Guinness Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage with a Guinness Reduction Sauce


I have a pressure cooker version of this this posted here.

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Now we all know my stance on beer.. I hate beer.  Like you will never EVER catch me ordering a beer and drinking it on purpose.  Married to Mr. Fantabulous and him being a GIINORMOUS beer snob I’ve been ‘forced‘ 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 they all taste like ass to me, smell like dirty feet and I gag every time I try one.  No, they suck so stop.  If YOU really loved me you’d figure out how to pick up your own clothes, put the dishes in the dish washer 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 most funniest yucky squinched-up-7-year-girl-I’m-gonna-die face and then say that it still sucks.  LOL  Men, I swear they never listen! *wink*

But it’s funny though when it comes to cooking with beer.  The flavors tend to mellow and almost create this magical taste that only that nasty foul bottled stuff can give.  LOL  Yeah, sounds appealing, doesn’t it?  Now I’ve been making corned beef & cabbage since I was little.  I can remember my Mom making it on the stove top for hours on end.  When she got her first crock pot 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 beer in it.  Now back then (ya know, 100 years ago cause I’m old) she would use whatever we had on hand thus growing up as poor as we did it was typically the low end beers.  But we made do with what we had. Now as I got older and started to venture off on my own, expand my kitchen wisdom I tried to make it without the beer. This was before you could buy 4 packs or even single bottles. There was no way in the world I was buying a case of beer for just one bottle.  So I decided to make the corned beef without it.  It was just ‘ok’.  The meat was tender, it had flavoring but it just was lacking.  It didn’t have that depth you get from the beer.

So as I got even more older (now we’re talking 130 years) I decided to try different beers to see if that would change the flavor. UM YEAH… dramatically!  While I know nothing about beers I know that your typical Bud/Miller, etc don’t work well.  I hated the flavor.  But 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).  I actually had a slight tummy ache from eating so much!  Now it could have been the fact that I did something I NEVER do and that was pick all day while I was in the kitchen.  I never ‘graze’; it’s just not something I do but for some reason I had 9 bajillion bites of EVERYTHING.  By the time I went to bed last night I needed my super duper stretchy fat pants and some Crisco to grease my butt to fit through the doorway!  LOL

Guinness Corned Beef & Cabbage

Anything you make in the crock pot is effortless. I think the hardest part is waiting (and resisting the temptation to pick up the lid).  A single pot to clean, no muss, no fuss.  Truth be told I have a slight-bordering not-so-slight addiction to crock pots.  I have *I think* 9 or 10 of them presently in my house.  SHUSH!  Don’t judge!  And yes, I use them all *glare*  LOL

Now typically most people eat their corned beef either with a mustard or a horseradish.  I decided to make a reduction sauce out it the juices.  I mean HELLO.. that’s some good stuff left in the pan and I bet 95% of you would just pitch.  WHY???

Seriously, MAKE THE SAUCE!  You will never want corned beef again without it!

Just LOOK how amazing that looks!

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It’s super simple to make and I swear, makes the dish even more awesome-er!

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So if you’ll excuse me I think I’m going to take some of that leftover corned beef and incorporate it into my breakfast – maybe a Reuben Pizza?  Maybe…

*** Update 3/18/2015***

One thing I did fail to mention is that when you reduce Guinness (or any beer) that it does become sweeter.  I am reducing the original recipe from a total of 3/4 cup of brown sugar to 1/2 -3/4 cup based on your preference.  I would go no less than a total of 1/2 cup as the brine (seasoning packet) is very salty.

Guinness Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage


Serves: 4-6

  • 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 14.9ounce can of Guinness Draught
  • 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
  1. Rinse the corned beef under cold water and pat dry.
  2. Place the corned beef, fat side down in a 6 quart crock pot.
  3. Add the potatoes, onions and carrots around the beef.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the yellow mustard and seasoning packet together.
  5. Spread the mustard mixture all over the top of the corned beef.
  6. Pour the beer around the beef.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar over top the beef, veggies and beer.
  8. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  9. Remove the lid and add the cabbage wedges.
  10. Cook for 1 more hour.
  11. Remove the meat from the crock pot and set aside. Place a tent foil on top.
  12. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the veggies and place in a bowl.
  13. Place a sieve over top a medium pot and strain the juices into the pot.
  14. Place the pot over high heat.
  15. Bring to a boil, add in the remaining 1Tbl - 1/4 cup of the remaining brown sugar, water, horseradish, salt, pepper, grainy mustard, Worcestershire, honey and mix.
  16. Put the heat to a simmer to reduce the sauce by half and it starts to thicken. ~35 minutes.
  17. Slice the meat against the grain and serve with the glaze.
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.

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88 Responses to “Guinness Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage with a Guinness Reduction Sauce”

  • Debbie says:

    OK, two years in a row, and two years it has been the hit of the party. I have talked up this recipe for the last two months to our friends who were doing the 5K Foam Fest as kind of a “reward for a job well done”. I told them they would lick the plate clean when they tried the sauce. Now they know I can cook, but I think they thought I was really being a bit boastful…..

