Cooking Tips

Unexpected Ways To Use Leftover Corned Beef

Ramen. Tacos. Pizza. Got leftover corned beef? We've got novel ways of using it up.

Published Mar. 18, 2021.

There currently sits a two-pound slab of corned beef in my fridge. In day-after-St. Patrick’s-Day past, this wasn’t much of an issue—the dozen friends who came to our dinner took care of that.

Not this year, for obvious reasons.

This is a very good problem to have, however, because leftover corned beef can be repurposed a hundred different ways. Corned beef hash is my knee-jerk reaction, but surely there are more creative ways to integrate corned beef, right?

Here are a few thought starters to get your juices flowing.

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Breakfast Sandwich

This idea comes from my colleague, Cook’s Country's Morgan Bolling. First, toast an English muffin. Then, pan fry a thick slab of corned beef in a skillet over high heat on one side for two minutes. Once you flip, add a slice of provolone to the corned beef and cover the skillet with a lid. This will melt the cheese while it crisps and browns the other side. After two minutes, place the cheese-topped corned beef on the bottom half of the English muffin. In the same pan, fry an egg sunny-side up. Once cooked, place the egg on top of the corned beef, then top with hot sauce and the top half of the English muffin. Press down and let the yolk ooze down like lava.

Ramen "Chashu"

Depending on which part of Japan you visit, you may find a meaty slab of pork belly or loin in your ramen bowl. Take the same approach with your ramen and soup noodles: Slice a meaty hunk from your corned beef, sear it on both sides over high heat in a skillet for two minutes on each side, then float the corned beef on top of your noodles. Accompany with ajitama egg for best results!

Grilled Cheese

Same idea as the breakfast sandwich above. Use a thick slab of corned beef or pull some apart into shreds and sear it in a pan. Then proceed as usual: Add the corned beef between the bread and unmelted cheese and cook your grilled cheese via your favorite method (we like nonstick skillet, American cheese, melted butter on the outside of the bread).

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Take the chilled corned beef slab and dice into half-inch cubes. Add the cubes to a hot skillet and pan fry until the cubes are crisp and well browned (the fatty pieces work especially well here). Heat corn or flour tortillas, then top with corned beef cubes. Add any and all of your favorite condiments: diced onions, cilantro, hot sauce, salsa, or guacamole. Squeeze lime juice on top and serve immediately.

Candied Corned Beef

You know how bacon can be topped with brown sugar and black pepper and transformed into sweet, salty, fatty strips of goodness? Consider trying this with corned beef, which becomes a magical beef jerky–like snack. Learn how to make it here.

Other Ideas

  • Tater tot nachos, topped with cubes of pan-seared corned beef cubes 
  • Combine corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes for a pierogi filling
  • Shred the corned beef and add to an omelet
  • Treat the corned beef like sausage crumbles and sprinkle it on pizza

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