No Dutch oven corned beef and cabbage recipe is complete without talking about the origin of this dish and its connection to St. Patrick’s Day.
The Origin of Dutch Oven Corned Beef and Cabbage
Celebrated on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious festival that marks the passing of the Irish patron saint. The Irish immigrants in the US turned St. Patrick Day from a purely religious celebration to one that commemorates everything Irish. Down to the corned beef and cabbage meal that’s part and parcel of this special day although among the immigrant population only. Back home in Ireland, the preferred meat is bacon or lamb.
The Irish were not traditionally beef-eaters. They raised cattle for working the farms and for milk. They did not kill their cattle for food unless they stopped giving milk or became too old.
Ireland used to export live cattle to England as the latter loved to eat beef. But this came to an end with the Cattle Acts of 1663 and 1667. Ireland had a surplus of cattle. Fortunately, the salt tax in Ireland was 1/10th times lower than that in England.
This meant that top-quality salt was used to preserve the premium quality Irish beef. The salt crystals were the size of corn kernels and so, the term “corned beef” stuck.
And that’s how the Irish corned beef came into being. As far as cabbage is concerned, it was the only affordable vegetable that the Irish immigrants could afford. Torn by war and famine, the Irish were forced to flee their land and settle in the USA.
Their fate was similar to that of the Jewish immigrants in the USA. Both the Jewish and the Irish communities forged friendly relations and the recipe of corned beef and cabbage has some Jewish influence.
Now that we know the origin of the dish, let’s move on to the more important part – how to cook corned beef and cabbage in the oven!
How Long does it Take To Cook Dutch Oven Corned Beef
All good things take some time and so does corned beef and cabbage in a Dutch oven.
Since we’re talking about the meat from the front part of the cattle, it takes some time to penetrate through the brisket and make it tender, flavorful, and forkable. And nothing short of 5 hours of slow cooking does the job.
- 2 to 4 pounds of flat or point-cut beef brisket.3.5 pounds is enough for a family of five.
While it’s easier to fork a point-cut, you’ll find it more convenient to slice through a flat cut of brisket.
- 1 tablespoon Steak seasoning.
- Seasoning packet that comes with the beef brisket.
- 2 bay leaves.
- 1 large onion, cut into quarters.
- 4 large carrots, cut into chunks.
- 1 cabbage head, cut into wedges.
- 6 large potatoes, quartered.
- 2 bottles (12 oz) dark beer or light beer.
- 10 cups beef or vegetable broth or water for 4 pounds of corned beef. You need to adjust the amount of liquid depending on whether you’re going to add beer or not.
You can reduce the prepping time for the Dutch oven corned beef and cabbage in the oven recipe.
While you preheat the oven, you can tackle the brisket by washing, drying, and removing excess fat.
While the brisket is being boiled in the first hour, you can use that time to chop the vegetables.
So overall, the prep time is:
- Washing and trimming the fat from the beef brisket – 10 minutes.
- Peeling and chopping vegetables – 10 minutes.
Dutch Oven Corned Beef with Cabbage Recipe
This traditional recipe of the Irish-American meal served on St. Patrick’s Day is a finger-licking experience for the whole family. Just one serving of corned beef with cabbage and other vegetables will make your heart and your tummy very happy!
If you’re wondering how to cook corned beef in the oven, the following steps will help you make this dish for St. Patrick’s Day or any other day.
- Take out the corned beef brisket piece from its packaging and allow it to reach room temperature.
- Trim off excess fat but if it’s a pointcut with some fat cap, you should leave it as fat adds flavor to this one-pot dish.
- Wash thoroughly and pat to dry.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Layer the bottom of the Dutch oven with the quartered onions. You can add the potatoes and carrots at this point or add them to the pot after three hours of cooking.
If you’re a fan of herbs, add some rosemary at the bottom of the pot with the onions. Choose a sprig of the herb to place on the beef brisket.
- Place the corned beef brisket on the onion layer and sprinkle seasoning from the packet and the bay leaves over it.
In case you don’t get a seasoning packet with the brisket, use pickling spices.
- Add water or broth or beer until everything is submerged well.
- Put in the oven and let cook for an hour until the corned beef is boiled.
- If you see scum rising to the top of the Dutch oven, remove it with a spoon and refill it with liquid.
- After one hour, reduce the heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and let it cook for two hours.
