Brown Sugar and Bourbon Glazed Corned Beef

Corned Beef cooked in the crockpot is a no-brainer. It's moist, delicious, and quite simply the absolute best way to make corned beef. And if you're going to make corned beef, you might as well glaze it with one of the best flavor combinations in the whole world: brown sugar and bourbon! :-)

Yesterday was Adam's birthday, and he requested corned beef. I've only cooked corned beef in the slow cooker since we've been married, but each time it's slightly different. Last night's dinner was better than perfect. 

The salty brine from the corned beef married beautifully with the glaze I made out of brown sugar, dijon mustard, molasses, and bourbon.

Super way yum.

The Ingredients.
serves 6 to 8

3 to 4 pounds corned beef (rinsed very very well)
and the enclosed seasoning packet
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons dijon mustard (prepared; not powdered)
1/4 cup bourbon (if you'd prefer, you can use apple juice)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. I used my Ninja. Rinse your meat under running cold water to wash away as much of the salty brine as you can -- don't worry, the salt is infused in the meat and it will still taste salty to your tongue.

Use a super sharp knife or poultry shears to trim away the visible fat.

Place the roast into an empty slow cooker. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the enclosed seasoning packet, brown sugar, molasses, dijon mustard, and bourbon.

Pour this glaze evenly over the top of your meat. 

Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, flipping the meat over after about 5 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes (or Irish Potatoes!) and a nice green salad. 

The Verdict.

I can't wait for tonight's leftovers. You're really going to like this corned beef -- even my kid who isn't "really a fan" ate two helpings. 

If you've got a frozen package left over from the spring, thaw it out at least half-way before slow-cooking. 

The meat fibers are pretty tough, and it'll take 14 to 15 hours to cook on low if your meat is frozen.

It was a great birthday dinner, and I made a pretty-awesome-if-I-do-say-so-myself-and-I-do gluten free lemon cake for dessert.

 I'll write up the recipe; I promise. 

In the mean time:
here we are 20 years ago, on Adam's 17th birthday. This is the very first photo taken of us as a couple, and I love it to bits. We haven't aged much, right?! ;-)


This is now MOST DEFINITELY my most favorite corned beef recipe, ever. I'm looking forward to St. Patrick's Day!

Corned Beef cooked in the crockpot is a no-brainer. It's moist, delicious, and quite simply the absolute best way to make corned beef. And if you're going to make corned beef, you might as well glaze it with one of the best flavor combinations in the whole world: brown sugar and bourbon! :-)

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at July 23, 2016

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What they say about this article

  1. Happy birthday to Adam! What a great picture of the two of you!

  2. Omigosh, that picture is the cutest thing! Happy birthday to Adam, and happy celebrating to you all!

  3. OMG this sounds delectable, and you two are adorable ;-)

  4. Could this possibly bemdonemwith a non-corned brisket?

  5. Hi 4squarebear, yes. I'd add 1 teaspoon each of: kosher salt, ground black pepper, ginger, and whole cloves. It won't be exactly like a corned beef, but will be quite tasty. :-)
    if you'd like to turn a beef brisket into homemade corned beef, Elise has a recipe:

  6. Hello dear! I will need to try this one for sure! Sounds delicious!

  7. I've actually never had corned beef, but this might inspire me to try it...

  8. Stephanie! Used this recipe with pork tenderloin. It was a home run! Truly unique and tasty BBQ. Thank you.

  9. oh neat, Silver Surfer! what a great idea! thanks for letting me know.

  10. I made this last night. Everyone loved it! I used apple juice because I'm too cheap to buy bourbon, and it was really great. I think next time I will soak the corned beef overnight though, because it was still quite salty. I will for sure be making this again though. Thanks!!

  11. This sounds perfect! I'm always on the look-out for a praline/bourbon recipe. I'm s bit confused; do we add the seasoning packet to the corned beef or leave it out? Can't wait to try this, as I love corned beef - any time!

  12. I made this tonight. I followed the direction exactly as stated in the recipe and it came out wonderful. This is the third recipe I made from this site so I am a big fan now! Thank you for making life easy and delicious :)

  13. We love corned beef but it is too salty for my body and I end up getting puffy all over. Is there a way I can still use this recipe if I boil it for a while, let it cool then use this recipe? if so, how should I boil it?

  14. Hi Diana,

    What an interesting idea! I think that would work well. I'd suggest placing the cold meat into a pot of cold water and bringing it to a boil. Once it hits boiling, drain the water and rinse again then place into the crockpot and cook as directed.
    You aren't trying to cook the meat in the boiling water, just allow as much salt as possible to escape.

  15. how do you print these recipes?

  16. Hi Bobby J, right above the comment section there is a tiny grey printer button. A new window will pop open and you can remove the images and any extraneous text.
    I hope this helps!

  17. I have to say that I was sincerely skeptical about this recipe. I'm no corned beef guru, but I've made my fair share over the years. Always I covered the beef brisket in liquid! I bought a beef brisket yesterday afternoon, so started perusing recipes this morning. Of course I stopped over to A Year of Slow Cooking first to see what the Julia Child of crock pot cooking had to say about this. What? I'm not supposed to cover the brisket in liquid? I don't cook the veggies with the brisket. This flew in the face of everything I'd ever done in the past. To be honest, I looked elsewhere for other recipes, but I was so intrigued by this new method, I came back home. There's no place like home! Oh goodness gracious me! I did not change one thing except for adding some carrot chips the last two hours of cooking. That was not long enough. I should have added them earlier. The lovely sauce flavored the carrots to something that tasted like candied carrots! I also added the pickling spice that came with the brisket. I think it added a nice depth of flavor. I didn't have any bourbon, so substituted cognac. My husband loved this! I wouldn't exactly call him a picky eater, but he can be stingy with his compliments. It has to be outstanding for him to say how much he enjoyed it. I was afraid it was going to be too sweet based on the flavor the sauce. The salt in the brisket offset the sweet sauce and melded together wonderfully. I made my potatoes and cabbage in another crock pot. I love owning multiple crock pots!!!! Thanks for sharing this with us, Julia... errrr.... Stephanie. ~wink~

  18. Adorable photo of you both! Makes a person smile just looking at it! Happy Birthday!
    Haven't made this recipe as yet, but it is the one I'm planning on using this year. Thanks for your great recipes, tips and advice! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Happy Spring!