On Saint Patrick’s Day in my house, you’re guaranteed to find a corned beef brisket in the Instant Pot.
It takes just under two hours for the beef to cook to perfection, so it’s tender yet sliceable without falling apart. With a generous pile of pressure-steamed cabbage, carrots, and potatoes on the side, you’ve got a full Irish-American dinner to celebrate the holiday.
WHAT IS CORNED BEEF?
Corned beef can be made with brisket or round, but brisket is my favorite since it tends to be more tender. If you’re lucky, yours will come with a nice fat cap on top, which keeps things extra moist.
The “corning” process is a salt cure, and the name comes from the large pieces, or “corns,” of salt. Salt curing is actually common to many countries, with roots in British, Irish, and Eastern European cuisine.
As such, it’s no surprise that Irish immigrants living in New York would often buy their corned beef from Jewish butchers, a fact that makes this dish all the more fun to serve in my Jewish-Irish/Mexican household.
Every year when March arrives, I buy at least two corned beef briskets from the grocery store. Like a delicate spring vegetable, they only seem to be “in season” (and also on sale) for a few weeks before they disappear from the shelves. I always stock away the extra in the freezer to enjoy a couple months later, when a craving strikes again.
HOW TO MAKE CORNED BEEF LESS SALTY
When I cook my corned beef, I like to add one extra step to the process: a 12- to 24-hour, cold-water soak in the refrigerator.
This helps to draw out some salt from the beef, which is more to my taste (and leaves me feeling less puffy the next morning!). Rest assured, even with a full day’s soak, the beef is still well-seasoned after cooking.
Of course, if you don’t mind the extra salt, you can just cook your corned beef straight from the package after a thorough rinse under cold running water.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CORNED BEEF
For dinner, I like to serve my corned beef with a generous pile of steamed cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.
These steam right in the Instant Pot after you cook the corned beef. I’ll usually just start the corned beef in the morning, and then leave it on the “warm” setting until dinner time when I steam the vegetables. The cooked corned beef just hangs out in the Instant Pot on its “Keep Warm” setting all day long, without becoming overcooked. Once you steam the veggies, you can serve them plain, with a little cooking liquid ladled over them, or toss all of the veggies in butter and parsley.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CORNED BEEF
If you have any leftover corned beef, consider yourself lucky—sandwiches are in your future!
For a lunchtime treat, layer warmed corned beef between slices of rye bread, with plenty of yellow or brown mustard. You can go all out and do it up Rueben-style with some melty swiss cheese and sauerkraut.
MORE ST. PATRICK’S DAY RECIPES!
- Colcannon makes a delicious St. Patrick’s Day side!
- My family makes Soda Bread every year!
- Not feeling corned beef this year? Try Lamb Stew!
- Don’t forget dessert! Try this Chocolate Guinness Cake.
- Leftover corned beef? Eat Corned Beef Hash for breakfast.
- Going to a party? Try Hot Ruben Dip!
- 1 corned beef brisket (up to 4 pounds)
- 1 pound yellow waxy potatoes, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 small (1 1/2 pounds or less) green cabbage, cut into 2-inch thick wedges
- 1 tablespoon salted butter or margarine (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 6-quart Instant Pot or other pressure cooker