The absolute BEST Crock Pot Guinness Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe with Guinness reduction sauce! Fall-apart corned beef that melts in your mouth!
Married to Mr. Fantabulous and him being a GINORMOUS beer snob I’ve been ‘coerced‘ to try umpteen different types with the line of “baby, maybe you’ll like this one. If you loved me, you’d try it.”
My response is always “..and if you loved me you’d remember that we’ve yet to find one that I like or can even get past the smell. If YOU really loved me you’d figure out how to pick up your own clothes, put the dishes in the dishwasher and figure out that vacuuming CAN be fun.” Sounds fair, right?
But like the good wife I give in to spousal pressure, take the god-awful sip, make the funniest yucky squinched-up-7-year-girl-I’m-gonna-die face and then say that I still hate it while he chuckles at my response.
I LOVE Cooking and Baking with Beer!
It’s funny though as I don’t like the taste of beer straight from the bottle but I LOVE the flavor of it when it’s cooked or reduced.
The flavors tend to mellow and almost create this magical taste. I use beer quite often in various chocolate cakes (reduced stout in a chocolate cake is EPIC!) as well as in brownies. Heck, I’ve even made beer syrup and used it in ice cream.
From Stovetop to Crock-Pot For Corned Beef
Now I’ve been making corned beef & cabbage since I was little. I can remember my Mom making it on the stovetop for hours on end.
When she got her first crockpot you would have thought Sweet Baby Jesus delivered it to her personally! From then on, corned beef was made in the crock. And as always it had a beer in it.
What about making Corned Beef in the Instant Pot?
I got you guys! I have the instant pot recipe already posted. You can’t go wrong with either method to be honest!
The beer matters in this recipe
Being married to a beer snob we always have a ton of hand to work with. I tried more than my fair share. The best beer I’ve found for this recipe is Guinness Draught Stout. It, as it cooks, adds such incredible depth of flavor that any other beer.
What I did find was that the stout beers – those darker beers, when cooked infused such an intense flavor that literally you find yourself being unable to stop eating the beef (case in point last night when I made this recipe).
If you’re not a beer drinker, like I am, you can buy just single cans/bottles in most grocery stores so you don’t have to feel concerned of having to buy a whole case.
Ingredients needed to make THE BEST Guinness Corned Beef
- Flat Cut Corned Beef Brisket with seasoning packet – flat is best for slicing
- Veggies – carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and onions
- Beer – Guinness Draught Stout
- Seasonings & liquids – mustard, Worcestershire, water, horseradish, salt, pepper, honey
- Sugar – This depends on how sweet you like your meat and sauce. Start with less for the sauce as you can always add more if you need
How to Cook The Best Corned Beef with Beer!
It’s super simple to make as you throw most of it in the crockpot and let it cook the day away!
- Pat your meat dry and place it fat side up in the crockpot. Add the carrots and potatoes around the meat.
- Mix together the mustard and seasoning packet and spread it all over the meat. Next, add the beer around the meat (not on top).
- Sprinkle some sugar over the top it all and cover.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Add the cabbage and cook for another 2 hours.
Guinness Reduction Sauce
- Once the meat is done, strain all of the juice out and place it in a pot over high heat.
- Once boiling, add in some sugar and the rest of the ingredients. *Remember this is where you want to start off in small amounts
- The sauce can take 30-55 minutes to reduce. This depends on how liquidy your beef is.
Difference Between Corned Beef Cuts – Flat and Point
So there are a few different cuts of corned beef brisket but the two most populare are Flat Cut and Point Cut.
Flat Cut Corned Beef
The flat cut is more leaner though it still has a fat cap layer that helps keep the meat moist. This is what you want to use when you want to slice your corned beef and have it lay nicely on the plate or sandwich.
Point Cut Corned Beef
The most obvious difference is the point tip at the one end. This type of cut has more fat to it so when you cook it up, it comes out super tender and juicy. This is perfect for when you want to shred it for nachos and sandwiches.
Uses for Corned Beef Leftovers
- Reuben Nachos – simply shred the meat and layer it on the nachos with some Irish cheddar, green onions, and some braised cabbage/slaw. You can even drizzle on some of the Guinness sauce on the side!
- Pulled Corned Beef Sliders – these paired with Irish Cheddar – EPIC!
- Reuben Sandwiches – The hardest part is deciding if you want mustard of 1000 island dressing
- Reuben Tart – tart dough filled with sauerkraut, corned beef, and cheese!
- Reuben Pizza – need I say anymore?
- Cheesy Reuben Dip – all the great flavors of a Reuben sandwich but in a dip!
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2–3” chunks
- 6–8 small-medium size red potatoes (unpeeled)
- 1 large yellow onion, rough chopped
- 2–3 lb flat cut corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
- 1 14.9 ounce can of Guinness Draught Stout
- 3 Tbl yellow mustard
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided *See note
- 2 Tbl grainy mustard
- 1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp horseradish
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 medium size head of cabbage, cut into wedges
Make the Corned Beef
- Rinse the corned beef under cold water and pat dry. Place the corned beef, fat side up in a 6 quart (or bigger) crock pot. Add the potatoes, onions and carrots around the beef. In a small bowl, mix the yellow mustard and seasoning packet together. Spread the mustard mixture all over the top of the corned beef. Pour the beer around the beef. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar over top the beef, veggies and beer. Cook on low for 7 hours.
- Remove the lid and add the cabbage wedges. Cook for 2 more hours. Remove the meat from the crock pot and set aside. Place a tent foil on top. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the veggies and place in a bowl.
Guinness Reduction Sauce
- Place a sieve/strainer over top a medium pot and strain the juices into the pot. Place the pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add in the remaining 1Tbl – 1/4 cup of the remaining brown sugar (depends on how sweet you want your sauce. Start off with a little, taste and adjust from there), water, horseradish, salt, pepper, grainy mustard, Worcestershire, honey and mix. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer to reduce the sauce by half and it starts to thicken. ~35-50 minutes.
- Slice the meat against the grain and serve with the reduction sauce over top with a side of potatoes, carrots and cabbage.
With regards to the brown sugar, keep in mind that reducing the Guinness will render the sauce sweet however I still add up to the last 1/4 cup of brown sugar personally as I found it was a tad ‘bitter’ without it. My advice is to start off with 1 Tbl of brown sugar, taste the sauce as it reduces and add more if necessary.