Corned Beef and Cabbage

Céad míle fáilte!  (A hundred thousand welcomes)  Greetings friendly followers and welcome to another installment of Simply Playful Fare.  This week’s post is going to be a little different.  We usually try to bring you the best in healthy eating, but not this week.  This week’s post is not a healthy one, but it’s so worth it.  Every year, I look forward to St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s my favorite eating holiday, even more so than Thanksgiving.  I think it’s because St. Patrick’s Day revolves around the beverages, and adds the food to compliment.

I have played around with corned beef and cabbage recipes over the years.  It was a labor of love.  You can feel free to play around with this recipe if you wish, but you might not want to.  Let’s get started and I’ll walk you through the steps.


1 (4 1/2-5 lbs) Corned Beef

2-3 bottles of Dry Hard Apple Cider (The dryer the better)


1 lb Baby Carrots

3 lbs Baby Red Potatoes

1 Medium sized head of Cabbage

1 Tablespoon Pickling Spice

3 Tablespoons Beef Bouillon (We like the Better than Bouillon concentrate)

½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

The Process:

This is a recipe you really ought to start the night before.  It’s much better that way.  This recipe will be using a slow cooker.  I strongly recommend using a six-quart slow cooker, at least if you are using a corned beef this size.  Use one that is a little bigger than you think you’ll need.

1.)  The night before, place the carrots in a single layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.


Place your corned beef on top of that.

Corned Beef

Surround your corned beef with the baby red potatoes.

Baby Reds

2.)  Drop in the three tablespoons of beef bouillon, the tablespoon of pickling spice, the black pepper, and that little packet of seasoning the corned beef came with.

3.)  This is really the secret to this recipe.  Back when I was student teaching, my supervising teacher told me to try using hard apple cider when cooking a corned beef.  I tried it, I loved it.  Pour the three bottles of cider over the whole thing.

Hard Cider Hard Cider Hard Cider

Hard Cider

4.)  Cover the corned beef with water at this point.  For me, it usually ends up being about half hard cider and half water.  No need to stir up or mix anything at this point.  Cover this beast of a meal up and place it in your refrigerator overnight.

Cover with water Cover and place in fridge overnight

5.)  The next morning, we get cooking.  This is one of the reasons I really love the slow cooker.  It’s going to take care of the whole thing for you.  I usually like to start my corned beef around 11-12 hours before I serve it.  The long time may not be necessary, but I think you’ll find that the extra time really helps all the flavors come together.   I will be starting this one at 6 am on St. Patrick’s Day.  Also, make sure your slow cooker is on low.

6.)  Before crawling back in to bed for a couple hours, place some beers in the fridge.  Yes, this step is necessary.  Otherwise, you will find yourself drinking warms beer.  If that’s your thing, go for it, but I will be drinking cold beer this day!

7.)  About 5 hours before eating, I toss in the cabbage.  If you like your cabbage to have a little tooth to it put it in later.  I love the liquid that the corned beef cooks in so much, that I like it to completely saturate my cabbage.  I like it obliterated.  I might even like the cabbage more than any other part of the meal.  Also, I like to start enjoying beer at this point in the day.  You could always savor a fine Irish whiskey, too.

Corned Beef




8.)  Eat it all up!  I remove the corned beef from the slow cooker about five minutes before eating.  This makes the slicing just a little easier.  Plate it up, eat it up.  This meal is much better with a beer.  Trust me.

This is really one of my favorite meals.  I usually do it a few times a year.  Remember, this is not the healthiest thing for you.  In addition to the calories, there is a fair amount of sodium.  I really believe it is worth it though, in moderation.

I really hope you all enjoy this week’s recipe.  I know there aren’t any photos yet, but that’s because I won’t be making this until next weekend.  If you tune in on Saturday night and during the day Sunday, you will see the photos as we make it. Make sure to leave us a comment, and let us know what you think.   Until then, sláinte!

3 thoughts on “Corned Beef and Cabbage”

  • Now, if I weren’t a vegetarian, this would be on my list. You are making my mouth water–sometimes it’s not always easy to be a vegetarian.

    • This is definetly a deviation from our normal diet, because you have to splurge once and a while. I wonder if you could add everything but the beef, just one bottle of cider instead of three, and reduce the cooking time. The cabbage and potatoes are my favorite part anyway!

  • Having tried this,…..I know you guys are spot on. While not MY favorite meal,….Dad loves it…and I will be making it this weekend. Can’t wait to see YOUR pictures of the work in progress.
    PS- the cabbage and potatoes are my favorite too.

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