- Turn over the corned beef piece and add to the pot carrots and potatoes with more seasoning like salt and pepper or the seasoning that came with the brisket.
- Add the cabbage wedges and cook for another 30 minutes to one hour without the lid.
- Remove the Dutch oven corned beef and cabbage wedges and other vegetables and wait for a few minutes.
- Single-serve in bowls with your choice of a side dish. Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving.
Top Ten Tips
Follow these tips to cook a great Dutch oven corned beef with cabbage.
- Use a 7-quart Dutch oven so that all the ingredients are well covered by the liquid.
- If you want to shred the corned beef, choose a point-cut beef brisket as the fat in this cut makes it easier to shred.
- Instead of water, you can use beef broth or light or dark beer. Beer also acts as a tenderizer.
- To know if the corned beef is done, put a fork in the center. The meat should feel tender.
- Don’t make the potato pieces too small as they will become mushy. If you have cut them into small cubes, add them in the last one hour of cooking.
- It’s best to leave the potatoes whole but make sure to pierce them from all sides with a fork so that they absorb all the juices and flavors.
- For the cabbage to be crispy, add the pieces in the last hour of cooking in the Dutch oven.
- You can cook corned beef and cabbage in a crockpot but in that case, you should slow cook for 10 hours. Otherwise, the meat won’t be done to perfection.
- Don’t throw away the broth after serving the Dutch oven corned beef and cabbage. Use it to make soup or stew later.
- Cut slices against the meat grain to make it fork-tender.
Traditional recipes didn’t use corned beef at all but boiled bacon. However, with the change in circumstances, there was a birth of a new traditional way of making corned beef with cabbage.
It has become a tradition to use red potatoes as these retain their texture and shape unlike the other types of potatoes. It’s important to prevent the potatoes from getting mixed and mashed into the beef brisket broth and losing their taste.
Although you can add any vegetables you want, the traditional Irish recipe added carrots. Both potatoes and carrots are ingrained in the Irish diet.
Nowadays you get the ready-to-cook beef brisket from stores. But to follow a traditional recipe, you need to brine the beef brisket at home with pink curing salt, salt, warm water, and brown sugar.
To neutralize the sharp salty taste of corned beef, some recipes add brown sugar to make the beef sweet. However, if you prefer not to have the veggies taste sweet, you can leave out the brown sugar.
You can give a twist to the basic recipe of Dutch oven corned beef and cabbage to make it more modernized.
For example, you can stir up corned beef and red cabbage sandwiches.
Corned Beef and Red Cabbage Sandwich Recipe
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make 8 corned beef and red cabbage sandwiches::
- 16 slices of bread of your choice.
- Softened butter as required.
- 8 slices of cheese.
- 7.9 oz of red cabbage, thinly sliced.
- 35.3 oz corned beef.
- 1 cup red wine vinegar.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes.
- Freshly ground black pepper as per taste.
- 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Just follow the steps mentioned below for a yummylicious corned beef and red cabbage sandwich.
- Preheat a slow cooker with 1½ cups water, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in it.
- Put the beef brisket in the center of the pot and arrange the red cabbage slices.
- Cook for 6 hours with the lid covered.
- After the beef is done, put it on a large plate, wait for 10 minutes, and cut it into slices.
- Strain all the liquid from the cabbage.
- Spread butter on the bread slices and grill each side for a minute.
- On each of the 8 pieces of bread, put a slice of cheese and grill until the cheese melts.
- Top the melted cheese side with slices of corned beef.
- Add the red cabbage slices and top with the remaining 8 slices of bread.
Side Dishes to Enjoy with Dutch Oven Corned Beef and Cabbage
If you’re thinking about which side dishes go perfectly with your corned beef and cabbage meal, here are a few ideas.
- Dutch oven bread
- Beer bread
- Irish soda bread
- A dipping sauce of spicy mustard
Once you have made Dutch oven corned beef and cabbage, you’re likely to make it a few more times throughout the year.
The tenderest and juiciest block of beef brisket along with the flavorful veggies is sure to win the hearts of everyone in the family.
You have the option to make the dish in a Dutch oven or a crock pot or a pressure cooker.
Plus, you can tweak the traditional recipes and make a more modern version that would appeal to everyone.
All in all, it’s a flexible meal, both in terms of ingredients and the cooking method and you can’t go wrong with it!