Mom's Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Mom's Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
Mom's corned beef and cabbage.

Arthur Bovino

Mom's corned beef and cabbage.

Growing up in New York, you co-opt quintessential dishes from the city's other immigrants. I'm Italian-American, but I have legacy recipes for chopped liver and corned beef and cabbage. My mother makes corned beef and cabbage the way she saw it made while growing up in Queens. It's easy and straightforward with, as she says, "just one secret." Garlic. She makes cuts all over the corned beef and inserts slivers of fresh garlic — it pumps up the flavor.

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: One-Pot Meals.

Click here to see 6 Inspired Takes on Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Ingredients

  • ½ stick butter
  • Canola or olive oil
  • 2 pounds corned beef
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 peppercorns tied in a piece of cheesecloth
  • 1 head cabbage, quartered and cored
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 12 small golden or red bliss potatoes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium to low heat. Then add enough oil to just cover the bottom. Use a paring knife to make slender holes throughout the non-fat side of the meat that are just wide enough to stuff slivers of garlic into. Put corned beef into the pot fat side down and render over low heat, about 8 minutes. (You don't want it to color.)

Add chopped onions and lightly sauté (don't let them get any color). Add minced garlic. Add a sachet of peppercorns. Cover with water almost to the top of the pot. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, add the cabbage and cook for 30 more minutes. Then add the carrots and potatoes and simmer for another half hour. 

Remove sachet and season to taste. It's best eaten with a healthy dollop of mustard.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Shopping Tip

Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Cooking Tip

The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Wine Pairing

Most red wines, including cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.