usually doesn’t take any longer than that for all the pressure to release, but if there is remaining pressure, release it manually.
The meat needs to cook to and internal temperature of 160°F to be safe, but for optimal tenderness, cook it to 190°F.
Why Use An Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
Questions About Corned Beef
Can I make the seasoning myself?
I recommend buying your brisket already brined with a seasoning packet, but you can brine your own if you want. It takes a good 7 days, so be prepared. Then you’ll also need to make your own seasoning, which is a mix of allspice, coriander seeds, bay leaves, salt, pepper, mustard seeds, whole pepper seeds, and cloves.
How do I store leftovers?
Place any leftover meat you have in an airtight container and refrigerate for a max of 5 days. It will be at its best in the first few days, so be sure to use it up quickly. You can also freeze it by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What can I use the leftovers for?
Corned beef tastes amazing with vegetables, but you can also use the leftover beef in other recipes. Cook it with potatoes to make a delicious corned beef hash, or make it into a sandwich.
Tips & Advice
- When slicing the corned beef, it is best to cut against the grain. That means to cut the meat against the direction the strands of meat seem to be going in. This will keep the corned beef nice and tender.
- Let the corned beef rest for a bit before cutting. It will be easier to cook, and will keep in the juices more.
- You can use baby carrots, or can skip out on them if you don’t like them.
- Regular potatoes can work just as well as baby potatoes. If using larger potatoes, cut them into quarters for quicker cooking.
- Instead of chicken stock, beef stock, water and even apple juice can be used. Each will provide a different flavor, so experiment and see what you like best.
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Simple Corned Beef Brisket
- 1 large onion cut into wedges
- 1 2-lb. corned beef brisket, with seasoning packet
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or beef broth
- 1 small head cabbage core removed, cut into wedges
- 1 pound baby potatoes halved
- 4 medium carrots sliced
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- Rinse the corned beef to remove excess salt.
- Place the onion wedges in the inner pot. Place the corned beef brisket on top. Sprinkle on the seasoning packet. Pour in the chicken or beef broth.
- Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 80 minutes. Either do a quick release or allow a 15 minute natural release (either is fine).
- Remove the brisket from the pot and set it aside to rest.
- Place the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in the Instant Pot in the cooking liquid. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Slice and serve the brisket with the veggies.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.