How to Make Corned Beef Dinner

This corned beef dinner recipe is easy and delicious.  Why not enjoy a holiday treat this year?

This corned beef dinner recipe is easy and delicious. I walk you through step by step to make this St. Patty's Day meal. Wait till you see what I put in it!

After almost four years of marriage, I consider myself a living breathing expert on corned beef dinner. Jonathan would be more than happy if I would serve this meal to him two to three times a month.

I can’t say that I like corned beef dinner quite that much but I like Jonathan enough to make it four or five times a year. He loves the dinner, the leftover corned beef hash and even the leftover broth for soup. There appears to be no end to his corned beef infatuation.

Thankfully corned beef is easy to cook. Season it right, cook it slowly, and dinner will be perfect every time. My secret to amazing corned beef is the spices.

When corned beef is made, it is brined in some form of pickling spice and then some additional spice is often provided with the meat. The type and amount of spice varies quite a bit by brand and quality. Because of this, I just use my own. I love to buy it in bulk at Winco but most stores do carry some in the spice section.

The second part of this equation is to toss in a cinnamon stick. I know this sounds totally crazy but the beef won’t taste like cinnamon at all. It does add something magic to the background flavor of the meat. Somewhere, under the flavor of corned beef is you can’t quite put your finger on.

Traditionally cinnamon was used in pickling spice but sometimes now it is left out as a cost saving measure. All I am doing is adding it back in to get the full flavor out of the meal.

The recipe below has several options how and when to add the veggies. I suggest reading it through before you start and deciding what method you plan to use.

Corned beef comes in two cuts: flat and point. Flat cut is flatter and makes a prettier presentation. It usually has less of a fat cap and fewer big sections of fat throughout. It is also more expensive.

At Costco this year I paid $5.49 / pound for flat cut. Last year I was paying about $3.75. Point cut will be fattier, more uneven but cheaper. Keep in mind that if you are having to buy more fat the price might come out about the same.

If you have any questions about cooking corned beef leave me a comment! I would love to help. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you don’t have a jumbo tea strainer, try this one.

How to Make Corned Beef Dinner
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6 servings
  • 1 corned beef with the juices, flat cut or point cut (cooking time depends on size)
  • ½ cup pickling spice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • water to cover
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (to prevent foaming)
  • 1½ pounds of baby red or white potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 medium sized green cabbage
  1. Place the corned beef in a large soup pot with all of the juices from the package. Include any loose spices with the meat. If the spices are in a packet you can add them in the next step or discard them.
  2. Place ½ cup of pickling spices into a tea strainer or cheesecloth bag large enough to hold ½ cup. Add a cinnamon stick to this and spices from the packet in the corned beef if you want.
  3. Put your tea strainer in with the meat and add enough water to cover the meat by at least 4". Add the butter and bring the pot to a boil over high being careful that it does not over boil.
  4. Turn the stove down until the pot of meat is just simmering. The rule of thumb is 90minutes / pound of meat but if your stove is hotter the meat cooks faster. Cooking the meat slowly protects the tenderness. Make sure to check your meat every so often and add water as needed to maintain at least 1" of water over the meat at all times.
  5. The corned beef is done when it is tender through and some from the outside shreds off easily. The internal temperature should reach 180F for safety.
  6. Wash the potatoes but leave them whole. Peel the carrots and chunk into desired lengths or leave whole. You can add these to the pot 30 minutes before the beef is done cooking or you can remove the beef when it is finished, wrap well in tin foil and set aside. Then add the veggies to the existing broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 25-50 minutes until tender and cooked through.
  7. Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core. Slice each half into three wedges and steam for 5-8 minutes over the boiling pot of potatoes and carrots or over a boiling pot of water. The cabbage is nice when it's a still green and tender with just a hint of crunch. Some people prefer to have it cooked until it is soft through and more yellow.
  8. Note: Every brand of corned beef is seasoned a bit differently. Some have loose spices in with the meat and juices. Some brands just include a packet. Cheaper brands often don't include enough spice or they provide poor quality spice packets. I include my own seasonings in this recipe. It sounds like a lot but the result is not overpowering and it is quite savory. The meat will not taste at all like cinnamon, in fact if you don't say anything nobody will ever know you used the stick but it will taste amazing!

This recipe is participating in the Weekend Potluck.

 This corned beef dinner recipe is easy and delicious. I walk you through step by step to make this St. Patty's Day meal. Wait till you see what I put in it!

Need an idea for what to do with the leftovers?  Have a look at my delicious Corned Beef Hash here. 

This corned beef dinner recipe is easy and delicious. I walk you through step by step to make this St. Patty's Day meal. Wait till you see what I put in it!

