Chili Pepper Madness

March 16, 2013

Corned Beef Tacos for St. Patrick’s Day

Corned Beef Tacos for St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef Tacos for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is not only one of the most enjoyable holidays, but also one of the most inclusive ones. Everyone is a bit Irish on St. Patty’s Day, aren’t they? Every year we get together with friends, sip Irish drinks or green beer, and revel into the night. Another tradition is Irish cuisine.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, one of our favorite holidays, I decided to serve corned beef. Growing up, it wasn’t a true St. Patty’s Day without corned beef on the menu. Essentially a preserved, pickled meat, this beef brisket was slow cooked in my mother’s crock pot with potatoes and cabbage for many a holiday.

For those looking to switch things up with me this year, I offer you a fun and spicy variation served taco style on corn tortillas. The beef itself is seasoned with chili powder and Mexican oregano, although a packaged taco seasoning would do fine in a pinch. I incorporated cabbage by shredding it into a slaw with jalapeno peppers, then topped the tacos with a roasted jalapeno sour cream and carmelized onions.

We were in a rush this year due to poor planning. Why did I not plan ahead and slow cook my corned beef the way Mom used to? Lucky for me, I am the proud owner of a pressure cooker, which did the trick just right. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or prefer not to cook with one, prepare your brisket your normal way, and the recipe still applies.

Also, it’s hard to find anything smaller than a 2-3 pound brisket. This recipe won’t use up the whole brisket, so prepare for leftovers. I offer a recipe for your corned beef leftovers as well below.

Corned Beef Tacos for St. Patrick’s Day

Corned Beef Tacos with Jalapeno-Cabbage Slaw, Roasted Jalapeno Sour Cream and Carmelized Onions


  • 1 2.5-3 pound corned beef brisket
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder or taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice open the corned beef package and discard the seasoning packet that comes with it. It’s a joke!
  2. To a pressure cooker, add the brisket (you may need to cut it in half) along with all of the seasonings.
  3. Cover the brisket with water and pressure cook for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from heat and release the steam.
  5. Shred and serve on corn tortillas topped with Jalapeno-Cabbage Slaw and Roasted Jalapeno Sour Cream (below)

Jalapeno Cabbage Slaw


  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, shredded
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Roasted jalapeno Sour Cream


  • 1 roasted jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic or pan roasted
  • Juice from half a lime

Cooking Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Carmelized Onions


  • One large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add onions with olive oil.
  2. Cook about 10 minutes, until onions are very wilted and are browning nicely.
  3. Add sugar and water and continue to cook until water greatly reduces and onions begin to carmelize. The sugar helps the process along. The onions will be done in about 20 minutes, when they are very dark.
  4. Set aside until ready to use.
  5. You’ll also need warmed corn tortillas for serving. NOTE: This recipe serves 2 hungry people and leaves plenty of leftover brisket for the next day. Enjoy!

Corned Beef Tacos for St. Patrick’s Day

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Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

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