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Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Follow our easy, step-by-step, instructions to learn how to make our Corned Beef and Cabbage using canned corned beef.

We’re using canned corned beef to make this quick and easy meal. You’ll have supper on the table in no time.

You might be wondering what an old Southern boy is doing posting a recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage on a website devoted to Southern foods and Southern cooking. I have your answer.

It’s just good eating. Smile.

Here in the South, we have our traditional New Years Day menu. That includes Collards, Black Eye Peas, Hog Jowl or some type of pork, and of course, some corn bread. It’s just good eating.

I know St. Patricks Day is a few months away, but I had to respond to a request for this recipe when I saw it, because it had been a long time since I’d had this myself.

John D. is a subscriber to our Newsletter and asked if I could “help an old timer out” by posting a recipe for canned corn beef and cabbage and the photos to show how to make it.

John said he was a widower, over 70, and he loved cabbage cooked in a skillet. He said he enjoyed Taste of Southern and was looking for an easy recipe he could fix for himself.

Cooking for just one can sometimes be difficult. I know this all too well myself.

Now, you could spend four or five hours waiting on a piece of beef to cook in a crock pot, or you can have this super easy meal on the table in under 30 minutes. Your choice. Smile.

John was looking for a version that used the canned corn beef and I was more than happy to try to help him out. Thank you for the suggestion John.

I’d forgotten how good this combination of ingredients could be. While I’m not much of a fan of “greens” I do enjoy cabbage, but prefer it when used as cole slaw to go along with some pulled pork.

Don’t let the canned corn beef throw you off. I know it has a unique smell when you open the can, and if you have a dog or cat, they will probably come running. Smile. But, once it’s heated up with the cooked cabbage, you’ll also be thanking John for the reminder.

Even though the house still has the aroma of cooked cabbage on the day after, I’m looking forward to enjoying the leftovers for supper in just an hour or two. It’s just good eating.

So, if you’re ready to give it a try, then let’s head on out to the kitchen, and Let’s Get Cooking!

Canned Corned Beef with Cabbage Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.

I like to remove the outer layer of leaves from the cabbage, you know, the one’s that get handled so much in the grocery store. Then, I rinse the head of cabbage under some cool running water.

Next, cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the hard center core.

Discard the hard core, then cut the remaining sections into bite sized pieces.

Place your skillet over Medium heat on the stove top and let it warm up. Once it’s warm, add two tablespoons of bacon fat to the pan and let it begin to melt.

You could use butter if you don’t have the bacon grease, or you could use a combination of the two. Whatever works best for you. Smile.

If you’re not saving your bacon fat, fry up three or four slices of bacon first, then cook the cabbage in the grease from that. Save the fried bacon and crumble it on top of the finished dish. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Add the cut up pieces of cabbage to the skillet. This is almost the entire head. Once it cooked down a bit, I added the remaining two cups or so that wouldn’t fit in to begin with.

Add the salt. I’m going easy with the salt because the corned beef will have a good amount of salt in it. You can always add more later if you think it needs it.

Next, add the black pepper.

And you know me, we have to add a little bit of sugar… just because Mama always did.

Finally, add about 1/4 cup of water.

The cabbage will produce water on it’s own once it starts to cook down, so you don’t want to add but just a small amount to help get it cooking to start with.

Stir everything together to help distribute the seasonings.

Cover the skillet and let the cabbage simmer for about five minutes.

Once you get the can of corned beef open, just take a tablespoon and spoon it into the cabbage.

I hadn’t seen a twist key on a can in a long time. I wish I had taken a photo to show it to you because you might be using some other brand. These old twist keys use to be seen on a lot of cans, like sardines etc., and were sometimes difficult to use.

Once I had the can opened, I just spooned it out and into the cabbage and left it in large pieces. Of course, if you prefer, you could crumble it up first then add it to the pan.

Cover the skillet once again and let it simmer for about 8 to 10 more minutes.

The canned corned beef is already fully cooked. We’re just heating it up here, but mostly you’ll want to cook it until the cabbage reaches the desired tenderness that you like. Some folks like cabbage still a little bit crispy, while the rest of us like to cook it down to a more tender state. Smile.


It’s all done when you get the cabbage cooked the way you like it. I served this with a side of some red skinned potatoes that I had also quartered and boiled in some salted water then topped with butter once I placed it on the plate. Only thing missing was a few hoe cakes and sweet tea.

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