Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

I love pottering around the house. Perhaps all the more because work is busy and I’ve been traveling a lot and I haven’t been cooking for the past couple of weeks. This is the only weekend in April that I am actually in the country. It was embarrassingly wonderful cooking in pajamas, and intermittently dropping back to bed to check out the latest episode of Descendents of the Sun in between cooking.

Kid#2 just had her braces tightened again. She has been living off milo, jelly and a banana chocolate chip cake that Uncle E baked for her. So a soft meal was on the cards. Kid#1 on the other hand has been unwell with sinusitis and reactive lymphadenopathy and we had run a couple of blood tests which showed borderline anemia. So we’ve also been trying to increase his iron intake with red meat. So corned beef and cabbage was definitely on the cards.

Corned beef and cabbage recipes usually include some beer in them; I decided to forgo the beer because it is relatively high carb and did a sort of substitute with a dash of sherry that happened to be at hand. For some reason corned beef or silverside is not easy to find in Singapore so I usually pack this in my luggage when I visit Australia. It’s such a cheap cut of meat and the kids love it. Probably one of the best corned beef and cabbage plates I ever had was in an Irish pub in Chicago. Hubs and I had literally been blown into the door of that pub by a cuttingly cold wind typical of Chicago and I think that warm comfort food type meal completely hit the right spot.

I do love my slow cooker – I literally dump everything  in the morning and pick up meal in the evening. Which gives me plenty of time for my afternoon nap. I confess I have been coveting something called the Instant Pot – it is a combination electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, sauté pan, warming pot and yogurt maker. I think this is the ultimate 7 in 1 gadget that saves space and time. Unfortunately it’s not available in Asia and I’ve been mulling on who can bring back an instant pot from the UK for me. I’ve always been freaked out by pressure cookers and the instant pot apparently doesn’t have the scary outlet valve that screams and hisses. Ah well. One can only keep dreaming. 

Another ingredient I had skipped in this dish was potatoes. I don’t think we missed the potatoes at all. In fact the celery and carrots were so soft and sweet that some stodgy potatoes would not have added much to the dish. 😄 in the end we had a kind of one-pot wonder for a lazy Sunday. Kid#2 was pleased to have her first hearty meal of the week and I’m hoping kid#1’s haemoglobin gets a boost too!

Pickling spice was used in this recipe – lending some complex flavor tones in this essentially beef and veg boil up.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 kg corned beef (silverside)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, cut in large wedges
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 ribs of celery, cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup of dry sherry
  • Water to fill the pot to cover the beef

Picking spice 

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 1-2 inches long)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper


  1. Place the carrots, celery and onions at the base of the slow cooker pot.
  2. Place the beef over the vegetables.
  3. Scatter the pickling spice over the meat and fill up the pot with water till the beef and vegetables are covered completely. Add the sherry.
  4. Turn on the slow cooker (I use the Auto setting which uses high heat first then switches to lower heat). Cook for about 6-7 hours.
  5. Remove the beef and set aside.
  6. Add the cabbage into the slow cooker and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  7. Slice the beef up (this is easier once the beef as cooled and the meat does not fall apart so easily when cut)
  8. Plate the beef in a casserole dish.
  9. Scoop up the cabbage and other vegetables and line the casserole dish with vegetables.
  10. Serve the corned beef and cabbage hot with some mustard or horseradish on the side.


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