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29 thoughts on “How to Make Corned Beef Dinner

  1. I honestly have never made a real corned beef dinner like this, and with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, your timing is perfect! So cool about the cinnamon stick, too! Nope – I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that! But I can totally believe that it adds wonderful flavor, without even being noticeable (that little something special you can’t put your finger on!). Such a great post! 😀

        • Thanks for asking, Philip. Lots of people do Corned Beef in a crock pot because this meat cooks so well low and slow. All slow cookers very to some degree so it is hard to be precise in timing. That being said, the general suggestion for a crock pot is to place carrots in the bottom, then the beef on top of that and the potatoes around the beef. Cook for about 8 hours on high, then add the cabbage cut into quarters and cook another two hours on high. While this is a rule of thumb, you probably want to keep an eye on the food and make sure it is not boiling vigorously. If this seems to be happening you will want to shorten your cooking time or turn your pot down to low. I hope those guidelines are helpful!

          • Mirlandra sorry again you talk about spices are a must, does that also so apply in this dish Beef Brisket? I live in Thailand and you do not get packet spices with your beef,
            you talk about pickeled spices you do get all spices here, can you tell me please, what
            and how much I need and how much for a 3/4 piece of brisket, please, thank-you.

          • Hi Philip, I’m glad to answer your question as well as I can. What we call “pickling spices” in the US is really just a mix of spices. This recipe from Taste of Home is almost exactly what I would buy at the store. I hope you can get all of those spices in Thailand. Some of them are very common internationally.

            I am not sure exactly what kind of beef you are starting with. Here we buy a type of beef that has been brined already and cook it to make corned beef. If you just have fresh beef that has not been brined already it will turn out differently. This recipe from Alton Brown talks about how to brine the beef before you cook it.

            Because this recipe is written for American ingredients it may turn out a little differently for you but I think you could make something wonderful with a little experimenting!

    • We usually try to stock up some during the sales that will show up this week and next. It freezes very well for a long time!

    • Depending on the brand of meat, how it is cooked etc it can be too salty. In this case I dilute the broth with water until it is my desired level. Generally it is still strong enough but if not I boil the diluted broth with some more pickling spices. Then I just chunk up the leftovers I want to use, heat it through and serve or decant it. Sometimes I buy an extra cabbage with this in mind. Jonathan bikes to work and then works out at work which makes him really hungry. One of his tricks for not feeling crazy hungry is a soup with a lot of broth, veggie and protein. I will steam up the extra cabbage and add it in to help give the soup some bulk without a lot of extra caloric intake. Overall it helps him to eat the number of calories he actually needs even though he feels extra hungry from the workout.

  2. Congrats on this lovely recipe being featured at our Weekend Potluck party. Your recipes are awesome and your photos, so inviting. Just so happy you’re sharing with us. Enjoy a great weekend and hope to see you again next weekend.

  3. This sounds amazing and I plan on making your recipe on St. Patty’s Day! Since I don’t have a cinnamon stick on hand could I just add some ground cinnamon, and if so, how much would you recommend?
    Thanks so much,

    • Leslie, I’m so glad you are giving it a try! I did do it one time with ground cinnamon because I didn’t have a stick. It is a bit of a risk – the wrong amount and you will have faintly cinnamon flavored food! I think I used just a little bit. If you want to try it I would suggest 1/8 of a tsp. at most. If you do decide to pick up a cinnamon stick I buy them at Winco for this type of project. You can buy just one in bulk for pennies. Winco stocks very high quality spices in their bulk section and I love them.

      • Thank you so much for such a quick response to my question! Based on your answer I think I will go get a cinnamon stick! I live in upstate Illinois and don’t have a Winco, but, I will get some! Looking forward to your yummy Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe.
        Thanks Again, Mirlandra! Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

  4. I am normally a blog reader, not a commenter, but I wanted to let you know what a difference that stick of cinnamon made! I made this yesterday and invited a friend to eat with us. She is a foodie and said how much she enjoyed it and wondered what that extra something was in it. When I told her cinnamon, she said I smelled the cinnamon and thought it was something else baking, not the corned beef! Anyway, genius. Thanks so much for sharing your culinary secret.

    • Peggy – thank you so much for your kind words! Your comment made my day! I know how fun it is to make something great for somebody you are spending time with and I’m so glad this was a hit for you! Happy cooking and blog reading and thank you again for taking a moment to tell me how much you enjoyed it.

  5. Looks very yummy….will be making tomorrow. We bought an extra to have for sandwiches later. I love horseradish cream served along side. Have you ever made colcannon…..I’m going to try that later this week to go with leftover beef. Just found you….subscribing.

    • Thank you, Jane and welcome! I have not served this with any type of horseradish cream sauce but Jonathan loves horseradish. I will have to give it a try! I have never made colcannon. It sounds very yummy. I’m a huge fan of cabbage and potatoes in general and did just give in and buy a giant bag of gold potatoes at Costco. Hmmm… that might be perfect!

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