This Is Grandma’s Secret for Perfect Corned Beef and Cabbage

Hint: Forget "store-bought."

Corned beef is a staple for St. Patrick’s Day in America. The brisket tastes great served with a side of cabbage, potatoes and other root vegetables. But instead of purchasing the store-bought pre-brined stuff, we recommend brining your own at home.

Why Is Brining Your Own Corned Beef Better?

Sure, buying ready-to-cook corned beef at the supermarket is a convenient time-saver. However, curing or corning your own beef brisket is more rewarding. It’s also a throwback to the days when your grandma would prep a special meal for March 17.

“Corning,” “curing,” “pickling” and “brining” are commonly interchangeable terms in the culinary world. The process was invented to preserve meat by packing it in salt and soaking it in a brine. Long before modern refrigerators came on the scene, brining was a preferred preservation method.

One of the benefits of the at-home process includes being able to create your own custom, homemade flavors. When making corned beef from scratch, you have the power to use more of your family’s favorite herbs and spices. The from-scratch version will be a recipe your kids pass down for generations, too.

For homemade corned beef, the brining process takes about 10 days, so plan ahead.

How Do You Make Pickling Spice at Home?

Making your own homemade pickling spice is easy! Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Combine all of the ingredients and store in an airtight jar or container. When you’re ready to begin the process, you can pickle the brisket, cabbage and other veggies with the spice medley recipe above. Here’s our complete guide on how to make corned beef from scratch!

Thinking of adding a twist on cabbage to go with your corned beef? Try our best cabbage recipes!

Recipes to Make With Leftover Corned Beef
1 / 25

Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.