Corned Beef and Cabbage

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Our corned beef and cabbage is too luscious to consider as just another weeknight meal. We love to present it on an antique blue and white serving platter, accompanied by a horseradish sauce made fluffy with the addition of whipped cream. Perfect with a spicy Zinfandel.

6 portions


Total Timeunder 4 hours

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturecreamy, meaty, salty, savory, tangy


  • 1 fresh corned beef (5 to 6 pounds)
  • 2 onions, each studded with 3 whole cloves
  • 4 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 2 ribs celery, halved
  • 4 sprigs Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1 green cabbage (3 pounds), cored and cut into 6 wedges
  • 12 small red new potatoes
  • 6 small leeks (white part and 2 inches green), well rinsed
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into 2½-inch lengths
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 2 cups Horseradish Cream Sauce
  • ¾ cup heavy or whipping cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place the corned beef in a large soup kettle or dutch oven. Add the onions, halved carrots, celery, and parsley sprigs. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2¾ to 3 hours, turning the beef over in the broth every 30 minutes. When the meat is very tender, remove it from the kettle and keep warm.

  2. Strain the broth and return it to the kettle. Add the cabbage, potatoes, leeks, cut-up carrots, salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 30 minutes.

  3. Arrange the beef on a warmed serving platter, and surround it with the cooked vegetables. Ladle broth over the beef and vegetables, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Serve with the Horseradish Cream Sauce.

  4. For the Sauce:

  5. Whip the heavy cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks.

  6. Combine the mayonnaise, horseradish, and mustard in another bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream. Add the sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir well, and transfer to a serving bowl. Makes 2 cups


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This is a great recipe! We made this today for St. Patty's Day. The only thing I did different was I cut some thick cut bacon into 1/2 pieces and cooked them first until the fat was rendered,then added a little bit of butter and sauted the vegetables. I also added about a little less of a tablespoon of sugar to the broth. I always add some sugar when I cook cabbage and it really makes a big difference. My grandmother gave me that tip 35 years ago. It helps with the slight bitterness of most cabbage. I had an 8 quart stock pot and it wasn't big enough for all the ingredients. I had to divide them between the 8 qt and a 5 quart. The 5 quart was only half full but this recipe makes a lot. It's possible I had more cabbage than the reciped calls for but maybe not, because I didn't weigh it so that could be why? I wasn't sure about the cutting instructions for the leeks as written so I cut them into 1/2 inch slices. The whole family LOVED this dish including my picky 3 year old grandson who devoured his plate and wanted seconds. Of course he didn't like the Horseradish cream sauce but everyone else did! Oh, I did add more carrots because 6 was not enough for my carrot loving family. (I know you're thinking well duh, that's why you needed two pots but it was only about 3 - 4 more). This recipe is a keeper and will probably be the one we'll cook for St. Patty's Day from now on. Thank you, we loved it!

PS. - Forgot to mention, we called this New England Boiled Dinner.

This is nearly identical to the recipe my mom cooked for us every St. Patrick's Day. Although we are about as far from being Irish as one could get, this remained a family tradition throughout our childhood. It was such a hit with all of us kids and a great way for our mother to get vegetables into us. When I grew up and became a young homemaker, I wowed my new husband with this presentation. The vegetables were always cooked tender crisp, which was a revelation at the time. For decades prior, people used to cook the cabbage to a mush. My mom let me snip fresh dill into the horseradish/mustard sauce. Delicious! Over the years I've tweaked this a lot, simmering it in beer, for starters. Now, after simmering the beef, I smear it with a marmalade glaze and finish it off in it in the oven for about half an hour. The bitter sweetness adds just the depth and contrast needed to lift a boiled dinner to gourmet level. Absolutely divine. Being from San Francisco, this meal was always served with our sourdough French bread slathered with butter. Um, um, um. Mom is gone now, but I will be carrying on the tradition for our family, just as she did. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody!

I've been making this for St. Patrick's Day every year since the cookbook was published. Has it really been 20 years?! It's super simple and very tasty. I suggest making way more than you think you'll need -- people eat a lot of it and it's great as a leftover. Serve with Irish beers - Harp is a favorite at our house.


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