Crock Pot Corned Beef for Sandwiches

Crock Pot Corned Beef for Sandwiches uses the slow cooker to take the hassle out of preparing the classic sandwich meat.

Corned beef for sandwiches as Reuben

Corned Beef for Sandwiches

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

There are several times of year when I make corned beef a lot. One is in the Autumn when I make a big pot of sauerkraut when the weather turns crisp. I find myself wanting Reubens as part of that cooking. Another is around New Year’s Day when I cook more sauerkraut for the lucky foods thing. One of our favs for the kraut is, again, Reubens. Then again around St. Patrick’s Day (Reubens again!) not so much for the Irish nature of it but because of the corned beef and great prices.

You might find more than one kind of corned beef in your market. All of it is made from roast beef, which is “corned” from “corns” of rock salt, which was an early preservation method popular before home freezers were more widespread.

The usual type of corned beef you might see is corned beef brisket which is made from the same type of beef used for brisket that is smoked for barbecue. It’s also the type of roast brisket popular during Jewish holidays. The other type, the corned beef round, comes from a beef round roast. You might be more familiar with this if you perhaps make a lot of roast beef for your family Sunday dinners.

There are several ways to prepare corned beef: stove top, in the roasting pan or in the crock pot. The best way is to make it at low temperature whichever method  you use, to keep the corned beef from drying out.

As to slicing the corned beef up for sandwiches, it is best to let it refrigerate overnight to solidify any fats in the meat which help you slice it more easily without so much breakage. Using the round is better than the brisket for this simply because it has a fuller shape. But if you don’t mind thinner slices, brisket is alright.

If you have a lot of corned beef sliced up, this can be frozen in freezer bags for several weeks without loss of quality, so it is perfect to save extras for making lunches.

And while my favorite way is to serve this on grilled bread as a Reuben with kraut, or as a Rachel with coleslaw instead of kraut, it is also very good on hard rolls or artisan bread with cheese, grainy mustard and “fixins” such as lettuce, tomato and shaved onion.

I did slice the beef in the photo by hand since I don’t have anyplace to store a meat slicer. You can see how nice and thin it slices without crumbling. The thinner pieces are from the very end where I turned the meat on it’s side to slice the last of it (just to be careful not to cut myself.)

Speaking of cutting yourself, always carve the meat away from your body and use a meat fork to steady the roast, and have the meat on a cutting board that will not suddenly slip or slide. Placing a wet towel underneath the board is quite helpful there. And if using the slicer, please be cautious with the blades, especially when removing and replacing them when cleaning. Some of them are quite heavy and always razor sharp. They can easily cut to the bone if you are not careful.

Always respect the slicer. Always.

Anyway, the weather seems to be warming up nicely this week and one can almost feel Spring in the air. Soon green will be everywhere and St. Patrick’s Day as well, with the wearin’ of the green, the eating of the Irish foods, and feeling lucky any of us, especially my friends in Boston, have made it through this winter.


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Corned beef for sandwiches
Corned Beef for Sandwiches

Corned Beef for Sandwiches

5 from 1 vote
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Course Sandwiches
Servings 12


  • 1 Crock Pot (or other slow cooker)


  • 4 pounds corned beef round roast
  • 1 12 fluid ounce bottle Guinness Stout ale
  • 2 large onions (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pickling spice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • black pepper


  • Place beef in crock.
  • Surround with onions.
  • Pour Guiness over all.
  • Season beef with black pepper.
  • Top with a mixture of horseradish, garlic, and Dijon.
  • Sprinkle pickling spices and mustard seed over everything.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • Refrigerate beef overnight and slice thinly while cold.
  • Serve corned beef on sandwiches or reserve for another use.


From the kitchen of
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Corned Beef Sandwich

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7 responses

    • It has a bit of liquid from the Guinness ale which provides a bit of the flavor so I am not sure sous vide would be a good method for the recipe as is. I am sure there are many sous vide recipes for cooking corned beef, although I haven’t tried any which I can comfortably recommend. I’ll ask about for you though.

  1. Mrs. Lau, you can really cook! You know your stuff. Keep up the good work. Your style of cooking is magnificent and is excellent! Love it!

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