N. Y. C. Corned Beef and Cabbage

"Here's how to make corned beef and cabbage the right way. My thanks to my great-grandmother Delia O'Dowd and other NYC Irish Catholics who invented it. It is not normally eaten in Ireland, folks!"
N. Y. C. Corned Beef and Cabbage created by Ivansocal
Ready In:
3hrs 2mins




  • ------------Selecting the corned beef brisket------------.
  • Go to the store several days ahead of time or you will have to pick out the best of what has been picked over again and again. The best will disappear first.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Pick out a nice thick slab checking the sides to make sure it isn't a very gristly one.
  • Feel it because some butchers fold it over hiding the gristle if there is a lot of it.
  • There will always be some gristle and it runs the length of the slab in the center.
  • The thicker the slab the better. If you are lucky, you may see some chunk style at a higher price per pound.
  • If there isn't a spice bag in with the brisket, you will need to get some whole peppercorns (white and black) and bay leaves.
  • ------------Selecting the Cabbage-------------------.
  • The heavier and more solid it is, the better it is.
  • Smell it to make sure it isn't too bitter.
  • You may have to go to another store if the whole batch has a very strong bitter smell. I have had to visit several stores to find a decent batch.
  • Keep in mind that the outer leaves will be discarded even if the store has already removed the natural outer leaves to make them look better and fresher.
  • --------------Selecting the Potatoes----------------.
  • Watch out for the red dyed ones.
  • Pick out a bag of medium to small sized ones.
  • The smaller the better.
  • If you are lucky enough to find the ones as small as salad tomatoes, they are the best.
  • -------------Selecting the Carrots----------.
  • Get the smallest bag they have unless you like carrots, because you will only use one per pot of cabbage to take any bitterness out of the cabbage.
  • Serving a bowl of carrots is a big no no on Saint Patrick's Day.
  • Preparing and cooking the meal-----------------------.
  • (It's going to take 3 hours with you there).
  • Use a large Dutch oven or stock pot that will hold everything all at once.
  • Place the brisket (best side up) in the bottom of the pot.
  • There's no need to rinse it because nothing bad will survive what you are about to do to it and you will remove the outer marinate.
  • Add the spice packet or a teaspoonful of peppercorns and two bay leaves.
  • Cover the brisket generously with water and a bottle of beer (optional - adds flavor and is a tenderizer).
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  • During the 2 hours------------------------.
  • Scrub and rinse the new red potatoes.
  • Remove any eyes and bad spots.
  • Leave as much of the peel as you can.
  • Quarter them (halve or whole if tiny).
  • Cover with water until ready for them.
  • Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage until the leaves are entirely light green, rinse and cut it into quarters through the spine so they stay together. Set aside.
  • Peel one carrot and cut it into quarters. Set aside.
  • Peel the onion and cut it into eighths. Set aside.
  • Rinse the bunch of fresh parsley and chop up just the tops into very tiny pieces.
  • I find that kitchen scissors do just fine.
  • After the 2 hours----------------------.
  • Add the potatoes on top of the brisket.
  • Add water to cover everything.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage on top of the potatoes and add onion and carrot on top of the cabbage.
  • Add water to cover everything.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Check the cabbage to see if it is tender.
  • If not, simmer another 5 minutes. You shouldn't undercook it and it's hard to overcook it.
  • When done-----------------------.
  • In a large serving bowl where you can stir the potatoes, crush the garlic clove and rub the inside of the bowl with it.
  • Place the potatoes in the bowl while still piping hot and add (at least) a quarter pound of butter and add a handful (more is better than less) of chopped fresh parsley.
  • Gently stir until butter is melted, it coats all the potato pieces and the parsley is evenly distributed.
  • Put the rest of the parsley into a tiny serving bowl for those who want to add more to their potatoes.
  • As I said, more is better.
  • Slice the brisket cross grain.
  • Hope there is leftovers for breakfast.
  • See my March 18th Breakfast! It's a family tradition. We make sure we make enough to ensure leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Finely chopped fried corned beef and cabbage (the entire meal) and coffee is divine. We throw in any leftover parsley.

Join The Conversation

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  1. Eric M.
    I have used this exact recipe for the last ten years or so, and it always turns out great. Make sure you use a big enough pot! 12q was not large enough, I found. The original recipe stressed to go easy on the carrots, and I have always followed that rule, only using 2-3 baby carrots or I small carrot chopped into 3 pieces.
  2. Billy H.
    I make this every year for past three years my family loves it I do the Alton brown recipe to corn my own beef there are two one calls for salt Peter the other pink curing salt I use the one with the pink curing salt thanks for the recipe
  3. Nicholas C.
    Haven't made this recipe yet, just wanted to complement you on your authorship. Enjoyable and informative recipe to read.
  4. Cathy K.
    I made this today and this is by far the best recipe for corned beef that I have found. And I have tried many. The corned beef almost melted in your mouth. I'll look no further than this recipe!
  5. Katwyn
    That’s exactly the way my family has always made a corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner, also—but with larger potatoes cut in half or quarters. There is a reason our Irish-American forbears made corned beef and cabbage dinners, but that it’s not a traditional meal in Ireland—Our immigrant forbears were introduced to it by NYC’s Jewish immigrants. (For a super easy, but similarly tasty meal in a hurry—put the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in a large electric pressure cooker with water, some butter pats over the veggies, and a Hillshire Polska Kielbasa on top and cook on high pressure for 4-5 minutes. Natural Release for 10 min., then release remaining steam, and serve. It gives the vegetables the same flavor as a corned beef does, so it’s delicious too.)



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