Homemade corned beef is a cinch to make. Just 10 days in the brining solution and 90 minutes in your Instant Pot!
We raise a small herd of South Poll cows for beef. We have a freezer full of beef, most times. However, every year when St Patrick’s Day rolls around, I find myself at the grocery store paying WAY too much for corned beef. Even if you don’t have your own freezer full of beef, if you’re a savvy shopper, you can find roasts for much less than the pre-packaged corned beef on the shelf.
This year, I decided to use some of our own beef and make this dish from scratch. When I began researching corning your own beef, I will admit that the task seemed a tiny bit daunting. But, honestly, it really is super simple to do!
You’ll need a few spices that you may not already keep on hand such as mustard seeds, juniper berries, and allspice berries to make homemade corned beef. I went to our local bulk food store to purchase these items. You can also purchase them on Amazon.
To begin, you will make a solution to brine your beef. This is a simple process that involves heating water, adding spices, and allowing the water to cool down. Pretty simple stuff.
Next, you’ll pour the brine solution into a zipper top bag and add the meat. Place that sealed bag in a shallow pan in case of any leakage and turn the bag over each day for 10 days. That’s it! You’ve just “corned” beef!
To make corned beef with cabbage, you’ll cook the beef with whole carrots and celery for 90 minutes, do a quick pressure release, remove the cooked carrots and celery, add chopped cabbage & carrots, then cook an additional 5 minutes. At this point, do a natural pressure release. This helps to ensure a very tender, moist roast.
I found that cooking the corned beef in the Instant Pot resulted in a very tender roast. It was easier to shred it than it was to slice it. This was fine with me, but it is a departure from the “normal” method of serving corned beef.
Be the hero this year and make homemade corned beef from scratch!
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For the brine:
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 8 whole cloves
- 8 whole allspice berries
- 12 whole juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket, trimmed
On cooking day:
- 1 large carrot, cut in half
- 1 stalk celery, cut in half
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 small cabbage, chopped
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- Place the water into a large pot.
- Add salt, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries, juniper berries, bay leaves, and ginger.
- Cook over medium heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate until the brine reaches 45* F.
- Add the beef to a zip-top bag, then add cooled brine.
- Seal the bag and lay flat inside a shallow container
- Refrigerate for 10 days, turning once per day.
On cooking day:
- Remove the beef from the brine and rinse well.
- Add the beef to the Instant Pot, then add the cut in half carrot and celery.
- Use manual setting and cook for 90 minutes.
- Use a QPR, remove the cooked carrot and celery.
- Add the chopped carrot & cabbage. Add potatoes.
- Use manual setting and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Allow a NPR.
- Remove corned beef and vegetables to a serving platter.
- Slice against the grain, if desired, or shred.
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