St. Patrick's Day recipe: How to make corned beef and cabbage

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

About the recipe

Though corned beef and cabbage is not a particularly big-deal Irish dish, it was popular with Irish-American immigrants to the United States, as we've covered here

The tradition became part of Irish lore after many Irish-American expats settled among Jewish immigrants in some of the poorest neighborhoods of New York. Beef brisket, at the time, was an affordable alternative to pork.

What's in the name? According to the meat experts at Asheville's Hickory Nut Gap Meats, that beef was cured with corn-sized salt crystals for preservation. It was popular to serve the resulting salt-cured meat with cabbage, which was an affordable vegetable at the time.

Corned beef and cabbage isn't exactly Irish, but it is delicious.

Call your local butcher or deli to find the corned beef you'll need for this recipe. If you live in Western North Carolina, Hickory Nut Gap has your back. Here, the farm and meat supplier has provided their recipe for corned beef and cabbage, asking only that readers take a picture if they make it and share it on social media with the hashtag #hngrecipes.

Is corned beef really Irish?:Irish pub owner makes this traditional light dish instead

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2-2 1/2 pound Hickory Nut Gap corned beef

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 bay leaves

1/2 pound diced carrots, approximately 4 small

1/2 pound diced onions, approximately 2 small

1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped, approximately 3 medium

1/4 pound diced celery, approximately 2 stalks

1 small head cabbage, chopped, approximately 2 lbs


Rinse corned beef well. Place the corned beef, pepper, allspice and bay leaves into a large 8-quart pot along with 3 quarts of water. Cover and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low and cook at a low simmer until it begins to get tender, at least 2 1/2 hours and up to 3 1/2 hours, depending on the size of your brisket.

Add the carrots, onions, potatoes and celery. Return to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the cabbage and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes and cabbage are tender. Taste veggies for salt and season with a touch of salt if needed. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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