Corned Beef with mustard cream sauce is a one-pot meal that features salt-brined brisket and tender vegetables with a zesty, flavorful sauce.
This corned beef meal is also called New England boiled dinner. It is very common, especially in the winter months, in northeastern America. When Irish and British immigrants arrived in America in the 1700 and 1800s, this comforting meal provided them nourishment. We enjoyed this dinner as we celebrated the state of New Hampshire in our exploration of iconic state foods.
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is made from beef brisket. The beef is cured in a brine solution of salt and pickling spices. This brining not only impacts the texture of the beef, but also adds flavor.
This recipe calls for corned beef that has already been cured. But if you have 10 days, and plenty of refrigerator space, you can also purchase a standard beef brisket and brine the corned beef yourself.
When you purchase corned beef it will usually come with a spice packet. If you want to use that spice packet then leave out the peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaves. You can still include the garlic, for additional flavor.
I prefer the simple flavors of this recipe, so I discard the spice packet, but either option is fine.
There are three cut options when purchasing corned beef:
- Point - This is the thicker end of the brisket, which is more marbled and flavorful.
- Flat - The flat is the leaner portion of the brisket. It has a more consistent thickness.
- Whole - The whole brisket includes both the point and the flat. This gives you the best of both worlds but can be quite large.
Whichever cut you choose to purchase, leave the fat on while it cooks so that you have the best flavor. Before serving, trim off the excess fat.
Step One: Simmer the Meat
- While this is called a boiled dinner you don't want to actually boil the meat. That would make the meat tough. Instead, the brisket should be cooked slowly to break down the connective tissue, which will result in tender meat.
- It takes about 3 hours to cook a 2-3 pound brisket. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. and remove the meat when the middle reaches 165°F.
- You can also check doneness with a fork. Insert a fork into the thickest part of the meat and tug. While there should be some resistance, the meat should begin to separate.
Step Two: Prepare Vegetables
Nobody likes mushy vegetables, so how you chop them and when you add them to the water is important.
- Cut the potatoes, carrots, and turnips into 2-to-3-inch chunks. These three vegetables take longer to cook than the cabbage, so they all go in together once the beef is finished cooking.
- Cut the cabbage into wedges. These wedges are added to the water for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Step Three: Make Mustard Sauce
- This creamy mustard sauce is tangy with a zesty spice. It adds depth and interest to an otherwise simple dish. And best of all, it is so quick to whip together!
- All it takes is to mix together sour cream, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- I like to make the sauce once the corned beef goes into the pan to cook. Then it chills out in the refrigerator until serving time, which allows the flavors to marry together.
Step Four: Trim & Slice Beef
- How you slice your meat will be the difference of whether you have nice slices of shreds that fall apart.
- After you trim away the excess fat the grain of the meat will be visible. In the photo below you can see the vertical lines. Cutting against those lines (so in this photo, cutting horizontally) will give you nice slices that are tender to eat.
This corned beef recipe is a one-pot meal so you could just serve it by itself. But it is also wonderful with hearty rye bread or Irish soda bread.
Choose a sweet beverage as a complement to the dish. For wine, Pinot Noir and Riesling are a great pairing, and if you prefer beer, a red ale would be a great choice!
Or if you are enjoying this recipe on St. Patrick's Day, you've got to have a Mint Brandy Ice!
Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to leave out any of the vegetables that you don't love. Parsnips are a great addition to the mix, and some even add green beans! If you add either of these, put them in the pot with the cabbage and cook for 10 minutes.
Leftover corned beef makes great Rueben sandwiches! You can also fry up some potatoes and make a corned beef hash!
Wrapped tightly the corned beef will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Yes, corned beef can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use it, place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Reheat by simmering in water or place in a baking dish with ¼ cup of water or broth, and heat at 275° for 30-45 minutes.
Other Recipes To Try
Take a look at this corned beef web story!
Let me know how you like this recipe by leaving a review! And follow along on Instagram @stateofdinner for behind the scenes and to be among the first to know when new recipes post!
Corned Beef with Creamy Mustard Sauce RecipeRecipe by:
- 2 ½ pounds corned beef
- 15 peppercorns
- 8 whole cloves
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 turnips
- 8 new potatoes or small gold potatoes
- 3 large carrots
- 1 small cabbage
Creamy Mustard Sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Place the corned beef into a large stockpot or dutch oven. Add the peppercorns, cloves, garlic, and bay leaves on top of the beef. (Alternatively, you can use the spice packet that comes with the corned beef, instead of these spices.)
- Fill the pan with water until it is just covering the corned beef. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it is boiling, place a lid on the pan and reduce to medium-low heat. Simmer for 3 hours, or until the meat is 165F degrees and fork-tender.
- Prepare the potatoes, carrots, and turnips by cutting into 2-3 inch chunks. Cut the cabbage into wedges.
- Once the beef is tender, remove it to a large plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil to rest. Add the turnips, potatoes, and carrots to the water in the stock pan. Taste the water and if it tastes too salty, add additional boiling water.
- Simmer the vegetables for 20 minutes, then add the cabbage and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Trim excess fat from the meat, then slice the meat against the grain. Serve with vegetables and creamy mustard sauce.
Creamy Mustard Sauce
- Mix the sour cream, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and seasonings together in a small bowl.
- Taste and add additional mustard, if desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.