3 ratings

Brown Sugar-Glazed Corned Beef

It's sweet and slightly spicy
Brown sugar-glazed corned beef
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune

This version of corned beef has sweet and savory notes, and can be made spicy with the optional addition of cayenne pepper.

This recipe by Laura Frankel appeared in the Chicago Tribune.


You will need a large (6 1/2 quart) slow cooker to fit in all the ingredients. Alternatively, you can simmer the brisket and vegetables in a large pot or Dutch oven on low heat until the meat is tender.


  • 1 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons cayenne pepper, or more, optional
  • 3 medium Spanish onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole head garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 Pounds small new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 small head savoy cabbage, cleaned, cored, cut into wedges about 2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 first-cut pickled brisket (7 pounds), trimmed of visible fat and cut in half to fit in the slow cooker)


Heat a 6 1/2-quart slow cooker on low.

For the glaze, mix the brown sugar, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns, honey, mustard, ginger and cayenne in a small bowl.

Place the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes and cabbage in the bottom of the slow cooker insert.

Season the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the brisket pieces on top of the vegetables.

It is OK if the pieces of brisket overlap.

Pack the glaze mixture on top of the brisket.

Use all of it.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until the brisket is very tender.

Remove the brisket and set aside to cool.

Remove the vegetables.

Separate the potatoes and cabbage and place them back into the insert to keep warm.

Discard the remaining vegetables.

Allow the brisket to cool slightly before slicing.

Slice the meat thinly across the grain.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with the potatoes and cabbage.