Top | Irish Traditional Cooking

Corned Beef with Cabbage

(recipe, Darina Allen)

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Although this dish is eaten less frequently nowadays in Ireland, for Irish expatriates it conjures up powerful nostalgic images of a rural Irish past. Originally it was a traditional Easter Sunday dinner. The beef, killed before the winter, would have been salted and could now be eaten after the long Lenten fast, with fresh green cabbage and floury potatoes. Our local butcher corns beef in the slow, old-fashioned way that, alas, is nowadays more the exception than the norm.


  1. 4 lb. corned beef
  2. 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  3. 6 to 8 small onions
  4. 1 tsp. English mustard powder
  5. Large sprig of fresh thyme and some parsley stalks, tied together
  6. 1 cabbage
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Put the corned beef into a saucepan with the carrots, onions, mustard, and the herbs. Cover with cold water, and bring gently to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
  2. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters, and add to the pot. Cook for another 1 to 2 hours, or until the vegetables are soft and tender. Season to taste.
  3. Serve the corned beef in slices, surrounded by vegetables and cooking liquid. Accompany with lots of floury potatoes and freshly made mustard.