Lennie's Corned Beef Dinner

"Over the years, I've taken ideas from many great cooks and have constantly changed how I cook a corned beef dinner. But for a couple of years now, I have done it exactly this way. It's now St Patricks Day 2005, and other members want me to get this down in writing ... so here goes."
photo by Snewman2117 photo by Snewman2117
photo by Snewman2117
Ready In:
3hrs 30mins




  • Please note that I've never written this down before, so measurements like the "1 tbsp kosher salt" are just approximations on my part; go with whatever seems right to you.
  • When you're ready to start cooking, get out your biggest pot, then put that one back and get a bigger one; really.
  • Into the pot goes the corned beef, taken out of its plastic casing.
  • Note about corned beef: I have never bought one that had spices separate, but I've read that here at Zaar, that some have the spices in a separate little package; if your spices are separate, open up the package and put them in with the beef too.
  • Pour about 3 cups of apple juice over beef, then add enough cold water to completely cover the meat.
  • Turn the heat under the pot to high and bring to a boil.
  • Add 1/2 cup (not tightly packed) brown sugar to the liquid, along with mustard seeds.
  • When the liquid comes to a boil, skim off any scum (you won't get it all; that's not a big deal), turn the heat way down, put the lid on the pot, and simmer for 2 hours.
  • While meat is simmering, prepare the veggies.
  • Cut some wedges off your cabbage (I never use the whole thing unless it was a very small cabbage).
  • Peel some carrots and cut into chunks (I recommend 4 carrots but you can use less, or more, depending on how much you like them); peel some parsnips and do likewise.
  • Peel a couple of onions but leave the root end on; cut in half, through the root end, then in half again, through the root end (in an ideal world, this prevents the wedges from coming apart; don't be surprised if some of them do not stay in perfect segments however).
  • Get someone strong to cut the rutabaga in half, then in half again; peel; cut into chunks, not too big (just under an inch or so is fine). I use about three-quarters of the rutabaga, but if you want to use the whole thing, go for it; or, use less if you want.
  • Don't do anything to the potatoes but rinse them to get off any dirt.
  • Wait for the 2 hours to be up.
  • When your timer dings, add all the veggies except the cabbage into the pot, turn the heat back up to high, and let it come back to a boil (I add the kosher salt and black pepper at this point, but you don't have to).
  • If you have to add more liquid (you likely won't), add half apple juice and half water.
  • When the liquid comes back to a boil, turn it down to a simmer, put the lid back on, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • When the 15 mins are up, remove lid and set it aside; you won't need it any more.
  • Add cabbage to pot, curse if liquid in pot overflows, then turn heat back up to high, and when liquid comes to a boil turn heat back down to a simmer and let cook until all the veggies are done to your liking (I don't know how soft you like your turnip, cabbage, etc, but mine usually takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes after I add the cabbage).
  • When done, fish out corned beef and put on a chopping board.
  • Then, using a slotted spoon, get the veggies and arrange attractively on platter so your MIL will be impressed; carve up meat and place on another platter.
  • Make sure salt, pepper and butter are on the table, along with an assortment of mustards.
  • Realize you forgot to make the soda bread; and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. ceashel
    Really was excellent. I used about 2 Tbl brown sugar and it was plenty. Will be my "go to" recipe from now on. Thanks!
  2. Mrs. Moon
    This was GREAT! I made it twice in one week. We loved all the different veggies. Not just cabbage and carrots. Thanks for sharing!
  3. Wyze Sky
    2014, another SPD with Lennie's fantastic corned beef recipe!<br/>2012 update<br/>This is still the ultimate corned beef recipe. Have made it every St. Patty's day since 2008, and pass it on to others each year. Don't change a thing. This is the best!<br/><br/>2008 review<br/>Okay, it's 2008 and I just made this for St. Patrick's Day dinner. Oustanding! Everyone at the table, from 10 to 80, loved it. I will be making it this way always.<br/>Thanks!
  4. Gwen M.
    Excellent!!! My husband LOVED the broth that it made. I didn't have mustard seed and I didn't use any pepper or salt. I did put in the spice packet that came with the corned beef. I also left out the rutabagas and used reconstituted frozen apple juice from a can. My kids LOVED it and were ASKING for more of the vegetables!!
  5. Snewman2117
    This was great! I have never been able to make the perfect corned beef dinner, but now I can, thanks! I did not have the mustard seed on hand, so i omitted that, and left out the rutabagas as well. Turned out wonderful


  1. CarrolJ
    I made this for St. Patrick's Day this year. The only changes I made was that I substituted extra carrots for the parsnips and rutabagas. My DH who isn't Irish doesn't care for them but loves cooked carrots. It's been a slow prodding over the past 45 years to get him to actually enjoy corned beef. I had never cooked the dish with apple juice and brown sugar before. It was a wonderful addition to the flavor. I haven't eaten the dish as a soup yet, which is my favorite way to eat the left-overs, so do not know if I will like the broth that way as well...BUT the flavor of the meat and the vegatbles simmered in the juice was heavenly, oh my it was good!!!! Thanks for a great recipe. I will cook the cabbage for less next time since I like mine almost ala-dente' but that was my fault not yours. By the way my DH commented that 'Dinner was really good'...high praise from a guy who rarely says anything positive about food and just eats it if he likes it.


I have been sharing recipes here at Recipezaar since October 2001. You won't see me around anymore, although if you're an old-school Zaarite you'll remember that in the past, you couldn't shut me up!
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