    WELL, not only did they love it and polish off three whole briskets, plus the fixin’s, but one of my friends (who works about a mile from me), said he was buying me another one so I could cook it this week and he was coming to my office for
    Reubens made with it slathered it that yummy sauce!

    They love me even more now!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      What’s not to love Debbie?! I’m so happy that it turned out again for you and that it was such a huge hit! Thank you so much dear for such kind words!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Caron Truax says:

    Oh My Gosh!!!! This just may be better than chocolate or sex! This was absolutely, bar none, the best corned beef recipe ever!!! The whole gang enjoyed it and my husband said, “its so tender, its melting in my mouth.” I had cooked corned beef before and I thought, yuck! I never want it again. But after following your recipe exactly, my taste buds approved and I will make this dish again. Since hubby and I do not eat potatoes, I used turnips and heirloom carrots (purple on the outside and orange on the inside), it was fantastic. I also used 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and water to thicken the sauce. You are correct, it takes exactly 35 minutes to reduce the sauce and drippings, but so worth it in every way. There is plenty left to pour over pork tenderloin too.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Oh Caron you seriously made my night! Thank you so much! And I’m glad I made a corned beef lover out of you! Yeah! And I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the idea of turnips and heirloom carrots!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • SHANNON says:

    I made the reduction sauce, but didn’t not use all the liquid or strain. I also added more Worcestershire sauce and horseradish. I left out the additional brown sugar and honey. The sauce is better on the potatoes after buttering than on the meat. The cabbage was not my favorite, but some pepper sauce fixed it right up. The meat was tender and yummy. Next time I won’t rinse the roast and add it with its liquid to crock and reduce the brown sugar to 1/4 cup.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Shannon!

      Yes the sugar is totally optional or more so you can add as little or as much as you want. That’s why I tell folks to start with less and add more if need be. I’m so happy you loved it!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Debbie says:

    Well, I made this recipe last year for SPD and it was the best I had ever had! This year, there are about 20-25 of us running the 5K Foam Fest on SPD, and everyone is coming over afterwards for this and all the fixin’s. I can’t wait to make it again, and I just bought two huge roasts so I would have them ready. Even bought the Beer last night. I guess you can say I am in anticipation for the date so I can eat this and share with everyone else.

    Love, love, love this recipe!

  • John Ellis says:

    I made this tonight using two 11.2oz Guinness Draught Stout beers (minus a sip or two) in a seven quart cooker using the point cut. I was worried that the beer would overpower the corned beef taste but it didn’t. This was absolutely delicious and the only modification that I made was to thicken the glaze with a small amount of Wandra flour & water to help it get to Nappe consistency (not gravy) once reduced. This help reduce the sweetened taste also. I served this with warm traditional Irish Soda Bread with a large amount of Irish Gold Butter. The extra glaze that I had I also enjoyed as an Au Jus sauce for my bread. Simply delicious. The glaze has a wonderful amount of layers in the taste. My wife loved it as well. This is our new favorite corned beef and cabbage recipe. I literally haven’t had corned beef and cabbage in forty years (summer of 1977) and it was my wife’s first time. This is so much better than what I remembered having back then hence (was horrible). Thank you.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hey there is absolutely nothing wrong with the cook having a sip (or three) from the beers 🙂 I love how you made the nappe glaze. That’s a great suggestion! I’m so happy that you both loved it! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and what you served it with. I’m so with you on the Irish Gold Butter! It’s simply amazing!

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Edward Collins says:

    Trying the recipe tonight, thanks for it. I have to say though, they whole concept of click “here” to make the sauce when this recipe is being made in the pressure cooker doesn’t work. You need to list the recipe and sauce ingredients on both recipes. The ingredients for the slow cooker recipe are mixed together and then you instruct to use a portion of that when making the pressure cooker version. it is highly inefficient and very difficult to understand. Believe me, I tried.

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Edward,

      Oh wow, thank you for drawing that to my attention. I thought I had separated that out. I’ve updated the Pressure Cooker recipe and put the Guinness Reduction Sauce recipe in the notes section of that recipe. I agree, that is confusing. Thanks again!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • John A Vaughan III says:

    First time in a crockpot. Loved it and especially the reduction. I’be used pc for years for cb and it’s quick and tasty. Love to make a lot of my meals in a pc. Rich taste and fast. Will be using more of your recipes. Thanks

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Thank you so much John! I really appreciate your feed back and more importantly that you loved this! And if you have any requests for a recipe definitely let me know!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Amy W says:

    is there anyway to make this taste as good without the guinness? or if I use 1/2 the guinness, will it be okay? would I add something extra then?

  • Eric R. says:

    I made this last year for St. Patrick’s day but lost the recipe and couldn’t remember everything. But….I found it and looked it up on line ! This is THE best recipe hands down for Corned Beef & cabbage. Definitely the Only way to make it!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Thank you so much Eric! I’m glad you re-found me 🙂 Also if you have a pressure cooker, I create a version of this recipe for the pressure cooker too. And welcome back to the site 😉

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Lynda Norman says:

    I’ve read this recipe 4x and can’t see how may this serves. I’m thinking maybe 6-8 people?
    Would you please confirm?
    Thanks, looking forward to making it tomorrow after our Annual Parade.

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