Corned Beef

with Red Potatoes, Carrot Chunks, Cabbage Wedges & Cheese Sauce

Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, this is the entire meal all in one, corned beef slow-cooked either on the stove or in the oven, served with potatoes, carrots, cabbage and at my house, a simple cheese sauce to pull it all together. This is a meat 'n' potatoes, man-pleasing menu!

Corned Beef with Red Potatoes, Carrot Chunks, Cabbage Wedges & Cheese Sauce ♥, a classic recipe for corned beef with all the trimmings, a long-time family favorite!

Real Food, Fresh & Family-Tested Over Many Years. Hearty & Filling. Budget Friendly. Mostly Hands-Off Cooking. High Protein. What're you waiting for?!

  • "This is an excellent recipe ..." ~ Anonymous
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There's No Middle Ground. Until Now.

Corned beef.

You either love it or hate it.

Or you like how it tastes but hate how it smells while cooking.

This recipe has been tested on all three groups and passes with high marks.

And in my book, it’s good enough to eat on any cold night when you crave simple, flavorful fare.

But if your house is home to leprechauns, try this for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s heavy on vegetables, which, along with the meat, are delicious topped with a simple cheese sauce.

Or here's another idea. On St. Patrick's Day, party on with green beer, emerald beads and all the whatever-happens-on-St-Paddy's. Then on the weekend after, when corned beef is on sale? Create a corned beef feast, meat and all the trimmings.

How to Cook Corned Beef.

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights. You can do this!

Cook the Corned Beef Buy a corned beef brisket, they're super-easy to find especially in March around St. Patrick's Day on March 17th. The meat will come sealed in plastic, inside will be a small packet of spices, too.

You'll cook the meat itself by itself either on a slow simmer on the stove or in the oven, either way, for 4 hours.

This recipe boosts the flavor with caraway seed and a whole orange stuck with cloves.

Cook the Vegetables Cook the carrots and potatoes with more caraway seed in a separate large pot in well-salted water, starting about an hour before serving.

Once the carrots and potatoes are nearly done, add the cabbage wedges and cook just for a few minutes, you want the cabbage to have a bit of crunch.

Make the Cheese Sauce On the stove, make a simple cheese sauce, just butter, a little onion, flour, milk and cheese. The cheese sauce is what ties the whole meal together, it's like a cheese gravy.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

What is "corned" beef, anyway? In the U.S., corned beef is a cured beef roast in a seasoned brine. (To "cure" something is to cook and preserve it.) The roast is usually though not always a brisket, a fatty cut from the underbelly. Corned beef has become a "beef product" and is sold already brined in plastic packaging especially around St. Patrick's Day.

If you've ever had a reuben sandwich, chances are, the meat was corned beef. If you've ever had pastrami, you've already tried a cousin to corned beef.

You can brine your own beef, for that I would refer you to The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes (affiliate link) by Stephanie Pierson. We've also corned venison, following the instructions in Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things (another affiliate link) by Hank Shaw.

Is corned beef a traditional Irish food? Sorry, no. But it has been popularized by the Irish-American community and has become "traditional" in that sense.

Why is corned beef so pink? or so red? Cook a beef roast and only the center may be rare and pink. In contrast, corned beef is uniformly pink or red in color, throughout the entire cut. Corned beef's distinctive pink or red color is created by sodium nitrate, a preservative that helps prevent spoilage. Without the sodium nitrate, the meat would be dull gray in color – and you wouldn't know it's corned beef!

Can you cook this Corned Beef recipe ahead of time? Yes, Absolutely. In fact, I recommend cooking the meat the night before whenever St. Patrick's Day falls on a weekday, the cheese sauce can be made ahead of time too. Then gently rewarm the meat and the cheese sauce while cooking the vegetables, dinner will be on the table before you can say "sláinte"! (What does sláinte mean?)

You'll Love My Caraway Corned Beef If You're ...

  • feeding a meat 'n' potatoes crowd
  • celebrating St. Patrick's Day in casual style
  • looking for an easy mostly hands-off meal

Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for corned beef hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Corned Beef with Red Potatoes, Carrot Chunks, Cabbage Wedges & Cheese Sauce ♥, a classic recipe for corned beef with all the trimmings, a long-time family favorite!

Red Potatoes, Carrot Chunks, Cabbage Wedges & Cheese Sauce

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Stovetop time: 4 hours
8 servings
  • 1 corned beef brisket (often about 3 pounds)
  • Spice packet from corned beef
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed (don't skimp or skip, please)
  • 1 orange stuck with 20 whole cloves
  • Water to cover halfway
  • 1 pound red potatoes, skins on, halved or quartered
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced cross-wise in large chunks
  • 2 teaspoons whole caraway seed
  • Water (enough for halfway up the side of the meat)
  • Salt to taste (be generous, I use 2 tablespoons table salt)
  • 8 small cabbage wedges
    CHEESE SAUCE (optional but delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk (skim milk may break, whole milk won't, 2% works fine)
  • 8 ounces melting cheese (for example, cheddar, gouda, American and yes, at least some Velveeta)
  • Good mustard

COOK THE CORNED BEEF Cut the fat away from the meat and discard. Place the meat and contents of spice packet in a large Dutch oven. Add 2 teaspoons caraway seed and the orange, then add water reaching halfway up the side of the meat. Cover and bring to a boil.

