Cooking and reheating corned beef and cabbage is easy. With a little prep, you can make this delicious hearty meal and enjoy it for days to come, not just on St. Patrick's Day. Plus, there are ways to cut down the cooking time without sacrificing flavor.
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Corned beef and cabbage can be prepared in the oven, in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, depending on your preferences. You can cook it ahead of time and reheat it in the oven until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Cooking Tips
Corned beef and cabbage is one of the easiest and most versatile holiday recipes. In fact, it's so easy to prepare that you can enjoy it anytime. You can make ahead the corn beef brisket and cook it along with cabbage and other veggies, like our Roasted Beets, whenever you have guests. This tough cut of meat is often sold already cooked in grocery stores, making it ideal for those who are short on time.
According to Ohio State University, this cut of meat is brined or cured using a mixture based on salt water or sodium nitrite, which is why it's pink. In general, it consists of brisket. Most recipes that require this ingredient, such as corned beef hash, are associated with Irish cuisine.
Read more: What Nutritionists Really Eat at a BBQ
To save time, buy pre-brined corned beef from your local grocery store. Ideally, choose an organic version to avoid food additives, artificial flavors and other harsh chemicals. Cooked corned beef is flavorful and tender, so it takes little time to prepare.
Cut the carrots, potatoes, onions and other veggies into chunks on a cutting board. Cut the cabbage into quarters. Depending on the recipe, you may also add garlic, celery, herbs and spices. Some chefs also add sugar, but it's not really necessary. If you wish to use a slow cooker, follow these steps:
- Add the vegetables and then the corned beef to a slow cooker.
- Pour water or broth into the slow cooker just to cover the meat.
- Cover and cook on high for one hour. Switch to the low setting and cook for another 10 to 12 hours. If you're in a rush, you may cook on the high setting for five to six hours, as recommended by the Ohio State University.
- Add the cabbage in the last three hours of cooking. Your meal is ready when the beef and cabbage are tender.
Read more: Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Another option is to use the stovetop for this recipe. Here's what you need to do:
- Place the meat fat-side up in a large stockpot. Add salt, herbs and spices, or the spice mixture that came with it.
- Add water, beer or broth until the beef is covered completely.
- Bring to a boil, cover and then simmer over low heat (about one hour per pound of meat).
- Add the cabbage and other vegetables in the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking, advises the Ohio State University.
If you prefer to make baked corned beef and cabbage, add all ingredients to a large roasting pan. Place the meat fat side-up. Preheat the oven at 350 F and sprinkle your favorite spices over it. Add some water — about half a cup or just enough to slightly cover the beef.
Cook until the meat and cabbage are tender. If you're using raw corned beef, cook it until its internal temperature reaches at least 145 F to ensure that all bacteria have been destroyed, advises the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS).
Reheating Corned Beef and Cabbage
Corned beef can be refrigerated for up to four days or stored in the freezer for up to three months, according to the USDA FSIS. Cooked meat dishes, including leftovers, can be kept in the freezer for two to six months or refrigerated for three or four days, states the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Reheating corned beef and cabbage couldn't be easier. Fill a medium pan with just enough of the dish for your next meal and reheat it in the oven until the meat reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 F, as recommended by the USDA FSIS. If the beef has a strange odor or its color has changed, it may not be safe for consumption.
Read more: How to Reheat a Brisket
Remember to watch your portions. Corned beef, whether you prepare it at home or buy it pre-cooked, is high in sodium, points out the University of Florida Health. Additionally, pre-cooked varieties often contain sugar. For example, a 2-ounce serving of corned beef from Nestle boasts 550 milligrams of sodium, or 24 percent of the daily recommended intake.
When consumed in excess, this mineral can skyrocket your blood pressure and put you at risk for stroke, kidney disease, heart failure and osteoporosis, warns the American Heart Association. On top of that, it may cause bloating and fluid retention. To stay safe, try not to exceed 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
- Ohio State University: "Why Is Corned Beef Pink?"
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Corned Beef and Food Safety"
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "Cold Food Storage Chart"
- University of Florida Health: "Avoiding the Caloric Bomb of Corned Beef and Cabbage"
- USDA: "Corned Beef"
- American Heart Association: "Effects of Excess Sodium Infographic"