Corned beef recipe
Whether corned beef is a regular on your table, a nostalgic dish you want to rediscover or something you’re trying for the first time, you can’t go wrong with this easy corned beef recipe. Also known as salt beef, corned beef has a long history and is loved around the world. Traditionally a budget cut, corned beef is cured or pickled in brine for a longer shelf life and is also sold cooked and canned for long-term storage. Corned beef can be made from brisket, but in Australia corned beef silverside is the most popular and readily available cut to use. This cut of beef comes from the rear leg and is a tough cut that needs long, gentle cooking in liquid to become melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Getting ready to make this slow cooker corned beef recipe
You can cook corned beef by simmering gently on the stovetop but having a slow cooker and plenty of time to spare makes it much easier to cook the beef to the perfect velvety soft texture. It also means you can do other things while the corned beef is cooking because you won’t need to keep an eye on it while it’s cooking. On the stovetop, if the water gets too hot it can boil rather than simmer and make the beef tough and chewy.
Get all the ingredients ready for this corned beef recipe before you start. The traditional way to cook corned beef to add aromatic ingredients to the pot before topping with enough cold water to cover the beef – no need to add stock. Most recipes include vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, and brown onion, but we’ve also added garlic, celery and fennel. The ingredients help to tenderise and add flavour to the beef as it cooks, while the water slowly draws out salt. When the beef is cooked the poaching liquid will be very salty, but by then it has done its job and can be discarded.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the veggies for the dish. Corned beef is traditionally served with root veggies such as carrots, parsnips, swedes and baby potatoes, so we’ve used them all for a veggie-packed meal. To make the glaze, you’ll need more brown sugar along with maple syrup and a mix of wholegrain and Dijon mustard.
What makes this an easy corned beef recipe
The main part of this slow cooker corned beef recipe couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is remove the packaging and put the beef in the slow cooker with the other ingredients, pour over cold water and switch it on to high, then cover and leave it to cook for 4 hours. If you have more time, you can keep it on low for 6 hours instead. Only add the carrots, parsnips, swede and potato to the water for the last 30 minutes of cooking because you don’t want them to get too soft – they need to hold their shape so you can finish cooking them in the oven.
Keep the slow cooker covered while the beef is cooking – each time you take off the lid to check on what’s inside it means steam and heat will escape and this can make the food take longer to cook.
The simple trick to the best corned beef recipe
Once you remove the corned beef from the liquid it’s ready to slice and serve, but if you’re not serving it straight away it’s best to keep it covered with the liquid to stop it drying out. The same goes for if you’re planning to serve it cold – let it cool completely in the liquid first.
To make your corned beef taste even better, finish in in the oven with a sticky glaze. This gives you golden roasted veggies that are packed with flavour too. All you need to do is mix the maple syrup, sugar and mustard together, then arrange the beef and veggies in a roasting pan. Drizzle over the glaze then roast at 180°C for 20-25 minutes. Make sure you turn the veggies occasionally so they can caramelise all over.
Leftover corned beef recipes and tips
This recipe for corned beef serves 8 people, so you can feed a family of four and have enough meat left over for another meal. Sliced or shredded corned beef is perfect for making hearty sandwiches like the classic Reuben sandwich – for an easy recipe see the link below. Add shredded or chopped corned beef to salads or combine it with grated potato, egg, flour and spring onion and pan-fry to make corned beef fritters or corned beef hash. Or try adding shredded corned beef to a basic macaroni and cheese recipe.
Now Get Cooking
If you only cook one thing in your slow cooker, make it this slow cooked corned beef recipe. Give it a go for a great-value family favourite and find more ideas in our slow cooker recipes collection. Need sandwich ideas for leftover corned beef? Swap out the pastrami in our Reuben sandwich recipe or try our roast beef and capsicum aioli baguettes. For another family favourite using beef, make our classic roast beef with tomato and red wine gravy. Plus, pick up a Coles Beef Blade Roast with Pastrami Rub and try our roasted pastrami rubbed beef with fennel and leeks recipe.