We’re approaching St. Patrick’s Day, and that means it’s time to get grilling on the classic Irish dish: Corned Beef. It’s often overlooked but deserves a place on the grill more than once a year.
Making corned beef at home can be labor intensive—this isn’t a dish you can throw together on a busy weeknight—but the rewards are huge. Not only will you have an impressive and delicious dinner, but you’ll have the fixings for some of the best sandwiches you’ve ever tasted.
How Long to Sous Vide Corned Beef
How long to sous vide corned beef is dependent on how tender you want the meat to be. I’ve had the best luck with going for 48 hours, as this is a pretty tough piece of meat. But you’ll see noticeable results in 36 hours. Less than that and I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze with only marginal improvement in tenderness.
I’ve also got some encouraging news for you: the 48 hour sous vide bath is essentially downtime—not even I would stand over a grill for two days! Just keep an eye on it ever 8-10 hours to ensure there’s enough water in the container.
How Much Does Corned Beef Cost?
Like all beef these days, the price of corned beef is on the rise. What used to be had for under a dollar a pound, is now six to eight dollars per pound. That said, If you’re on a budget, postpone your St. Paddy’s Day feast.
I like to hit the grocery store right after St. Patrick’s Day, when prepackaged corned beef is on sale. Time it right and you can pick up a 3 pound corned beef for $2-$3—throw them in the freezer and you can make this dish all year.
What Kind of Beer is Best For Braising?
Finally, a note on beer. It doesn’t have to be green, but it should be flavorful. I recommend a good stout for the job, it’s my personal favorite. But a nice porter or lager are also great choices as they are robust enough to stand up to the beef. I say, experiment till you find what you like.
Smoked Sous Vide Corned Beef with Beer Braised Cabbage
Serves: 6-8 | Sous Vide Bath: 48 hours | Cook time: 90 mins.
2 lbs corned beef
2 lbs assorted baby potatoes
1 lb petite baby carrots
1 head cabbage, cut into quarters
8 oz dark beer
8 oz beef broth
1/4 stick of unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Step 1: Prepare sous vide water bath to 137°F. Remove the corned beef from packaging, rinse with cold water, and soak for 2-4 hours to remove some of the salt from the meat. Then, seal the corned beef in a vacuum bag.
TIP: Occasionally, I’ll say if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, just use a zipper style plastic bag with as much air as possible removed. I don’t recommend that for this because of the length of time this will be in the water. I have actually had small holes form in those bags, which means the corned beef ends up cooking in the water, and trust me, that’s nasty.
Step 2: Drop meat into the water bath, clip bag to side of vessel, and allow to cook for 48 hours.
Step 3: Prepare the grill for indirect heat, and establish temperature at 325 °F. If you’re using a charcoal grill, add a couple chunks of apple or pecan wood. If you’re using a gas grill, use wood pellets and a small pellet tray. I also like to add some wood chips to the mix when doing this method.
Step 4: In a disposable baking dish, spread out the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Pour the beer and broth over the veggies, adding salt, pepper, and butter.
Step 5: Remove corned beef from sealed bag, and insert a dependable internal temperature probe into thickest portion of meat.
Step 6: Place the meat and the pan of veggies on grill over indirect heat, as far from heat source as possible and close lid. Let them cook and smoke until the internal meat temperature reaches 185°F and potatoes are fork tender—usually about 90 minutes.
Step 7: Remove the meat and veggies from the grill, and cover both with foil. Let meat rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing beef.
Step 8: Place sliced beef on platter with veggies and serve.
Make this Smoked Sous Vide Corned Beef with Beer Braised Cabbage recipe:
- 2 lbs corned beef
- 2 lbs assorted baby potatoes
- 1 lb petite baby carrots
- 1 head cabbage quartered
- 8 oz dark beer
- 8 oz beef broth
- 1/4 stick unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Prepare sous vide water bath to 137°F.
- Remove corned beef from packaging, rinse with cold water, and seal in a vacuum bag.
- Drop meat in water bath, clip bag to side of vessel, and allow to cook for 48 hours.
- Prepare grill for indirect heat establishing a temperature at 325°F.
- In disposable baking dish, spread out potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Pour beer and broth over veggies, adding salt, pepper, and butter.
- Remove corned beef from sealed bag and insert dependable internal temperature probe into thickest portion of meat.
- Place meat and pan of veggies on grill over indirect heat, as far from heat source as possible and close lid. Let cook until internal meat temperature reaches 185°F and potatoes are fork tender, usually about 90 minutes.
- Removed meat and veggies from grill, cover both with foil and let meat rest 10-15 minutes before slicing beef.
- Place sliced beef on platter with veggies and serve.