Cowboy Corned Beef

Today Folks we’re taking a brisket and creating an old Irish classic, Cowboy Style.

Now if you want this in time for St Patty’s day you will need to start now folks, thats right because we have a 5 day brining period. So what we will be using today is the flat of the brisket, the leanest part, and we are going to brine it for flavor as well as tenderness.  Now this has no preservatives, if you want that deep pink color seen traditionally in corned beef you will need some Pink curing salt. But in this recipe, we’ve always used pickling and canning salt.

Pickling Spices

Traditionally they used a lot of peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, and all spice. Now you know the cowboy has to put his own spin on it so I will be using an Ancho Chile, a dried Guajillo Chile, along with the traditional spices. This will come out having a unique spiced flavor.

The trick here is to toast the spices!

We are going to put all this into a cast iron skillet and toast it to bring out those wonderful flavors of the spices. After toasting you want to either take a cutting board and a rolling pin and mash it up or grind it up somehow, however you feel best. Make sure you get those cinnamon sticks crushed up well.

Brining Solution

So for the base of this brining we’re going way back to the method of using Guiness beer in the mix.  But, you better get yourself a couple bottles … one bottle for the solution and one bottle for the cook! We are going to add to this brown sugar, coriander power, allspice, pickling salt, ginger, one gallon of water and the toasted spices.

Be sure to reserve 1/3 cup of the toasted spices to save for later.

Brine Time

Once you have all of this mixed well, go ahead and add that brisket into the brine, cover it well with aluminum foil and slide it into the ice box for 5 days. Now, everyday I want you to take it out, uncover it, take you some tongs, pull that brisket out, and give the solution a good stirring.  Turn the brisket over and slide back into the icebox, until the next day. Be sure you turn and stir once a day for those 5 days.

After the 5 days, give the brisket a good rinsing with water to remove excess salt. 

Boil the Brisket

Get you a good stock pot that will hold that 5 – 6 lb. brisket, add enough water to cover the meat and add that reserved 1/3 of a cup of toasted spices and some salt. Put this on a medium heat and let it come to a simmer to let all that blend together before we add our brisket. Once you add the brisket, let it cook for about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and put the rack pretty close to the bottom cause we have to get a pretty good size pot in there. I’ll be using a 14 inch cast iron Dutch oven. Place your boiled brisket into the Dutch oven or large casserole dish, add a box of unsalted beed broth, red potatoes and a head of cabbage cut into large chunks.

Into the Oven She Goes

Put it in that oven and you’re going to want to cook it about 2 hours.

You’ll know when it’s done when the meat is fork tender and pulls apart easily.

If y’all want to do this cowboy style and cook it in a Dutch oven over wood coals, be sure to check out the video below.


St Patty’s Day Approved

Remember to cut this against the grain when serving for maximum tenderness. I think y’all will be surprised with the spiced flavor and beefy goodness. Of course those veggies cooking up in that good broth ain’t too shabby either!  Happy St Patricks Day to you and thank ya’ll for stopping by the Barn.



Cowboy Corned Beef

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 days 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 to 8


  • 1 dried ancho chili optional
  • 1 dried guajillo chili optional
  • 2 cinnamon sticks crumbled
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 14.9 oz can dark beer such as Guinness
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pickling/curing salt
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 5-6 lb. brisket flat
  • 1 32 oz carton unsalted beef broth
  • 1 head green cabbage cut into large chunks
  • 1 ⅕ lbs. small red potatoes


  • In a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the chilis, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard seed and cloves. Toast just until they become fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove the spices and crush finely with a rolling pin.
  • For the brine: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the the beer, brown sugar, pickling salt, kosher salt, coriander powder, allspice, ginger and water.
  • Whisk in the toasted spices, all but ⅓ cup which will be reserved for later.
  • Pour half the brine mixture into a large casserole dish. Add the brisket and pour the remaining brine mixture over top. Cover and place in the icebox for 5 days. Flip the meat over once a day and stir the brine solution.
  • Remove the brisket from the icebox and rinse with water.
  • Fill a large stock pot half full with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the table salt and the reserved toasted spices. Add the brisket to the pot. Be sure that there is enough water to cover the brisket by about 3 inches.
  • Cover and simmer over medium heat for 2 hours. Remove and place in a large Dutch oven or casserole dish. Add the beef broth, cabbage and potatoes. Cover and bake at 375 degrees F. for about 2 hours, or until fork tender.
  • Remove the brisket and let cool slightly. Cut against the grain. Serve hot with cabbage and potatoes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!