Corned Beef Retro Style

I have a confession to make, last time I tried corned beef, I could have bounced it like a basketball. And we had company. And we ate green milkshakes at McDonalds with our Big Macs. So, this year for St. Patty’s Day, I decided I would skip the “traditional” green eggs in ham for a more Irish-y meal. I checked out my 1940′s cookbook and sure enough, I found a recipe for corned beef. It is interesting, in that the recipe is not too exact. Almost like one from your grandma. Pour this, add this, let it cook and then it should be done when “xyz”… Sound familiar? Plus, the “pressing” thing???

I did use the spice packet, which the original recipe does not call for. I have read a few online techniques. Some use black pepper, others beer, and one even used mulling spices all with great results! So, if you have a spice packet, use it if you want, or throw in some “pickling spice” (about a Tablespoon). I cooked mine for four hours, but left some in the pan for an extra 2 hours and it was even better. You CAN over cook it, so be careful with crockpots. I used a cast iron pot and it worked great! The potatoes are cabbage were amazing! I used 1 head of cabbage and yukon gold potatoes. Delish!

Traditional Corned Beef “Boiled” Dinner


  • Corned beef (any amount under 10 lbs should work!)
  • Spices, use the spice packet, black pepper, 1 T. pickling spice, or nothing!
  • 10-12 yukon gold potatoes, cut in half or fourths if they are large
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 5-8 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks


  1. Put beef in a large pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring slowly to a simmer.
  3. Simmer 5-10 minutes and skim the froth off the top.
  4. Add spices, if desired. Cover and cook on low, for 4-6 hours (usually 40-60 minutes per pound).
  5. 1 hour before it is finished, add potatoes and carrots. Add cabbage the last half hour.
  6. Check to make sure the potatoes are done before you take the pot off the heat.
  7. When potatoes and cabbage are tender, take meat and veggies out of the water and serve corned beef, sliced across the grain.

*I had a few turnips, but was afraid of their strong flavor in the corned beef “hot tub”. so I boiled these in some of the corned beef water. They actually were pretty good. Although I am sure you could boil shoe leather in corned beef flavored water and it would taste good!

Here are the veggies, YUM:

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