Corned Beef And Cabbage Cooking Times: How Much Brisket To Buy, How Long To Cook Your St. Patrick’s Day Feast

Wondering how much corned beef brisket to buy and how it takes to cook a traditional St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinner? Whether you are Irish or just love to celebrate the Feast of Saint Patrick on March 17, here’s the scoop on how to make this easy and delicious holiday meal.

Even if you are a novice cook, corned beef and cabbage is easy to make, and there are a variety of cooking methods you can use to cook brisket — including boiled, pressure cooker, crock pot or in the oven.

How much brisket should you buy? If you’re buying a point cut brisket, Chow Hound recommends that you buy between three-quarters and one pound per person — this cut shrinks quite a bit during the cooking process. If you choose to buy a flat cut brisket, allow about one-half pound per person and add an extra half-pound to the total — that equates to a three pound flat cut brisket for five people.

How long does brisket take to cook? It depends on which cooking method you choose. If you are short on time, your best bet is to use a pressure cooker for the fastest results — about an hour for an average 3- to 4-pound brisket.

Early risers who have time to let their corned beef dinner cook all day should try the delicious crock pot recipe featured on the Today Show this week — this method takes about 6 to 7 hours to cook in a slow cooker.

Boiling a brisket requires about 25 minutes a pound to cook. All Recipes has an easy recipe for an Irish boiled dinner that serves six. Cooking time is about 3.5 hours, but allow for about 30-45 minutes of preparation time.

Another option for cooking your St. Patrick’s Day feast is to bake the brisket in the oven. Depending on the thickness of the cut and the weight of the brisket, this method takes about 3 to 4 hours. Pioneer Woman has a terrific corned beef and cabbage recipe that uses a 3- to 4-pound flat cut brisket and a special ingredient – Guinness Beer.

Every year Irish Americans, and just about anyone who loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, get together to enjoy corned beef and cabbage. However, the Irish didn’t use brisket when they made this dish — instead they used something called “back bacon” boiled with cabbage and potatoes.

According to the History Channel, Irish immigrants who came to the United States in the “mid-to-late 19th century” started using brisket instead of bacon when making the dish.

“Irish immigrants living on New York City’s Lower East Side substituted corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon to save money. They learned about the cheaper alternative from their Jewish neighbors.”

Whether you bake, boil, use a pressure cooker, or cook your brisket in a slow cooker, get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit on March 17 by serving a corned beef and cabbage dinner, playing some Irish music, and wearing a little green.

[Image: Thomas Cain/Getty Images]