Braised Corned Beef

Chef's notes:

Last year I roasted corn beef in the oven with an apricot glaze. It turned out really well (especially the glazed parts.) But this year I wanted to try something that I thought would produce a more tender piece of meat like braising it in beer and whiskey. I have had a lot of really good results from braising. And as corned beef is made from brisket, which is commonly braised, I thought it would be perfect.

Well, as it turns out, I was right—a result that at this point should come as no surprise to you. The texture of the corned beef was the best I have ever had. The trick is to use a medium-dark beer; not a hoppy one. And braise it for 5 hours at a low heat. Then let it rest for 45 minutes before you cut it up. Then cut it super thin and plop it back in the braising pan.


  • 3-4 pounds corned beef brisket
  • 3 cups beer
  • ¾ cup whiskey
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp pickling spice
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 5 carrots
  • 10 potatoes

Braised Corned Beef Brisket Recipe: Beer and Whiskey with Onion, Dill, Pickling Spice, Garlic, and Caraway

  1. Get the corned beef ready to go in the oven. First preheat the oven to 250ºF. Then mince half an onion finely and add it to the braising pan along with the 5 crushed garlic cloves. Put the corned beef directly into the pan; don’t rinse it. Add the extra pickling spice and caraway seeds. Pour the 3 cups (2 bottles) of beer and the ¾ cup of whiskey over the meat. Finally, put the dill on top, put the lid on, and put the whole pan in the preheated oven. Set the timer for 1 hour.
  2. After an hour, remove the braising pan and flip the corned beef. The reason you flip it is to help it cook more evenly. Since it is only partially submerged, the bottom half is cooking differently than the top half. Set the timer for one more hour and put the corned beef back in the oven. Check to make sure your oven is at the right temperature. Sometimes thermostats can be off by a few degrees.
  3. After another hour has passed, take the corned beef out of the oven. At this point add the vegetables to the pot. If the pot isn’t big enough, use a larger pan. I used a roasting pan. Put the corned beef in first and then the vegetables around the side. Finally, add the juice from the original pan. Cover it tightly and put it back in the oven at 250ºF for 3 more hours.
  4. After 3 additional hours of cooking, remove the corned beef to the cutting board. Cover it with aluminum foil and towels to keep it warm. Check to see if your vegetables are done. If not, turn the oven up to 350ºF and put them in for another 45 minutes or until they are done. After 45 minutes, slice your corned beef super thin. Remove the pan from the oven and put the sliced corn beef back in the liquid for a few minutes. Then serve immediately with mustard or horseradish.

Tips & Tricks

  • Corned beef may dry out if you braise it at a higher temperature. Stick to low (250ºF) and slow (5 hours).
  • Don’t use a bitter beer or your corned beef and vegetables will end up tasting bitter.
  • If you want a glaze on the corned beef, remove it 15 minutes early, turn on the broiler, take off the lid, and apply a glaze of apricot, honey, sugar, etc. Place the pan under the broiler until done.
  • Slice the beef thin when serving it.
  • Make sure when you are shopping for corned beef that you buy the raw, uncooked stuff. Precooked corned beef won’t work for this recipe.