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"Can't Hardly Wait" Jamaican Corned Beef and Cabbage

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This corned beef and cabbage recipe combines traditional Jamaican style with smoked corned beef brisket for a tasty twist. 

Though different from the classic Irish version, this is a great option for St. Paddy's day or any other day.

Jamaican corned beef and cabbage is bold and spicy from a flavor standpoint as it’s flavored by scotch bonnet chilis and hot sauce. Jamaican style also uses canned corned beef. I have access to smoked corned beef brisket and substituted it in place of the canned stuff.

cabbage with corned beef brisket and peppers on a white plate.

Mood Music

Back in the day near the end of each month when funds were low we ate a lot of canned meat, mostly spam and Vienna sausages. Spam with eggs, rice, or cabbage could be stretched pretty far.

I ate so much of it that I swore it off and couldn't wait to graduate to adulthood with loot so I could eat the real deal. I mean no disrespect for those who love the stuff and still eat canned meats on the regular, but I'm good.

Ingredients Needed To Make Jamaican Corned Beef and Cabbage

  • Olive oil
  • Scotch bonnet pepper - habanero can be substituted.
  • Yellow onion
  • Bell pepper - any color is fine. I like to use tri-colors to add to the visuals
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dried thyme - fresh thyme works even better
  • Allspice
  • Smoked Sweet paprika
  • Sea or Kosher Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Small cabbage
  • Green onions
  • Canned fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Ketchup
  • Hot sauce habanero based are good pairings with the flavors in this recipe
  • Corned beef brisket

How To Make Corned Beef and Cabbage

Heat large skillet or dutch oven pot to medium heat and then add oil.

Mix all the dry spices together in a small bowl or ramekin to season as you go. Set aside.

Take whole scotch bonnet chili and using point end of a paring knife poke slits into each side of the chili. Add the chili to the pan along with the sliced onions and bell pepper. Saute 3-4 minutes adding a ¼ of the seasoning mix.

Add garlic for a minute stirring a few times.

Add the shredded cabbage plus another ¼ of the seasoning and sauté 4-5 minutes stirring frequently.

Add the diced green onions and mix well.

Add ketchup, tomatoes, hot sauce and remainder of the seasoning. Mix well.

Mix in the corned beef brisket, cover and cook 3-4 minutes.

cabbage with corned beef brisket and peppers on a white plate.

Cooking Considerations and Tips

A small head of cabbage is more than sufficient for this recipe.

I used canned tomatoes cause it’s all I had on hand, however most traditional recipes call for whole Roma tomatoes.

My local BBQ spot makes a killer smoked corned beef brisket. I used leftovers which elevates this dish. You can also use leftover traditional Texas smoked brisket which is likely more readily available.

If you plan to use canned corned beef then feel free to reduce amount of salt included in the seasoning mix. The canned meat tends to be rather salty so keep in mind.

You can adjust the heat level up or down. For more heat chop the chilis up into the dish vs using the whole chili. Using the whole chili infuses the oil with the fruitiness of the chili without add too much heat. 

I prefer a Caribbean style hot sauce if you include it. The vinegar/acidic element is great for not only adding flavor, but also breaking up the fattiness from the beef.

Texture of the cabbage will be determined by the length of your cooking time. The longer you cook the cabbage the more it wilts. I prefer a little crunch with my cooked cabbage.

cabbage with corned beef brisket and peppers on a white plate.

More Cabbage Recipes

Smoked Cabbage Wedges

Cabbage Stew w/ Smoked Brisket

Jamaican Steamed Cabbage

Instant Pot Cabbage w/ Andouille

Southern Fried Cabbage

Fried Cabbage Masala

Cabbage and Ground Beef Stir Fy

Smoky Southern Braised Cabbage

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cabbage with corned beef brisket and peppers on a white plate.

Jamaican Corned Beef and Cabbage

A twist on classic Jamaican corned beef and cabbage. Smoked corned beef brisket is substituted for a comforting and filling one-pot meal.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper habanero can be substituted
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 medium Bell pepper diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon Dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 small Cabbage head shredded
  • 2 whole Green onions chopped
  • 13.5 oz Can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Hot sauce
  • 1 lb Smoked Corned beef brisket canned can be substituted

Instructions

  • Heat large skillet or dutch oven pot to medium heat and then add oil.
  • Mix all the dry spices together in a small bowl or ramekin to season as you go. Set aside.
  • Take whole scotch bonnet chili and using point end of a paring knife poke slits into each side of the chili. Add the chili to the pan along with the sliced onions and bell pepper. Saute 3-4 minutes adding a ¼ of the seasoning mix.
  • Add garlic for a minute stirring a few times.
  • Add the shredded cabbage plus another ¼ of the seasoning and sauté 4-5 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Add the diced green onions and mix well.
  • Add ketchup, tomatoes, hot sauce and remainder of the seasoning. Mix well.
  • Mix in the corned beef brisket, cover and cook 3-4 minutes.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

A small head of cabbage is more than sufficient for this recipe.
I used canned tomatoes cause it’s all I had on hand, however most traditional recipes call for whole Roma tomatoes.
My local BBQ spot makes a killer smoked corned beef brisket. I used leftovers which elevates this dish. You can also use leftover traditional Texas smoked brisket which is likely more readily available.
If you plan to use canned corned beef then feel free to reduce amount of salt included in the seasoning mix. The canned meat tends to be rather salty so keep in mind.
You can adjust the heat level up or down. For more heat chop the chilis up into the dish vs using the whole chili. Using the whole chili infuses the oil with the fruitiness of the chili without add too much heat. 
I prefer a Caribbean style hot sauce if you include it. The vinegar/acidic element is great for not only adding flavor, but also breaking up the fattiness from the beef.
Texture of the cabbage will be determined by the length of your cooking time. The longer you cook the cabbage the more it wilts. I prefer a little crunch with my cooked cabbage.

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1132mg | Potassium: 403mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 911IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




Tash

Monday 21st of February 2022

So happy i found your recipe. I searched for a jamaican corn beef recipe that didnt use the canned version and im so happy i did. So much flavor and so much color all in one pot. Thank you.

Marwin Brown

Monday 21st of February 2022

Glad you found the site. Thanks for your kind words!