Skip to Content

Can you use the liquid from cooking corned beef?

Quick Answer

Yes, the liquid left over from cooking corned beef is called corned beef broth and it can be used to make a delicious sauce or gravy for serving with the corned beef. The broth contains a lot of flavor from the seasonings used to cure the corned beef. It’s full of spices, herbs, and beefy flavors that make it perfect for adding extra taste to your meal.

What is Corned Beef Broth?

Corned beef broth is the seasoned liquid that comes from cooking corned beef brisket or corned beef in a slow cooker or pot of water. To make corned beef, beef briskets are cured in a brine solution usually made with salt, spices like coriander, mustard seed, red pepper flakes, garlic, and bay leaves. The briskets soak in this seasoned brining liquid for 4-10 days which allows the meat to absorb the flavors.

When you go to cook the corned beef, you place it in fresh water or other cooking liquid which then becomes imbued with the spices and seasonings from the meat during the cooking process. This flavored cooking liquid is the corned beef broth. It tends to have a rich mahogany color from the spices.

Typical Ingredients in Corned Beef Broth

– Beef extractives from the corned beef
– Spices like black peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds
– Dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, bay leaves
– Salt
– Onion, garlic, celery (if added to pot)
– Red pepper flakes

The exact ingredients will vary based on the seasoning blend used to cure the corned beef before cooking. But the broth will pick up hints of the traditional corned beef spices.

Benefits of Corned Beef Broth

Corned beef broth has a number of great uses:

Adds Flavor

The broth contains all the seasoned goodness of the corned beef spices dissolved into the cooking liquid. This makes it perfect for adding more flavor to the rest of the meal.

Gravy and Sauce Base

A simple way to convert the broth into a gravy or sauce is by making a roux. Adding some butter and flour to the broth and whisking creates a flavorful gravy perfect for serving over the corned beef.

Moistens Leftovers

If you have leftover cooked corned beef, you can add some of the broth when reheating it which helps keep the meat tender and moist.

Nutrient Rich

The broth contains B vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 from the beef as well as minerals like iron, selenium, and zinc. Pouring it over vegetables adds extra nutrients.

Adds Moisture to Dishes

You can use the corned beef broth instead of water when cooking potatoes, rice, or vegetables to add extra moisture and flavor.

How to Use Corned Beef Broth

There are many delicious ways to use up that corn beef broth:

Make Gravy

One of the easiest and tastiest ways to use the broth is to turn it into gravy or sauce. Start by straining the broth through a fine mesh sieve to remove any spices or bits of beef debris. Then make a simple roux by melting 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in an equal amount of flour to make a paste and cook while whisking for 2 minutes. Finally, gradually whisk in the broth until smooth and thickened to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Add to Vegetables

For more flavor, use the broth instead of water when cooking potatoes, carrots, cabbage, kale or any other vegetables to accompany the corned beef. You can also pour it over steamed vegetables just before serving. The broth adds moisture and infuses them with extra taste.

Cook Rice or Grains

Cooking rice, barley, farro or other grains in the corned beef broth provides a flavor boost to your side dishes. Use broth instead of water at the same ratio when cooking the grains.

Braise and Stew

For braised dishes or corned beef stews, use the broth as your braising liquid. It will impart incredible flavor to the dish.

Soup Base

You can use the corned beef broth as the broth base for soups like cabbage soup, bean soup, or vegetable soup.

Marinate and Baste Meat

Marinate pork chops, chicken, or pot roasts in the broth to infuse the meat with flavor before cooking. You can also baste roasts or briskets with the broth while cooking for extra moisture.

Sample Recipes Using Corned Beef Broth

Here are just a few delicious ways you can put that corned beef broth to work:

Corned Beef Brisket with Red Wine Sauce

– 2 cups corned beef broth, strained
– 1/4 cup red wine
– 1 shallot, minced
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 tbsp tomato paste
– 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 2 tbsp butter
– 2 tbsp flour
– Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk in strained corned beef broth and red wine. Stir in shallot, garlic, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Slice brisket and serve with red wine sauce, garnished with chopped parsley.

Corned Beef Hash

– 2 cups chopped cooked corned beef
– 2 medium potatoes, diced
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 1/4 cup corned beef broth
– 2 tbsp butter
– Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  2. Add potatoes and onion. Cook until starting to brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add corned beef and broth. Cook until fully heated through.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Irish Stew

– 2 lbs lamb stew meat
– 3 carrots, chopped
– 3 celery stalks, chopped
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 cups corned beef broth
– 1 tbsp tomato paste
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 tsp thyme
– Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Brown in batches in skillet over high heat.
  2. Transfer browned lamb to slow cooker and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Remove bay leaves and adjust seasoning before serving.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

– 1 head green cabbage, cut into wedges
– 4 carrots, chopped
– 4 potatoes, chopped
– 2 onions, quartered
– 4 cups corned beef broth
– 2 lb cooked corned beef, sliced


  1. Place vegetables in large pot and add broth.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add corned beef and heat through.
  4. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables and corned beef to platter.
  5. Bring broth to a boil, then lower heat and simmer to reduce slightly.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over corned beef and vegetables to serve.

Storing and Freezing Corned Beef Broth

Like any broth, corned beef broth has a relatively short shelf life. Here are some tips for storing it:


Place cooled broth in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 3-4 days.


For longer term storage, corned beef broth can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let cool completely then transfer to freezer bags or containers, leaving 1 inch headspace. Freeze flat for maximum space.


Broths can be pressure canned using a pressure canner. This allows for storage at room temperature for up to a year. Follow proper canning procedures carefully.


Another very long term option is drying or dehydrating the broth into bouillon cubes. The concentrated broth cubes can then be stored in an airtight container for months. Rehydrate in water as needed.

Tips for Using Corned Beef Broth

To get the most out of that homemade corned beef broth, keep these tips in mind:

– Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve to remove any solids or debris. This makes for a clearer, cleaner tasting broth.

– Skim excess fat from the top of the broth using a spoon before using. The fat can make gravies and sauces too oily.

– Add some onion, garlic, celery and carrots to the broth as it cooks for extra flavor. Strain out before using.

– Whisk in a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to brighten up the flavor of the broth.

– Mix the broth with some tomato paste or tomato sauce for more depth of flavor for gravies or braising liquid.

– If the broth tastes weakly flavored, reduce it by simmering gently until it reaches a more concentrated flavor.

– For a smooth gravy, be sure to strain out all spices and whisk in flour slowly to prevent lumps.


Rather than pouring that corned beef broth down the drain, use it to make your meal even more delicious. With its beefy, spice-infused flavor, the broth can add a flavor punch to vegetables, gravies, rice, stews, and more. Follow proper storage methods, and you’ll be able to enjoy this simple yet tasty cooking liquid for several days after making your corned beef. With a little creativity, you’ll find this broth can transform bland leftovers into crave-worthy dishes.