Corned Beef and Cabbage

VideoSt. Patrick's DayComfort FoodIrishCabbageCorned Beef

Here's the BEST Corned Beef and Cabbage for your St. Patrick's Day Party! We give you 2-ways to make it—boiled in spiced water the traditional way or baked with cloves and sweet hot honey mustard. Either way is delicious.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Once a year, come mid-March, we Americans enjoy the best excuse ever to make corned beef and cabbage: St. Patrick’s Day!

Never mind that the dish isn’t really eaten in Ireland, or at least not with the enthusiasm for it that you’ll find here. We’ll celebrate the day the way we like, and raise a toast with a pint of Guinness as well.

Boiled or Baked Corned Beef?

The traditional way to cook corned beef and cabbage is to boil it, both the beef and the cabbage.

Several years ago my friend Suzanne introduced me to her favorite way of making the corned beef—speckled with cloves, slathered in honey mustard and baked — not boiled — and then served alongside sautéed cabbage.

One day we cooked corned beef and cabbage both ways, boiled and baked. The winner?

The whole family agreed, baked corned beef, hands down.

But traditions die hard. So, here we present to you both versions, a corned beef and cabbage in the oven with honey and mustard (blanched first to extract some of the excess salt), and a boiled version. Also we show two ways to cook the cabbage, boiled or sautéed.

Which Corned Beef to Buy

By the way, when buying corned beef you have a choice between “flat cut” and “point cut.” Either cut will work with these methods.

The point cut will have more fat marbling throughout the meat, making it a more flavorful cut, but there will be more shrinkage due to fat rendering out of the meat, so you will need more to have the same amount of cooked meat. The flat cut is a leaner cut of corned beef.

Enjoy and Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Looking for More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes?

Updated March 10, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Corned beef is cured in a salt mixture, so it can be very salty, depending on the source. We recommend first bringing the corned beef to a boil in plain water, and discarding the water, (repeat for less salt), before proceeding with the baked version.



Corned Beef (baked)

  • 3 lbs corned beef (in package)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup hot sweet honey mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Corned Beef (boiled)

  • 3 lbs corned beef (in package, including spice packet)

Cabbage (sautéed)

  • Extra virgin olive oil and butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
  • Salt

Cabbage (boiled)

  • 1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
  • Additional vegetables such as a couple carrots (cut to 1 inch pieces) or several new potatoes (quartered)


Corned Beef (Baked)

1 Lightly boil to remove excess salt: Take the corned beef from the package and discard the spice packet. Note that one side of the roast should have a layer of fat, the other side should have distinct lines indicating the grain of the beef.

Corned beef can be very salty, especially when baked. To remove some of the salt before cooking, place it in a pot fat side up. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and discard the water. Repeat to remove even more salt.

2 Top with cloves, honey mustard, brown sugar: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay the corned beef, fat side up, on a large piece of heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil (you may have to get creative with the way you wrap the beef if your foil isn't wide enough).

Insert the cloves into the top of the slab of corned beef, evenly spaced. Spread the top with the hot sweet honey mustard. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.

3 Wrap in foil and bake: Wrap the corned beef with foil in a way that allows for a little space on top between the corned beef and the foil, and creates a container to catch the juices. Place foil-wrapped corned beef in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 2 hours at 350°F.

4 Add more honey mustard, broil: Open the foil wrapping, spread a little more honey mustard over the top of the corned beef, and broil it for 2-3 minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned.

5 Slice: Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then place on cutting board. Pull out and discard the cloves.

Lift the corned beef up to see which direction the grain of the meat is.  Then cut the meat at a diagonal, across the grain of the meat, into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Serve immediately.

Corned Beef (Boiled)

1 Place corned beef in a large (6 to 8 quart) pot. Cover the beef with an inch water. Add the contents of the spice packet to the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer for 2-3 hours, until the corned beef is fork tender. Remove from pot to a cutting board. (Reserve cooking liquid for boiling cabbage, if you plan to boil and not sauté the cabbage.)

