Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

corned beef and cabbage pressure cooker recipe

Saint Patrick’s Day

Here in America it evokes images of green beer, shamrocks, leprechauns, and of course corned beef and cabbage. I wonder what the old Saint would think if he could see the parades in his honor today.

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic. ~Adrienne Cook

Corned beef is a strange food; it is pickled, or brined, beef cured in salt. So why is it corned and not brined beef?  Or “salt beef,”  like salt pork? There is no corn in the meat (excluding what the cows likely ate in their feedlots [go grass fed if you can find it]), so why the funny name?

Corned Beef and Cabbage

The term “corn” comes from the Old English term used to describe the hard kernels of salt used to cure the meat. Why this usage carried over when “corned pork” did not I don’t think we’ll ever know. Maybe that will be included in Mark Kurlansky’s sequel to Salt: a world history, a very interesting read.

We had never made corned beef and cabbage before, but we knew we wanted to try it. When we read the cooking instructions for an hour per pound on the label we knew this would be a perfect pressure cooker recipe. We were able to shave three hours down to less than one!

corned beef and cabbage cooking time

3 Hours! With the revered saint's blessing let's pressure cook it in 50 minutes!

If you remember our How to cook a Roast post and the friendly cow diagram the cut of meat traditionally used in corn beef is brisket, which is just above the legs of the cow.

Most corned beef packages come with a seasoning pack to use when you cook the meat. We decided to make our own flavor blend instead.

Corned beef needs to be boiled to remove some of the salt and to help tenderize the meat, which is another reason it is perfect for pressure cooking.

1. First we took the meat out of the package and rinsed it well under cold running water to remove excess salt and brine from the surface. When it was well rinsed we put it fat side up on the rack in the pressure cooker so it wasn’t touching the bottom of the pan.

2. Next we put in 4 cups of low sodium beef broth (no need to add extra salt) and topped it off with 3 cups of water (or just enough to cover the meat)

corned beef and cabbage pressure cooker

Finally we stirred the spices into the mixture: a cinnamon stick, a pinch of ground cloves (whole would work as well), ¼ teaspoon whole pepper corns, ¼ teaspoon whole celery seed, 1 minced garlic clove, and a pinch of dried mustard. Top the whole thing off with a bay leaf or two and you are good to go.

Bring the pressure cooker to high pressure and immediately turn the heat to as low as possible to maintain the pressure. Cook for 50 minutes and use the pressure cooker natural release method to open the lid.

While it’s cooking you can get your veggies prepped and ready for action. We used largely chopped carrots, cabbage, and potatoes.

corned beef and cabbage veggie prep

When you open it the corned beef will have shrunk and will still be pink. This is because of the type of salt (nitrates) used to cure it, it will be cooked enough. Donness can be checked by making sure it is fork tender. (We actually had a hard time taking it out of the pan because it was falling apart tender)

Remove all but about a cup of the cooking broth, and place the chopped veggies in a basket on the rack of the pressure cooker. The meat should be placed on a platter and wrapped in foil to sit and rest to make sure the juices are all soaked in.

Bring the pressure back to high heat for four minutes and use the pressure cooker quick release method to open. It should be perfect timing for the meat to have sat long enough.

Classic meat and potatoes – it doesn’t get any better than this!

(unless of course you bake a loaf of delicious cinnamon bread too…)  : )

Corned beef and cabbage recipe

Thanks for reading.

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia Child  
Why learn pressure cooking?
It's 7 pm. The end of the work day stomach rumbles...

In one hand, a take out menu. In the other hand, the refrigerator door...its contents staring back almost as blankly as we are towards them. We want a homemade meal, but also want something quick and simple to make.
1. Simple and quick recipes requiring basic skills to become proficient in the kitchen.
2. Quality ingredients, not necessarily 100% organic, but meals without artificials and chemistry class additives.
3. To understand more of the story of our food and take small steps towards self-reliance.

It's true, there are many benefits to pressure cooking: the time savings, the taste, a small step towards self-reliance, sustainability... but the real benefit is in what we learn as we redefine our relationship with food. Good food can be fast. Good food can be easy.