TO COOK THE MEAT ON THE STOVETOP Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook for 4 hours. (The meat may be cooked ahead and gently reheated the next day, say.)

~ or ~

TO COOK THE MEAT IN THE OVEN Cook the meat by itself at 225F/105C for 4 hours.

COOK THE VEGETABLES SEPARATELY About an hour before serving (and the meat has cooked for 3 hours), place the potatoes, carrots and another 2 teaspoons caraway seed in a second large Dutch oven or pot.

Add water to cover, enough for the potatoes, carrots and also the cabbage, which will be added later. Add the salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cook just the potatoes and carrots alone for about 40 minutes.

Add the cabbage and cook for another 6 – 8 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked, tender but still has some crunch. Drain the water, leaving the vegetables.

CHEESE SAUCE While the vegetables are cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir in the onion and sauté until soft. Stir in the flour. A bit at a time at first, stir in the milk, blending well after each addition. In batches, stir in the cheese, continuing to stir until the cheese melts. (The cheese sauce may be made ahead of time, just bring it back to temperature just before serving.)

TO SERVE Lift the meat out of the liquid and slice crosswise, removing any additional obvious fat. Serve with the potatoes, carrots and cabbage topped with Cheese Sauce along with mustard on the side.

ALANNA's TIPS Most years, I use a bag of corned beef from the grocery store, available for a song around St. Patrick's Day. Buy an extra one or two for the freezer! One year, I invested in Kobe corned beef (in St. Louis, available from from Straub's), totally worth the premium. It's the best corned beef, bar none, I've ever tasted. And it's pure meat, virtually no fat, so little waste and fork tender. I often cook two pieces of meat in the same extra-large Dutch oven, one for dinner and one for reuben sandwiches or a Reuben Casserole later. I do use just one orange with double meat. A three-pound corned beef will yield about two pounds of cooked corned beef. Just FYI, when I first published this recipe, I called for 2 pounds of potatoes and 2 pounds of carrots. I've since found this a bit much, unless you're counting on leftovers. Use either small red "new potatoes" or small Yukon Gold potatoes, these remain firm but quite creamy-tasting when cooked. Unless you’re watching sodium intake, cook the potatoes and carrots in water salted liberally (my taste says up to 2 tablespoons) to match the saltiness of the brine-cured meat. Be liberal with the water as well to allow for adding the cabbage later. One year, a butcher-cook recommended cooking the vegetables right in the meat liquid rather than separately as here. One year I tried both and much preferred the pure vegetable flavor when the cabbage, especially, is cooked separately. In my family, cheese sauce is a necessity with corned beef! Choose a good melting cheese such as American, cheddar, Velveeta (my guilty favorite) or a mixture of leftover cheeses.
CORNED BEEF & SAUERKRAUT This is an extra-easy variation that my husband just loves. Drain a large jar of sauerkraut and spread across the bottom of the pot, then mix in the spice packet. Arrange the meat on top. Skip the orange entirely and use just 1/2 cup of water. Serve with roasted carrots. So good!
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving for the Whole Meal incl 3 ounces of cooked corned beef: 480 Calories; 27g Tot Fat; 14g Sat Fat; 125mg Cholesterol; 1244mg Sodium; 26g Carb; 5g Fiber; 10g Sugar; 28g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 11 & PointsPlus 12 & SmartPoints 17 & Freestyle 15 & myWW green 15 & blue 15 & purple 14 & future WW points.

More Recipe Ideas for St. Patrick's Day

~ St. Patrick's Day ~
Recipes for St. Patrick's Day

Irish Soda Bread Muffins ♥, barely sweet, packed with dried fruit and a surprising touch of caraway. Delicious!

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread ♥, traditional Irish soda bread recipe except with whole wheat flour. No yeast!

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Could you cook the corned beef in the crockpot? Would you still toss in a whole orange?

  2. Why yes, I think that a slow cooker would work just fine, Jennifer. Do include the orange, if for no other reason than it's an easy way to keep track of those pesky whole cloves!

  3. Anonymous3/06/2016

    This is an excellent recipe but I think the amount of milligrams of sodium is way too low. corned beef is salty.

  4. I've just started making this but then realised we don't have any idea what a 'spice packet from corned beef' is? Where do you get this item, and what's in it?

  5. JOhn ~ Oh! There’s a small packet of spices that is tucked into corned beef here in the US. Think whole allspice, mustard seed, bay leaf and whole peppercorn. Hope this arrives in time to help, enjoy your corned beef! This year for St. Patrick’s Day, we corned our own brisket and I made my own little spice packet. It worked great! Don’t skip that cheese sauce! :-)


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna