Subscribe for 33¢ / day
Corned beef

Guiness-braised corned beef and cabbage.

Q: Would a corned beef brisket purchased on March 17 last year and frozen still be any good?-Catherine Trainor, Livonia, Mich.

A: Technically, yes, according to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) it would be safe to eat. It is more a quality issue, than a food safety issue. But long-term freezing may cause changes in color, texture and taste. Some foods can also lose moisture when frozen. To ensure that the corned beef is tender, I would recommend braising it or cooking it in a slow cooker as I did with today's recipe. The slow cooker, which provides wraparound heat cooking and typically plenty of liquid, will help keep the corned beef moist.

To freeze uncooked corned beef, if packed in a brine, it should be well drained. (The salt in the brine can bring on rancidity and changes to the texture.) Also, be sure to wrap the corned beef well in quality freezer plastic wrap, and then put it in a freezer storage bag. Once cooked, the corned beef can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.


When you buy corned beef, you'll likely choose from the flat or point cut. Both are about the same and it's a matter of preference.

Enjoy food? Get dining and recipe ideas sent to your inbox

When you buy corned beef, keep in mind the brisket can shrink by as much as one-third when cooked. So you will need to plan accordingly for the number of servings. For example, I bought a 3-pound package, which is weighed by the entire package. After the brisket is cooked, I had just about 1 { pounds of cooked meat.

Before cooking, rinse the corned beef. And if it has a lot of fat, you can trim some away. Or, some stores sell special cuts of corned beef, with the fat trimmed. Corned beef is also well-known for its high sodium content. Many stores now sell a lower-sodium version

To cook corned beef on the stove, place the corned beef in a large pot. Add enough water to cover it by at least an inch or two.


Load comments