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Feb 20, 2009 07:54 AM

Advice on corned beef in slow cooker

My sister is having a small St. Patrick's Day party and wants to make the corned beef in the slow cooker. She did it last year and it was delicious, but really over-cooked (it just fell apart). She asked me for advice on how long to cook it for this year, but i don't know what to tell her. Does anyone have some guidelines for timing? Also, once it's done, is is safe to just keep it on 'warm' without having the meat just fall apart? I use my slow cooker regularly, but have never attempted corned beef before. TIA

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  1. I make a bed of creamer red potatoes and carrots, put a corned beef fat side up on top, put enough water in to cover the potatoes. Turn the slow cooker on LOW for 6-7 hours. A half hour before done, take out some broth and put it with some cabbage in a covered pan until soft and delicious. Cut beef in slices, put back in slow cooker until cabbage is done.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TampaAurora

      Try replacing the water with a mix of ginger ale and club soda.

      shhhhh, it is a secret

      1. re: TampaAurora

        TampAurora: I've got to try that ginger ale soda water method. What to expect? Thanks.

        1. re: Shunick

          I haven't done that yet but I would like to know the difference as well. Nateco provided this great idea.

          1. re: TampaAurora

            It is how I have always done it, and everyone I have passed it on to starts doing it that way. I do about 8-10 every st pats day and get lots of compliments from people that claim not to like corned beef. Learned the method from a lady that used to throw a 3 day long St Pats party. Every outlet in her house had a crock pot pluged in.

            People occasionaly have dropped the club soda and I am not relly sure what it adds other than to dilute the ginger ale. The ginger ale adds sweetness and a little flavor. Maybe the acidity of the soda helps with texture or something. I just figure why mess with a winner.

            I should mention I also do not add carrots, which add their own sweetness. Not sure you would want both soda and carrots.

            Brining my own corned beef this year for the first time using the recipe in the River Cottage Meat Book. Did a tongue that way a few weeks back and turned out great.

            1. re: nateco

              Adding carrots help me pretend that the meal is healthy :)

      2. Tell your sister I'll be right over! Cooked until falling apart is the way I prefer corned beef.

        1. I like to add carrots to the mix. For the bright color as well as the flavor.

          I also make a gravy using one part cooking liquid and one part buttermilk. Thicken this and add some horseradish. It's nice on the meat and potatoes, which can seem rather dry otherwise.

          1. My recipe for 30 years:

            Corned beef in the crock pot with a mix of vegetable stock and chicken stock or broth is ok.
            On the bottom of the pot at 2 large onions quartered and then set the corned beef on half. Add the seasoning that comes with the corned beef (I like to cut the corned beef into 2-3 large pieces, it makes it easier to stir the pot and to slice). I also add some extra pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and a tablespoon of garlic. Cover and cook 5 hours on high, Add the quartered red potatoes red potatoes, skins on or off, either quarter or half according to how big the potato is, I like to use whole carrots cut in 1" pieces. Cook another 1 hour, then add the cabbage cut in chunks, pretty big pieces and top. Try to stir every thing a bit before adding the cabbage. Add the cabbage and cook another 1 1/2 hours. Takes about 8 hours total. Maybe 9 depending on the size of your crock pot. At the end I take out some of the broth and thicken with a little corn starch and cognac, then heat to keep as a sauce. Then I make a sour cream and horshradish cream to go with the corned beef and vegetables. Some people like mustard. I also make one with dijon and sour cream as a light sauce. A little thyme parsley and pepper goes good it this. Not too many flavors, keep it simple. I have never had a complaint. The cabbage is cooked but not falling apart, the corned beef tender and yes falling apart, the potatoes, done but not much and the carrots perfect.

            1. TampaAurora my corned beef is in the crock pot now with gingerale and club soda along with orange slices pierced with whole cloves and the seasoning packets that came with the briskets. I have two briskets in there as it seems I just never have enough left overs.
              Thanks for the tip, hope it works out.