This Easy Corned Beef Hash is the best way to use up leftover corned beef OR the best excuse to make corned beef from scratch! It’s a simple dish that is hearty and comforting, made under 20 minutes with only a handful of ingredients. Top with a fried egg, a splash of hot sauce and this gluten-free and paleo and whole30-friendly breakfast is ready!
Easy Corned Beef Hash
We don’t know what we look forward to more when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day eats, the actual Corned Beef and Cabbage or the subsequent leftover meal that follows: this Easy Corned Beef Hash. It’s such a hearty, comforting breakfast: meat, potato and eggs. It’s such a classic meal and the best part is that the components are mostly already cooked so it’s just a matter of heating them all up together and topping with an egg, if desired. If you don’t have leftover corned beef laying around, trust us this breakfast is totally worth cooking corned beef for.
This is one of those recipes that really is more of a guideline. If you have leftover carrots, or onions or root vegetables that were cooked with your corned beef you can feel free to add those in! This can also work with any other leftover beef you may have, though it won’t have that classic flavor as it does when cooked with the corned beef. If you have leftover roast beef, pot roast or even steak, you can make this work. If you don’t have any leftover potatoes you can cook up some fresh. Just dice up some potatoes and boil for about 12-15 minutes, or until fork tender. They brown better when they are cold, but fresh cooked will work in a pinch.
How do you make corned beef hash from scratch:
Cook some onions
Add cooked corned beef and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes undisturbed, and then flip and cook another 5 minutes
Season with garlic powder and pepper, and add salt if needed.
Serve with eggs!
Why is corned beef so salty?
We talk extensively about the process for brining your own corned beef here, and then go into details about how to cook it from scratch here. If cooked properly (meaning rinsed really well and cooked in enough water) corned beef shouldn’t be overly salty, but when making corned beef hash you definitely want to taste the dish before adding any additional salt!
If you like this breakfast recipe, check out these others:
Heat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot add oil and onion. Cook until soften, about 8 minutes.
Add butter to the pan and turn up heat to medium high. Add beef and potato and stir to combine. Then let cook, undisturbed for 5 minutes. Flip over the hash and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes, or until the hash is heated through.
This can also work with some other cooked cuts of beef like brisket or pot roast.
To make fully dairy free feel free to sub in ghee or additional oil in place of the butter.
If you are using an oven proof skillet you can also crack a few eggs inside of the hash after step 2 and cook under the broiler for a few minutes until the eggs are cooked!
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This Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage comes out so just as tender and flavorful as the stove top version, but in half the time! This corned beef dinner with cabbage, potatoes and carrots is a the perfect dish for a classic for St. Patrick’s Day.
Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Who doesn’t love a good boiled dinner, also known as corned beef and cabbage? This classic St. Patrick’s Day dish shouldn’t just be relegated to a once-a-year-meal though, because corned beef is so good, especially when you brine it yourself! The leftovers alone are worth making this meal for! We turned to the Instant Pot to make this dish to cut the cooking time in half and ensure the perfect fork tender brisket and from here on out will be cooking it this way.
What is corned beef?
Corned beef is simply salted or cured beef. It’s topically a brisket, but can also be an eye roast. It’s put in a brine with lots of salt, some sugar and spices like juniper berries and mustard seed. Once it’s done brining, typically 5-10 days later, it’s cooked! We delve into more details in this post here!
How do you cook corned beef in the Instant Pot?
It’s as easy as rinsing the corned beef, placing it in the Instant Pot on a trivet with a lot of water, cooking on high pressure for 85 minutes and then a natural release! We place the additional vegetable in the leftover broth for a quick 4 minute cook. Typically it can take 3-6 hours to cook a corned beef, so using the Instant Pot is really a time saver in this recipe.
What is in the spice packet for corned beef?
Honestly, anything can be in those spice packets that sometimes come with commercially prepared corned beef. Which is why we advocate making your own (or buying a high quality one). If the corned beef is brined properly all of the flavor should already be inside of the meat! If you aren’t sure that is the case with yours, we used these spices in our brine:
We recommend rinsing the corned beef very well to get off the excess salt in the brine before you cook it. This is true whether you make your own brine or buy store bought. Otherwise you’ll end up with a really salty corned beef.
Can you overcook a corned beef?
You can certainly cook it incorrectly! A corned beef, whether it is a brisket or an eye of round cut should be cooked low and slow, unless you are using a pressure cooker, in which case cooking under pressure keeps it tender. Traditionally this type of meat is tenderized first with the brine, and then it is submerged in liquid and cooked slowly over a long period of time. A slow cooker is also a great way to cook this type of meat. If you cook this type of meat very quickly with high temperature it will seize up and be tough.
What can you make with leftover corned beef?
Leftover corned beef was made to be turned into corned beef hash! It’s also great sliced thin when cold and turned into sandwiches. During testing we also used some of the leftover meat for a stir fry and for a soup!
If you like this Instant Pot recipe, check out these others:
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias about 2”
Parsley, for garnish
Rinse the corned beef really well to remove any excess salt.
Place a trivet (preferably one with handles) in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. Place corned beef inside with 4 cups of water and cover.
Cook on high pressure for 85 minutes. Release pressure naturally for 20 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
Remove corned beef with trivet and set aside and keep warm.
Place the cabbage, potatoes and carrots inside. Cover and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Use the manual release.
Slice corned beef against the grain and serve with vegetables, mustard and parsley garnish.
If using the 6 quart you may need to slice the corned beef in half to fit. Slice in half and stack each piece next to each other, but not on top of one another
After cooking if you wish to remove the fat cap on the brisket, feel free to do so.
