Make Ahead

Corned Beef & Cabbage From Suzanne Goin

March 15, 2012
12 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 6 hours
  • Serves 6, with leftovers
Author Notes

This California twist on the corned beef and cabbage feast is untraditional in all the right places—and almost as easy as the old school dump-in-the-Crock-Pot approach, with a few brilliant tweaks. Goin divorces the vegetables from the meat so they're free to cook in their own time. In an exciting twist, she also throws the beef in the oven to brown and crisp up a bit at the end. Finally, she gives it just what any salty, long-cooked broth craves: a sauce that vibrates with life. Recipe adapted very slightly from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin with Teri Gelber (Knopf, 2005). —Genius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

"My family is very Irish and celebrates St. Patrick's Day ever year," says Assistant Lifestyle Editor Caroline Mullen. "My aunt used to make chicken nuggets for the kids because the menu at that function was awful. Boiled potatoes? No thanks. Irish corned beef and cabbage was the centerpiece, of course. But actually, now I love both!"

"Both the corned beef and the boiled potatoes?" I asked.

"No," she said, "the corned beef and the chicken nuggets."

What I love most about this Genius corned beef and cabbage recipe is that it really refreshes an old classic. And some, like Caroline, would argue that a dish this old needs it. Indeed, according to Smithsonian Magazine, Irish corned beef—a St. Patrick's Day mainstay—has been around since the 17th century, though there is an earlier reference to beef that's preserved (not necessarily with salt but with a byproduct of burnt seaweed called sea ash) in a 12th-century poem called Aislinge Meic Con Glinne:

Corned Beef, my son,
Whose mantle shines
Over a big tail.

This corned beef and cabbage finds new life in its method (each vegetable added at different intervals to ensure even cooking and zero mushage), as well as in the vibrant, vinegary parsley-mustard sauce, which Genius Recipes columnist Kristen Miglore relates to chimichurri or salsa verde. "It's so much more lively in flavor and texture than what you typically get for St. Patrick's Day," Kristen tells me, eight years after this recipe's publication date. "But it's still just as comforting." —Eric Kim

What You'll Need
  • Corned beef and cabbage
  • 1 6-pound corned-beef brisket
  • 2 onions
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 1/2 bunch thyme
  • 2 chiles de arbol
  • 6 small carrots
  • 9 turnips the size of golf balls
  • 1 1/4 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • Parsley-mustard sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely diced shallots, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 lemon, for juicing
  • 1 pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Corned beef and cabbage
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  3. Place the corned beef in a large deep pot and cover with cold water by 6 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Cut the onions in half lengthwise, peel them, and poke one clove into each half.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the onions, bay leaves, thyme, and chiles. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and a tight-fitting lid.
  6. Cook the corned beef in the oven 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until it's fork-tender. (Carefully remove the foil and pierce the meat with a fork. If the fork doesn't penetrate easily, the corned beef is not ready.)
  7. While the beef is cooking, peel the carrots, leaving 1/2 inch of stem. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Trim the turnip tops, leaving 1/2 inch of stem attached. Cut the turnips in half through the stems. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Remove any tough outer leaves from the cabbage and slice it in half through the core. Cut each cabbage half into three wedges, leaving the core intact to hold the leaves together.
  8. When it's done, remove the meat from the oven, let it cool a few minutes, and transfer it to a baking sheet.
  9. Turn the oven up to 375°F.
  10. Return the meat to the oven for about 15 minutes, until it browns and crisps on top. If it's not browning to your liking, you can pass it under the broiler. Let the corned beef rest 10 to 15 minutes before slicing it.
  11. Meanwhile, skim the fat from the broth. (There probably won't be very much.) Taste the broth. If it tastes good—not too salty but nicely seasoned and meaty—set half of the liquid aside in a medium saucepan. If the broth is salty, add a little water before setting half of it aside.
  12. Add water to the broth in the large corned-beef cooking pot until you have enough liquid to poach the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium, and add the potatoes to the pot. Simmer 5 minutes and then add the cabbage, turnips, and carrots. (If your pot is not big enough, divide the broth into two pots, adding more water if needed.) Simmer over low heat 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender. Test each type of vegetable occasionally, and if one is ready before the others, use tongs or a slotted spoon to take the vegetables out of the broth.
  13. Taste the reserved broth and the vegetable-cooking broth. Combine them to your taste. If the vegetable broth tastes best, use it for the finished broth. If the vegetable broth is watery but has good flavor, add a little of it to the reserved broth, to your liking. Or, if you like the meat broth best, use it by itself.
  14. Place the cabbage on a large warm platter. Slice the corned beef against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the meat over the cabbage. Scatter the other vegetables over and around the platter. Pour over a good quantity of your chosen broth, and drizzle with the parsley-mustard sauce. Pass the extra broth and sauce at the table.
  1. Parsley-mustard sauce
  2. Place the shallots, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and let sit 5 minutes. Pound the parsley with a mortar and pestle and add it to the shallots. Whisk in the mustard and olive oil, and season with a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of pepper and a pinch more salt, if you like. Be careful not to overseason, since the corned beef may be on the salty side.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mike Thierfelder
    Mike Thierfelder
  • Anny Mora
    Anny Mora
  • Analida Braeger
    Analida Braeger
  • golddeer
  • SuSu
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

59 Reviews

Mike T. March 19, 2023
This didn't work out well for me. The meat was actually the star and was nice, but everything else was not great. Boiled everything was the problem I think. Cabbage turned out fishy, and as I learned later after a few Googles, after the 5th minute of boiling cabbage, you start doubling the hydrogen sulfide within (rotten egg smell). The instructions were very vague, the methods were pretty crude and as for boiled turnips, I'm just not sure how that could ever be pleasant.

