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Slow Cooker Corned Beef

This innovative and tasty recipe breathes new life and flavor into a comfort food favorite.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef Horizontal 2
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Corned beef is a favorite in Australian kitchens and has been my go-to comfort food since I was a boy. My mom, both grandmothers, and sister, all cook tremendous variations of the simple boiled beef staple. Their examples helped me learn to cook corned beef myself, mainly to try and impress girls once I moved out of home.

As my skill level and palate developed, the simplicity of boiled beef and a classic white sauce (which I’ve always felt was a trickier component than given credit for) became a little too predictable, so I began experimenting with flavors in my slow cooker to give my corned beef a fresh edge.

Ingredients Vertical Small
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Through trial and error, I’ve turned the traditional corned beef into a tremendous pull apart slow cooker meal. It’s layered with a sensational, yet common mix of herbs and spices that has helped reinvigorate a classic (and inexpensive) cut of meat. I’ve also managed to impress my mom and mother-in-law with this version, a feat which can’t be underrated!

Add the Herbs vertical 1
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

While you can set and forget this slow cooker corned beef recipe – 9 hours suits a mid week meal – I like to add extra steps during the latter stages of cooking that really makes the meat even more mouthwatering.

Around 1.5 hours prior to serving dinner, you should have a hunk of corned beef that looks like the picture below.

Hunk of Meat 2
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Take the beef out of the slow cooker and pull it apart roughly with two forks. You can leave it in these chunky strips, or cut up into smaller, finer pieces of meat that are versatile for lunches and salads, wraps, or snack sandwiches the next day.

Pulled Apart 2
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Put the corned beef back in the slow cooker, add a few bits of carrot (it absorbs the sauce delightfully), and some cornflour to thicken the sauce a little bit. Keep cooking on the low for another 90 minutes, and it’s perfect corned beef for serving with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Slow Cooker Beef Vertical 2
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Serves 4-6

10m prep time

8h cook time

Rated 4.9 out of 5
Rated by 9 reviewers
  • 1 2.5-3 lb. corned beef
  • 1 cup liquid beef stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 carrots, cut into thick chunks
  • 1-3 teaspoons cornflour, as required
  1. Put all sauce ingredients (except for mixed herbs) into the slow cooker, and stir thoroughly
  2. Drop in the corned beef, cover the meat with half of the herb mix, then spoon the liquid over the beef, thoroughly coating the outside.
  3. Add the rest of the herb mix and salt and pepper. On a low setting, cook for 8-9 hours.
  4. 90 minutes prior to serving, take out the meat and shred the meat with two forks.
  5. Place separated corned beef back into the slow cooker along with two roughly cut carrots, and cornflour to thicken the sauce as desired. Cook on low for another 90 mins.
  6. Serve the slow cooked corned beef and carrot with mashed potatoes and broccoli.
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