Hot corned beef lightly coated in a creamy sauce, accompanied by fresh, crunchy veggies – sounds great, doesn't it? The secret to this warming classic lies in slow-cooking to achieve a velvety soft texture that literally melts off the fork.

What you need to know

Butcher's Tip 

Best cuts for slow-cooking corned beef 

  • Corned brisket
  • Corned silverside
  • Corned girello /eye of silverside 


Five easy steps to divine corned beef

Step 1 Rinse beef in cold water to remove surface brine. Place into a heavy-based pot and cover with cold water.

Step 2 Bring pot to boil, remove grey foam that rises to the surface, then reduce heat to a low simmer. 

Step 3 Add aromatics such as a bay leaf, brown sugar, onion and cloves. Then add chunks of carrot, celery and onion to flavour the beef delicately.

Step 4 Adjust heat and maintain a simmer so small bubbles occasionally rise to the surface throughout the cooking time. Allow 25–30 minutes for each 500 g of beef. 

Step 5 A fork should easily penetrate the centre of the meat when ready. Once cooked, remove pot from heat and leave beef to rest in the cooling liquid.


Chef's Tip

  • Most supermarkets sell corned beef with brining liquid in vacuum-sealed bags. Rinsing your cut before cooking avoids an overly salty taste.
  • You can also draw out excess salt by soaking corned beef in a bowl of cold water overnight.
  • Keep the cooking temperature at simmering point. Boiling makes it dry and stringy, and you don't want that!
  • To serve corned beef cold, cook as per easy steps above. Once steam from the liquid evaporates, place beef on a plate, cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately. Don't cool it completely on the kitchen bench.


How to carve corned beef

  • Place beef fat side up on the carving board, with the tip to the right of the carver.
  • Begin at the tip, slicing across the grain. 
  • As the grain changes, turn beef so that you're always cutting across the grain for maximum tenderness.


Need more help? 

How to carve beef 

Find corned beef recipes