Cut slices across the grain, into 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve.

Cabbage (Sautéed)

1 Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (enough to well coat the pan) on medium high to high heat in a large, wide pot (8-quart if available) or large, high-sided sauté pan. Add chopped onions, cook for a couple of minutes, then add garlic.

2 Add a third of the sliced cabbage to the pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and stir to coat with oil and mix with onions.

Spread out the cabbage evenly over the bottom of the pan and do not stir until it starts to brown. If the heat is high enough, this should happen quickly. The trick is to have the burner hot enough to easily brown the cabbage, but not so hot that it easily burns.

When the bottom of the cabbage is nicely browned, use a metal spatula to lift it up and flip it, scraping the browned bits as you go.

3 Once the cabbage in the pan has browned on a couple of flips, add another third of the cabbage to the pan. Mix well, then spread out the cabbage and repeat. Add a bit of butter to the pan for flavor, and to keep the cabbage from sticking too much to the pan. Once this batch has cooked down a bit and browned, add the remaining third of the cabbage and repeat.

Serve with the corned beef. Serve with boiled new potatoes. Can be made ahead and reheated.

Cabbage (Boiled)

1 Once you have removed the corned beef from the pot, add the cabbage and any other vegetables (carrots, new potatoes) to the pot. Taste the liquid. If it is too salty, add more water to the pot. Raise the heat until the liquid is simmering well. Simmer until the cabbage and any other vegetables are cooked through, 15-30 minutes.

Place vegetables in a serving bowl, add a little of the cooking liquid to the bowl.

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Home Cured Corned Beef here on Simply Recipes

Colcannon here on Simply Recipes

Plated dish of Baked Corned Beef and Cabbage

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

274 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Claude

    Elise, could you specify what type of honey mustard is optimal? It is a home-made mix? Compositions vary widely for honey mustard and I suspect that differing amounts of sugar and/or fat would impact the results.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. lori

    We have used your baked and sautéed combo at least 5 times now and it’s the only way we’ll do it! I’ve got the beef in the oven right now, and even in September it’s going to be such a treat. Know that Irish family and friends who never liked corned beef and cabbage LOVE this preparation. Thanks :)


  3. Berlene Vodicka North Carolina.

    I am cooking corned beef now, having cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions. Thanks for your recipes!♥️♥️

  4. Vaughn

    The baked corned beef recipe is fantastic. Any suggestion for how adapt the cooking time for larger sized cut (5-6 lbs.)?


    Show Replies (1)
  5. Michelle

    Oh my goodness…imagine a 1950’s move where the Handsome Man and Beautiful Lady are sitting in bed together under the covers, smiling and having a cigarette together….total satisfaction!

    I made 4 corned beef roasts totalling 12 pounds today….followed the oven recipe exactly. I did put the beef in water twice, howver I did not let it get to a boil. The second water, I added the spices included with the beef, and after it got to a near-boil, took it off the stove for about an hour.

    Topped with whole cloves, Inglehoffer hot, spicy, honey mustard and brown sugar. I placed ALL 4 roasts in two separate foil packets but used One large rectangular shaped pan with 4 ” sides. Perfect size for all 4 roasts. All roasts were nearly identical in height thoug they ranged in weight up to 1/2 pound difference….the pan kept them “touching” and even. Baked at 350 degrees for 2 hours, checked, and baked another 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Broiled on high for 3 minutes. Took out of the oven and let rest for about 30 minutes while I made the sauteed cabbage.

    Well, PERFECT!!!!! The meat is a perfect deep pink/red color. It is so tender my electric knife cut perfectly, but the meat just separated into beautiful juicy pieces as I moved it to a platter. SO TENDER.

    Overall, this dish is fabulous, very mouth satisfying, and has a surprise of sweetness in the bites from the top..

    So, I’m not sure what the 2019 equivalent of a cigarette after a 1950’s bed smile is…..but that is EXACTLY where I am now after this awesome meal!

    Thank you Elise Bauer!


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