Use Pickling Spice for the Perfect Irish Corned Beef!

by Old Town Spice Shop on March 15, 2022
Photo of corned beef recipe

For the love of Saint Patrick, let’s make some traditional Irish corned beef! Corned beef is a classic Irish dish that is made by pickling beef in brine (saltwater mixed with spices). This gives the beef a unique flavor and texture that pairs beautifully with cabbage and Guinness. The end result is a flavorful and tender piece of beef that is perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! 

Pro Tip: Use Pickling Spice 

Old Town Spice Shop's Pickling Spice

The pickling spice works by adding a sweet and spicy flavor to the corned beef, giving it that traditional taste with every bite. It also helps to tenderize the meat and give it a nice color. We recommend prepping your beef with the pickling spice brine 24 hours before you intend to cook it. More details on this below.

Which Pickling Spice Works Best for Corned Beef?

There are many different types of pickling spice, but a combination of any of the following spices should work well for corned beef: 

  • Mustard seed 
  • Allspice 
  • Coriander 
  • Bay leaves 
  • Cloves 
  • Cardamom

Or you can purchase this perfectly balanced pickling spice blend at Old Town Spice Shop!

Corned Beef Recipe Using Pickling Spice Brine

This easy step-by-step recipe will have you dancing a jig and toasting a pint of Guinness this holiday! 

Here is a simple guide on how to do it: 


 -1 corned beef brisket (3-5 pounds)

 -1 gallon water

 -1/2 cup pickling spice

 -2 cups brown sugar 

 -1/2 cup white vinegar 

 -1 diced large white onion

 -3-5 peeled and sliced carrots


  1. Pat the brisket dry and rub the pickling spice over the surface of the beef. Once it’s fully covered in the pickling spice, put the beef into a plastic bag and put it into the fridge for 24 hours.  
  2. When you’re ready to cook, place the onions and carrots at the bottom of a large dutch oven. Then place the brined beef on top of the vegetables. 
  3. Pour in enough water to cover the beef. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. 
  5. Cover the pot and let it cook for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is tender. 
  6. Remove the corned beef from the pot and slice it against the grain.
  7. Serve with your favorite St. Patrick's Day side dishes. 

There you have it! Your own corned beef brined with pickling spice that you can enjoy on St. Patrick's Day with your friends and family. Get ahead of the pack and order your pickling spice today! Searching for a different spice? Be sure to check out our website for a variety of popular blends and seasonings, herbs, extracts, and so much more! Stop by our store or order online. We ship nationwide. Happy celebrating!


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