I decided next year to spend less time (than 4hrs in the kitchen) on something that would be 100 times more well received like scratch pho. Not Irish, but much more satisfying. YMMV.
Sarah March 15, 2020
So good. Thank you for the delicious recipe!
jkeller1800 March 12, 2020
This will be my 3rd year making this recipe. Never disappoints!
Anny M. March 3, 2020
its absolutley delicious.
Anny M. March 3, 2020
Analida B. March 10, 2018
I can't wait to try this for Saint Patrick's Day! Here is another favorite of my family for Guinness beef stew:
Laura March 25, 2017
Made this for company tonight and it was a huge hit! Love the tang in the cabbage from the pepper. Delicious!
Liz March 18, 2017
The recipe says to cover the beef with water by 6 inches. This cannot be. Please advise if this is a misprint.
Liz March 18, 2017
The recipe says to cover the beef with water by 6 inches. This cannot be. Please advise if this is a misprint.
Weasel8 March 19, 2017
I've made this several times and did cover the meat with that much water.
Liz March 19, 2017
What is the reasoning behind that much water, what's with all that broth, and doesn't it water the flavor of the meat and seasoning?
Liz March 19, 2017
What is the reasoning behind that much water, what's with all that broth, and doesn't it water the flavor of the meat and seasoning?
Liz March 19, 2017
What is the reasoning behind that much water, what's with all that broth, and doesn't it water the flavor of the meat and seasoning?
jackie January 30, 2017
Could someone tell me if the chiles de arbol should be purchased as fresh or dried? Thanks!
Kristen M. January 30, 2017
I think Suzanne Goin uses dried—and if you scroll through the photos, that's what we used too! (It's certainly easier to find.)
frank November 16, 2016
so with a commercial Cryovac corned beef, do you soak first to remove some of the salt?
golddeer March 18, 2015
I made this for a St. Patrick's Day dinner party yesterday. The corned beef and parsley sauce were delish but the boiled veggies were kinda lackluster - next time I will roast the veggies or make some other side dish.
dianerlee March 17, 2015
Yikes! Thank you, Emily! I bought beef brisket instead of corn beef brisket! I was so disappointed because I've had this before and it was truly delicious!
em-i-lis March 17, 2015
oh no! yes, beef brisket is not pre-seasoned. "corned", historically speaking, means salted, so if you buy a corned beef, you can assume added salt whereas with other beefs, you cannot.
dianerlee March 17, 2015
I don't understand how this could be salty when the recipe doesn't call for any salt? I just made this and the meat and veggies have no flavor?
em-i-lis March 17, 2015
REALLY??? Did you buy corned beef?? It's usually loaded with salt and seasonings. What a disappointment for you! Mine was perfect for the third year in a row. Aah!
SuSu March 17, 2015
This is my third year serving this yummy, traditional St Paddy’s Day dinner and as in past years, to many compliments. I wouldn’t dare change a thing ... although, I like gingerroot’s idea of cooking the meat a day ahead. And most def agree, the Parsley-Mustard sauce is a winner.
gingerroot March 16, 2015
This will be my fourth year making corned beef for St. Patrick's day this way - Suzanne Goin's Parsley-Mustard sauce really breathes new life into the dish! I've also always cooked the meat a day ahead without a hitch. Then, I can just finish the meat in the oven and cook the vegetables right before eating.
Lynn W. March 12, 2015
This was delicious! Very easy preparation and wonderful vibrant favors. Definitely will make again. Thanks!
Owing to my failure to make Irish soda bread earlier in the day, I was forced to use my one oven for baking and to forego the browning step for the meat. It was still great. I did double the carrots as they are my favorite part of the meal and I came very close to skipping the sauce as it didn't seem appropriate for a traditional corned beef dinner. Thank god I didn't!! I'm telling you that that sauce is absolutely unbelievable - packed with layers of flavor and easy to make. When there is silence at the dinner table you know you've got a winner and we were like a group of monastic monks who had taken a vow never to speak again. The sauce is also terrific on all manner of vegetables and chicken. I also used it on a hamburger (nothing wrong there) and if I could I swear I would put in on my morning cereal. A seriously delicious recipe (meat, vegetables, sauce).
Megan March 17, 2014
This is fantastic! I really liked the touch of browning the meat at the end -- created some nice crispy bits while still having a tender piece of corned beef.
Sauertea March 16, 2014
Amazing! Simply amazing! I have searched for years for a good recipe for corned beef and cabbage! I have finally found it!!!
ABG March 15, 2014
Made it and it was outstanding! Got rave reviews from all my dinner guests.