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Homemade Corned Beef and Cabbage

Homemade Corned Beef, with Cabbage and New Red Potatoes for St. Patrick's Day. This recipe is simple, but takes at least 8 days to prepare, and 2 to 3 hours to cook.



  • About 10 cups of water, or more
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of regular sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. pickling spice
  • 3 Tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 medium sized onion, quartered
  • 3 to 6 garlic cloves, depending on their size, or more
  • 3 to 6 dry bay leaves, depending on size, or more
  • 1 tsp. of whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large stockpot
  • 1 brisket, about 5 pounds or so
On the day of cooking, you will need:
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. of pickling spice
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. yellow dry mustard
  • 1 bag, 3 to 5 pounds of new red potatoes
  • 1 large head of cabbage


Preparing the brisket for brining. I took my beautiful piece of brisket (from a local butcher), and I cut off as much fat as I could before I placed it in the brine.

Put the water in a stock pot and heat it up. Add all of the kosher salt and regular sugar, and heat it through until all of the salt and sugar dissolves. Add the pickling spice and dry mustard, garlic, onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns, stir. Take this brine off of the heat, and let it cool, then place in the refrigerator until it gets really cold--this step is important.


When the brine is really cold, add the cold brisket, and weigh it down with something sterile and heavy, like another heavy pot that fits inside of the stock pot. (The meat could float on top of the brine, and we do not want that, the meat has to be totally submerged in the brine.)

Leave the meat submerged in the brine, in the refrigerator for at least 8 days. You can check on it, stir it, or turn it over, but otherwise, leave the brisket submerged in the brine for 8 days, in the refrigerator.

On the 8th day, when ready to cook, remove the brisket from the brine. Clean the stock pot, if you need to, for reuse. Rinse the brisket under tap water to rinse it off, getting salt off of it, and add it to the cleaned stock pot. Cut new red potatoes into quarters, or if small, leave whole, and add a chopped head of cabbage. Add water to cover, and add the fresh pickling spices (2 Tbsp. of pickling spice, 2 Tbsp. of dried yellow mustard).


Cook over low heat (simmer) 2 to 3 hours or so.

Source: This is actually my own recipe, but I did get help. Last year, my husband said he wanted homemade corned beef. I'd never made homemade corned beef, and I needed help. I referenced a book called "The Complete Meat Cookbook" by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998.

Even though I liked their recipe, I decided to make my own recipe. I did use their idea of brining the meat for many days, as I'd never made corned beef before.

It's rare that a person makes a recipe that is so good the first time that nothing needs to be changed. That is what happened with me and this recipe.

By Carol L. from SouthBend, IN

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