Slow cooker corned beef and cabbage, a super easy meal that produces the most tender and flavorful meat with hearty potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. This is a great meal to just toss in the crockpot and come back to enjoy the tasty results.
I have talked about corned beef not being a traditional meal in Ireland. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy it. A great recipe to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day in America. A true fix and forget a slow cooker meal.
This recipe uses either beer or beef stock, whole garlic cloves, onions, and pickling spices to add the perfect amount of flavor to the beef and veggies. You will love how flavorful the corned beef is when using this seasoning. The slow cooker allows the flavors to blend so well. This is one keeper of a recipe.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- When it comes to making this recipe, using the slow cooker is a great choice as this is a fix and forget meal.
- The slow cooker uses a low temperature and slow cooking makes the most tender corned beef and cabbage.
- Definetly not just a St Patrick's Day dinner. Having a busy day, corned beef brisket is a fantastic fix and forget meal.
- Corned Beef, use a flat cut for amazing flavor. We find the point cut more fatty and a tougher piece of meat.
- Potatoes, small red potatoes are our favorite for this recipe.
- Carrots, round out the meal with more veggies.
- Green Cabbage, it isn't corned beef without some cabbage.
- Guinness beer adds flavor to the beef and vegetables.
- Pickling Spices, they usually come with the corned beef or you can either make a homemade batch or buy some in the spice aisle.
- Fresh garlic, in my opinion, whole garlic cloves are key to making an amazing corned beef.
- Yellow Onion, I peel the skin and add it whole to the pot, adds another level of flavor.
- Whole black peppercorns, a must add to the pot for yet another level of flavor.
- Water is added to the slow cooker after adding the beer.
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- Slow Cooker
- Cutting Board
This is an overview of the recipe. The full instructions are below in the recipe card.
- Place the trimmed corned beef, Guiness, onion, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, pickling spices, potatoes, carrots, and enough water to cover the meat.
- Cook the corned beef and vegetables on low for 8-10 hours.
- Add the cabbage with one hour left on the slow cooker.
- Serve with Irish Brown Bread or Irish Soda Bread.
Leftover corned beef should be stored in an airtight covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I have tried freezing leftover corned beef and do not love the texture once it defrosts. I would suggest making Rueben Sandwiches, Rueben Dip, or Corned Beef Hash with the leftovers.
Rueben Sandwiches are similar to a Rachel Sandwich, which uses turkey.
Expert Tip: When cooking the brisket, place it in the cooking vessel, fat side up. This ensures the fat will render off and produce flavor
- Corned beef is a brisket that has been brined for about 10 days.
- A flat cut is less fatty and my preferred cut.
- The key to a flavorful corned beef is low and slow. Regardless of stove top or slow cooker.
- Trim excess fat from the brisket before cooking.
- Feel free to remove and discard the film off the top of the water after the meat has slow-cooked for about an hour. .
- Once the meat is cooked, remove, cover with foil and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. This sets the juices in the beef.
- Cut the meat against the grain.
Frequently Asked Questions
When the Irish immigrated to America, they were accustomed to eating pork and bacon. Both were very expensive in America. This particular cut of meat was very affordable and soon became a meal that was regularly eaten due to its economic benefits.
Yes, you do not want the meat to shred. For best results, cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours using a 4-5 pound cut of meat hours. If cooking on high, let cook for about 4 hours. The meat will be fork tender when completely cooked.
I prefer using a brined flat cut. It is less fatty. Trim off excess fat before cooking the brisket. The pointcut is also popular but again, I find it a bit too tough for my liking and a bit fattier. Some find this cut more flavorful. It is a personal preference.
If you do not cook with alcohol, use beef broth. The veggies round out the meal. Feel free to vary the potatoes. Red potatoes, sweet potatoes, Yukon gold, or baby potatoes are all great choices.
Other veggies to try would be parsnips, celery, baby carrots, Brussels Sprouts, and baby turnip are all great choices to make along with corned beef.
Traditional Irish meals included Beef Mushroom and Guinness Pie, which can be made as one large pot pie or individual pies for an elegant presentation.
Bangers and Mash is another classic Irish recipe that my family often enjoys.
full of flavorful beef and vegetables in a Guinness beef-infused beef stock. All of these recipes are beyond delicious with traditional Irish flavors.
Sausage and Cabbage is another tasty low-carb, one-pan meal that I grew up eating.
Enjoy a fun dessert with your meal, Mini Grasshopper Cheesecake Bites would be fabulous for any celebration.
While this is a great dinner on its own, we love it with my Brown Bread recipe. What a combo.
Our Irish Soda Bread is another recipe to serve alongside the corned beef or as a side dish.
A classic Shamrock Shake is always a winner for a holiday celebration.
For an abundance of Saint Patrick's Day recipes, check out this post!
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If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.
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This recipe was first published on March 12, 2017, updated on January 3, 2022, for user experience.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 4 pounds brined flat cut corned beef
- 12 ounces beer Note 1
- 4-6 cups water Note 2
- 1 large onion, peeled
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 10 whole black peppercorns Note 3
- pickling spice Note 4
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks Note 5
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch chunks Note 5
- 1 medium cabbage, cut into thick wedges
- Irish Soda Bread optional side
- Irish Brown Bread optional side
- Add to a slow cooker the corned beef (fat side up), beer, water, onion, garlic, black peppercorns, pickling spices, and bay leaf.
- Set the timer for 4 hours on low.
- At the 4 hour mark, add the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on low for an additional 3 - 4 hours.
- Once the timer is up, beef should be fork tender. Remove corned beef and cover with foil. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. Cut corned beef against the grain.
- Remove and discard the onion, bay leaf, and thyme. Strain the veggies.
- Serve the corned beef and veggies with brown mustard and enjoy.
- Trim excess fat from the brisket before cooking.
- Cut veggies into larger chunks so they aren't too soft. Add Cabbage with 1 hour left.
- Prefer veggies with a bite, add them halfway through cooking, hour 4.
- Once the beef is cooked, remove, cover with foil and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. This sets the juices in the beef.
- Cut the beef against the grain.
- Feel free to remove and discard the film off the top of the water after the beef has slow-cooked for about 45 minutes.