Too cook on the stove top:
In a large pot add the brisket and cover with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Check periodically to make sure the water hasn't reduced below the beef, and if it has add more as needed.
Add cabbage, potatoes and carrots and cook for 1 more hour or until the meat is fork tender.
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Corned Beef is more often purchased already brined than it is made at home, but using this easy Corned Beef Brine Recipe it’s so simple to DIY using our pickling spice mixture and beef brisket. We are skipping the nitrates and using whole ingredients you recognize and the best part is the taste of the final product is far superior than anything store-bought and is SO FUN to accomplish!
Corned Beef Brine Recipe
Did you know that you could make your own corned beef at home, starting totally from scratch? It’s so easy when you use this Corned Beef Brine Recipe, we promise! And honestly it results in the best tasting corned beef that is so incredibly flavorful–and you control what goes it in instead of putting in some strange spice package of unknown ingredients. Plus it’s one of those cool things to be able to say that you know how to brine your own brisket, right?
What exactly is corned beef?
Let’s start here, because some of you may have some questions! Corned beef is really just beef that has been preserved with salt, also known as brining. It’s flavored with the salt, spices and a bit of a sweetener which essentially means that you are pickling it, so think of it like pickled beef! The name corned beef comes from an old English way of referring to large granules of salt as “corns”, and therefor it just means salted beef, and there is not actually corn involved.
Most commercially prepared corned beef contains saltpeter, also known as sodium nitrate. The sodium nitrate is a curing salt that contributes to the pink color and cured flavor of corned beef. It also prevent the meat from spoiling or going rancid while it is curing. However, since the meat is cooked after it is brined it is not essential to use it. The use of nitrates and nitrites are controversial as to whether or not they are harmful in cured meats because cured meats typically contain such a small amount, and on average a person consumes larger amounts of naturally occurring sodium nitrates in vegetables like spinach, beets, celery and others. But in 2010 nitrates were declared a possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization, so when possible we avoid buying meat with added nitrates. So for this recipe we skip the sodium nitrate all together since it is not needed, and instead used beet root powder to color the meat, though this is optional.
Why do we eat corned beef?
Corned beef is popularly cooked during the American celebration of all things Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. It can be called a corned beef dinner or a boiled dinner, which refers to the fact that corned beef is often slowly boiled with some vegetables. But if you dig a little deeper, our American tradition of corned beef actually has little to do with food that you might find in Ireland, and more to do with the corned brisket you would have found in a kosher Jewish deli at the turn of the century. Corned beef can also be thinly sliced and use in sandwiches such as pastrami, or then remade into several different recipes, like corned beef hash.
What is the best cut of meat for corned beef?
For this recipe we’re using a flat cut brisket! That cut of meat is ideal because it is contains a lot of fat (which equals flavor) and is generally tough, so the brining really helps transform it. You can also make corned beef from an eye round roast.
What is in the corned beef spice packet?
Honestly, anything can be in those spice packets that sometimes come with commercially produced corned beef. Which is why we advocate making your own (or buying a high quality one). For our corned beef pickling spice we use:
How long do you brine corned beef?
Traditionally brined corned beef with sodium nitrates can be brined for as long as 10 days. Because we were skipping it, we went with a smaller amount of time brining, about 5-6 days as there is enough salt in the brine to transform the meat in a shorter amount of days.
Why do you rinse corned beef?
This step is important! If the meat has been properly brined it has been infused with not only the flavor, but also the salt. Before you cook the meat you want to rinse it with cool water to remove all the excess salt. Similarly, you want to cook the corned beef in a ton of water to help bring out some of the salt. Don’t worry though ALL of the flavor of the spices is inside of the meat, and a properly brined beef doesn’t need additional spices during cooking because it’s infused inside of it.
How do you cook corned beef?
Traditionally corned beef is brought to a boil on the stove top and simmered for a few hours. Vegetables like cabbage, potato and carrots are added into the pot and they’re boiled in the flavorful stock until just tender. Another method of cooking it would be in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours, depending on the size of the beef, and similarly vegetables added in. We’re talking all about how to cook it in the Instant Pot, which is our modern favorite way of cooking it over here in this post.
For this recipe, we used these tools:
Plastic bag with a tight seal
Large container to hold curing beef
If you like this DIY recipe, check out these others:
In a large pot add all of the ingredients, except the beet root powder (if using), and bring to a boil. After all of the salt and sugar has dissolved shut off the heat.
Let the mixture cool completely. You can let this happen naturally, or you can place the brine in an ice bath by placing the brine inside of a clean bowl and then placing that bowl inside of another bowl filled with ice water.
Once the brine is cool place the beet root powder (if using) and brisket inside a 2 gallon plastic bag and place the bag inside of a large container that will catch any accidental drips. This container has to be able to fit inside of your refrigerator.
Carefully pour all of the brine inside of the plastic bag and seal it. Lay the plastic bag flat inside of the container and place in your refrigerator for 5-6 days.
Each day carefully turn the bag upside down to stir the brine and make sure all of the beef is submerged.
Once ready to cook discard the brine and the spices and rinse the corned beef thoroughly.
Traditionally corned beef is cured using a salt that turns the brisket pink. We are purposefully skipping this salt, also known as sodium nitrate because it's been labeled a possible carcinogen and is not necessary in this recipe. Without the sodium nitrate the corned beef is rather gray. We experimented with adding beet root powder to help counteract that and found that the resulting corned beef wasn't super pink, but it did change the color a bit. This is totally optional, and might not be worth buying a package of beet root powder just for this purpose if you are never going to use it again.
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