St. Patrick’s Day arrives, and you make the standard corned beef and cabbage. The next day you look at a mountain of corned beef leftovers and wonder, what the heck do I do with this?
I’m here to say that there is so much more to make than just a leftover corned beef sandwich. Here is everything you need to know about corned beef leftovers.
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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Why Do We Eat Corned Beef And Cabbage On St. Patrick’s Day?
Despite its popularity in the United States, corned beef and cabbage isn’t a dish typically consumed in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. According to Smithsonian Magazine, it is an Irish American tradition.
The way it came about is interesting. Beef has never been plentiful in Ireland; pork is more popular. Cows were considered sacred and used heavily on farms and would only be eaten when they were too old to work. The British aristocracy mostly consumed beef.
The notion of corned beef and cabbage likely came about from the Irish that migrated to America. They wanted to celebrate their homeland and have a feast. In New York, where a large population of the Irish settled, many Irish and Jewish neighborhoods were close to one another. Many of the immigrants went to Jewish butchers to get meat for their St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Jewish butchers were known for their briskets, and so the tradition began.
The cabbage was added to the mix since it was plentiful and cheap at the time. Potatoes were an homage to the once abundant crop from their native land.
How To Cook Corned Beef
Before we move on to leftovers, we need first to make it. Here are some quick lessons on how to cook corned beef.
How To Cook Corned Beef On The Stove
In a heavy pot, combine the corned beef, cabbage cut into quarters, one dark beer, the spice packet, and enough water to cover the meat entirely. Cover and boil for 2.5 – 3.5 hours, until the meat is tender and the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Cooking time varies based on weight but it’s best to plan for about 45-55 minutes per pound.
How To Cook Corned Beef In The Instapot
This holiday feast is perfect for your pressure cooker. For a complete how-to, Instapot has a great recipe. I like the shorter time when the meat becomes “sliceable;” it’s easier to work with for leftovers.
Reduce waste and save money. Check out these simple strategies to repurpose leftovers.
Corned Beef Leftovers Basics
We are huge proponents of reusing leftovers here at The Kitchen Chalkboard. It saves a bunch of time and money. There’s no need to eat the same thing over and over when it’s easy to make different meals. Making other dishes alleviates boredom and makes you more likely to eat leftovers.
How Long Is Cooked Corned Beef Good For?
Like most other leftovers, leftover corned beef is safe to eat for about 3-4 days after cooking. There are always exceptions to this rule. Use your senses to guide you. If something doesn’t look or smell right, throw it out.
If you won’t be able to eat it all by then, it freezes well. Place it in Ziploc bags or vacuum seal. Make sure to write on the bag what it is as well as the date. It’s good for about 2-3 months.
How Do You Reheat Corned Beef Leftovers?
It is safe to reheat corned beef leftovers. Watch the time and method you use since corned beef tends to dry out. It’s best to heat the meat in the microwave since the oven will dry out the meat.
How To Reheat Corned Beef In The Microwave Without It Drying Out
Place the leftovers in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with cling-wrap and cook for about two minutes. Yes, using cling-wrap in the microwave is safe, according to the USDA. Covering helps to create steam and keeps the meat moist.
Ideas and Recipes For Corned Beef Leftovers
Leftover Corned Beef Breakfast Recipes
- Corned Beef Hash – My husband loves hash so much that I make a second corned beef every year just to chop up for this breakfast favorite. I find the boiled potatoes too mushy, so I use frozen cubed potatoes instead. Simply sautee the corned beef and potatoes in a skillet until as crispy as you like. Serve with fried or poached eggs on top.
- Breakfast Pizza – Farm Wife Cooks has a great recipe for Easy Breakfast Pizza. Substitute corned beef for the bacon and use swiss instead of jack cheese.
- Quiche – This decadent option from Food 52 packs a powerful punch of flavors.
- Omelet – Another easy way to use up corned beef leftovers! Simply add to your eggs. Feel free to use up other ingredients that you have at home. Some great options include spinach, onions, and even the leftover cabbage.
- Fire Engine – This Bahamian recipe is a family favorite. It’s typically made with canned corned beef but fresh works really well. It’s salty and full of heat. Serve it over grits with poached or fried eggs for a hearty breakfast that comes together in no time.
- Leftover Corned Beef Sandwich – The Reuben is a common use for corned beef leftovers. To make this lunch, stack leftover corned beef on two pieces of rye bread and top with swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and sauerkraut. It can be served hot like grilled cheese or cold. Either way, it’s super yummy.
- Over Egg Noodles – Do you need a simple dinner? Sautee some onions in butter until soft in a large saute pan. Then add any leftover cabbage and corned beef, chopped small, and heat through. Serve over cooked egg noodles.
- Leftover Corned Beef Casseroles – No leftover list would be complete without a casserole recipe. This recipe from Spend With Pennies takes no time if you use the meat and vegetable leftovers.
- Corned Beef Leftover Soup – A completely different take on a corned beef and cabbage dinner, this soup is on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- Guisado – Hash is not just for dinner! This Filipino version is a comforting supper.
- Puerto Rican Corned Beef Hash – Another take on the classic worth trying. It’s filled with flavor and best served over rice.
- Meat Buns – Take your favorite pizza dough and wrap it around handfuls of corned beef and cabbage and then bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.
- Shepherd’s Pie – Change up the standard meat pie and top cooked corned beef with mashed potatoes for a hearty dinner.
- Leftover Corned Beef Pasta – This recipe is a new take on corned beef and cabbage. You must try Corned beef and brussel sprout pasta. The saltiness from the meat pairs well with the brussel sprout flavor. The whole-wheat pasta works well here but you can certainly use regular if that’s what you prefer.
Leftover Corned Beef Snacks
- Nachos – Don’t just limit your nacho toppings to Mexican fare. Add chopped or shredded corned beef and cheddar cheese for a new twist on this appetizer.
- Quesadilla – Fill a tortilla with cheddar cheese and corned beef for a savory treat
- Hushpuppies – The Kitchn has a great tutorial on how to make this Southern favorite. Throw some corned beef in the batter before frying.
- Egg Rolls – Bust out your air fryer and make these appetizers.
What Do You Think?
Do you make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day? What do you do with the leftovers? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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I was just thinking of St. Patrick’s Day! This is great! I didn’t realize there are so many dishes you can make with corned beef – including those from other worldly cuisines.
Danielle Villarreal says
This is such a great list! I never realized that Corned Beef could be used in so many different ways! Definitely will be getting this on our next shopping day, I love trying new recipes for the family 🙂
What do you mean leftovers?!?! HAHA
Great ideas though if it ever happens in this house!!
If you ever find yourself in Vegas – go to NYNY and the 9 Fine Irishmen – they make an amazing corned beef nacho dish!!!! Thank you for sharing!
I’ll have to try that! Can’t wait to travel again!