Have you ever made a really good slab of Dutch Oven Corned Beef? Try this amazing recipe which creates fork-tender corned beef and cabbage that melts in your mouth! It’s perfect on St. Patrick’s Day, or any day in between.
The History Behind This Dish
St. Patricks’ Day is celebrated in the United States each March with green beer, four leaf clovers, and delicious corned beef and cabbage!
But, did you know that corned beef and cabbage is not even an Irish tradition? It’s actually an American concept which came about when the Irish immigrated to the United States.
The immigrants couldn’t afford to make their favorite boiled bacon, so they had to settle for a cheaper cut of beef brisket. The ‘corned’ describes the brining process, and the cabbage was thrown in the pot because it was an affordable veggie.
Why This Recipe Is Best
Corned Beef is not exactly a tender cut of meat. It needs low and slow cooking to reach fork tenderness.
There are many cooking methods out there, but baking brisket in a cast iron dutch oven yields the most tender cut of beef. I use a 7 quart dutch oven (ad) which holds all of the ingredients perfectly.
When you add dark beer to the process, along with pickling spices and steak seasoning, it acts as a tenderizer and the results are amazing!
Baking it in the oven also produces a more tender beef brisket as opposed to boiling or cooking it in a crock pot. It’s easy to cozy up with this meal on St. Paddy’s Day, or any day of the week! Plus, the leftovers make great Corned Beef Reubens!
For Dutch Oven Corned Beef, you’ll need a flat cut or point cut brisket. The flat cut is easier to slice, and the point cut has more fat which makes it better for shredding.
The photos show a point cut brisket, because it was the only cut available. But, flat cut is usually easy to find, and either one works well in this recipe.
A spice packet comes with the beef, but I like to add steak seasoning for an extra layer of flavor. Some people add brown sugar, but doing so will make your veggies sweet. If you don’t have a spice packet with your brisket, you can use pickling spices.
You’ll also need a couple of bottles of dark beer, water or beef stock, onions, carrots, red potatoes and a head of cabbage to make this delicious one pot meal.
Cooking Dutch Oven Corned Beef is so easy! All you do is add onion wedges to the bottom of the dutch oven, (ad) then arrange the corned beef brisket on top of the onions. Be sure to rinse and pat dry the brisket before putting in the pot.
Sprinkle the brisket with spices, then pour dark beer (Guinness), beef stock, or water into the pot until it reaches the top of the meat.
I like to start with a 350 degree oven to get things rolling for an hour, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees for 2 more hours. Turn the brisket over, then add carrots and potatoes to the pot and sprinkle with more steak seasoning.
Cook for another hour, then add cabbage and cook one hour more. That’s a total of 5 hours of low and slow cooking for tender, corned beef bliss!
If you stick a fork in it and the meat falls apart, that’s how you know the corned beef is done and considered to be ‘fork tender.’ Using the low and slow method for at least 5 hours also guarantees doneness.
Sure! Just substitute beef or vegetable broth. But, if you do use beer, make sure it’s a dark variety like Guinness. It adds richness and flavor that’s unbelievable!
It can, but I’ve tried it and I like the cast iron dutch oven method better. If you do try a crock pot, make sure you cook it at least 10 hours on low for best results.
- Make sure to slice the meat against the grain. To do this, lay the meat on a cutting board and look at which direction the grain is going. Move the cutting board around until the meat’s fibers are going in a vertical direction. Then, cut across the brisket horizontally. This actually helps the meat be ‘fork tender’.
- Serve corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots in individual bowls with a side of spicy mustard. Drizzle some of the juice over the meat. It’s a delicious one-pot meal!
- Leftovers are perfect for making sandwiches the next day. Create a grilled Reuben with corned beef slices, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and swiss cheese on pumpernickel bread!
Corned beef and cabbage is a comforting meal any day of the year. It’s not just for St. Patrick’s Day, even though that’s the traditional time to serve it. Try these other comfort food dishes from my kitchen to yours!
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Momma’s Pot Roast
- Campfire Chili
- Sheet Pan Sliders
- Skillet Chicken Pot Pie
- Corned Beef Reubens
Dutch Oven Corned Beef
*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.
- 1 large onion (quartered)
- 2 to 3 pound corned beef brisket (flat or point cut)
- 2 Tablespoons dry rub for corned beef (packet comes with brisket, or use my recipe)
- 1 Tablespoon steak seasoning (optional)
- 2 bottles dark beer (12 ounce bottles)
- water or beef stock (as needed)
- 4 large carrots (cut in wedges)
- 6 red potatoes (quartered)
- 1 small cabbage (cut in wedges)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place onion wedges in bottom of dutch oven.
- Rinse and pat dry the brisket with paper towels.
- Arrange corned beef brisket on top of onion slices.
- Sprinkle brisket with dry rub and steak seasoning. Or, use the spice packet that comes with corned beef.
- Pour bottles of dark beer and beef stock (or water) into the dutch oven. Make sure liquid level reaches the top of the meat. Cover with lid.
- Place in 350 degree oven. Cook for 1 hour.
- Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Cook for 2 hours.
- Check liquid level at this point. If it has cooked down too low, add a cup of water or broth to prevent scorching.
- Turn the brisket over. Add carrots and potatoes to the pot. Sprinkle with steak seasoning or salt and pepper. Cook 1 hour.
- Add cabbage to the pot. Cook 1 more hour.
- Don't skip the last two steps. Corned beef needs at least 5 hours of baking at a low temperature for the connective tissues to break down and create fork-tender beef.
- Serve straight from the pot or transfer to a large baking dish and serve with spicy mustard. Be sure to slice meat across the grain for best results.
- Use my Dry Rub for Corned Beef recipe if you didn't receive a spice packet with your brisket.
- If your brisket is larger than 3 pounds, you'll need to adjust the cooking time. The best temperature for tenderness is around 200 degrees F. Or, you can stick a fork in the meat after 5 hours and if it falls apart, it's done. If not, bake it longer, but definitely bake it as directed for at least 5 hours.
- You MUST slice the meat across the grain to create a tender cut. Look at the way the grain is going and slice across it.
- Using beer makes a difference in the tenderness. It acts as a marinade and breaks down the fibers. But, this recipe can be made without beer if necessary. Substitute beef or vegetable broth instead.
- Serve corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots in individual bowls with a side of spicy mustard. It's a delicious one-pot meal!
- Use the leftovers to make Reuben Sandwiches the next day. So good!
- View this story on how to make Corned Beef in the oven.
Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.
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