Pressure Cooker Recipes
Looking for more Pressure Cooker Recipes? We've got'em here.
   Get new recipes and videos in your inbox.
   Looking for a pressure cooker? Read our pressure cooker reviews.
   Our favorite Pressure Cooker Cookbooks including the
   food book that changed my life.

Similar Posts:

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick October 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Corned beef so called for the “corns” or grains of salt with which it is preserved; from verb corn “to salt” (1560s).

Dolly December 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Do people not know to run cold water over the cooker to release the pressure immediately. My son {bess his heart} would wait until the pressure fell on it’s own and find it wasn’t cooked enough. Our cookers are WAY old but cold water in the sink will solve the waiting problem.

Leslie January 3, 2012 at 8:58 am

@Dolly – The quick release method is handy. Just be careful not to run cold water directly over the release valve opening…

Karen Sussex March 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Thanks so much, This is just what I’ve been looking for! I always wanted to try it this way ,
but didn’t care for some that I found until your version. I’ll never make it any other way now.
Awesome, my hubby says thanks too!

Nannette March 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Thank you for the recipe, Leslie! I love your mention of “self reliance.” Are you an Emerson fan?


Leslie March 21, 2012 at 1:59 am

@Nannette, we are Emerson fans, as well as huge Jim Rohn fans.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. 😉

Scott Gregory March 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

The quick release method is quiet useful, but I have heard that you can loose moisture in your protiens such as meat and chicken.
Has anyone had this issue or have an opinion?

Olen March 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Personally, though I’m sure this came out great, it seems to be a bit of overkill: I can’t see what the beef broth added to the already full-flavored corned beef. If anything, the garlic and beef broth could result in something that tastes half of stewed beef & half of corned beef. I’m not even sure if that is what I would desire. Also, as the corned beef is salted & cured, the additional salt in the broth is not necessary.

Finally, the packet included with a corned beef is basically pickling spice, which consists generally of coriander, mustard, allspice, dill & black pepper seeds/berries with red pepper flakes, bay leaf, ginger & cinnamon chips & cloves. So, except for possibly changing the proportions, and the addition of garlic, the original packet would have been fine.

I just think the recipe made work the wasn’t necessary. The nice thing about corned beef is the simplicity which results in a tender sumptuous treat: Rinse off the meat, throw it in a pot with the spice packet & cook forever. And, using a pressure cooker gets rid of the “forever”.

When I make corned beef, I just add extra pickling spice and instead of bay leaves.

(I have completely switched to ground bay leaf. I buy it very inexpensively from Butcher & Packer and love it. It is stronger than whole leaf (so use less) and you never need to worry about having to search for & remove the leaves that never get tender no matter how long they are cooked. In fact, they are so tough, that most home spice grinders don’t grind them to a powder…but pre-ground will not be found in 99% of local spice sources.0

Shannon March 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!!! It worked like a charm! My Mother, for the first time, complimented me on my cornbeef. She said it was the best she had ever had.

I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes soon!

jeanbean14 March 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm

My pressure cooker (27 years old, a wedding gift) came with a little book full of instructions and recipes. It makes a difference whether you cool it right away, or “let the pressure drop of its own accord.” It depends on what you just cooked. For vegetables, you normally cool it right away by sticking the pot under cold running water at the sink. It doesn’t matter where the water hits the pot, it just needs to cool enough to drop the pressure. After maybe 10 seconds, the metal pressure valve drops down, and you can stop and take the lid off. Simple. I don’t know if the newer models are different. I LOVE my pressure cooker. It saves so much time, and it gives us fall-off-the-bone chicken, tender meat, and vegetables that are really soft (the way I like them) but still have all their color and flavor (and vitamins) because so little water is used. YUM! The only drawback is the noise, but it’s worth it for the good food and the time savings.

john March 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm

I like new twists to my flavor pallet so the cinnamon stick intrigued me smells great hopefully it will taste even greater.

john March 17, 2016 at 8:08 pm

WOW!!! wasn’t sure about the cinnamon stick but that was a really great dish everyone raved about it. Can’t wait to try another recipe soon.

Harry November 22, 2016 at 9:58 pm

When you cook the vegies I assume you mean you bring the pressure back to 15 psi and cook for 4 minutes?

Frank March 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

I believe, from the picture of the finished dish that you sliced the corned beef with the grain instead of against the grain – which makes the slices very chewy.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: