Sunday, March 11, 2012

Corned Beef Tacos for St. Patty’s Day

Ah, St. Patrick's Day…green beer, drunken crowds and being pinched. Sounds fun, huh?

I can’t say that I really “do” St. Patrick’s Day. Given the reasons listed above, it has been many, many years since I have ventured out on this evening of debauchery.  I don’t seek out a green article of clothing to wear and I dare someone to pinch me. Green beer does not appeal to me in the least. Beer? Yes. Green beer? No. So maybe I’m a little bit of a Grinch when it comes to St. Paddy’s Day. Hey…he’s green. Maybe I’m more festive than I thought.

But, just like with Valentine’s Day, not making a St. Patrick’s Day dish for the blog is blasphemy. So, when Smart & Final needed a corned beef recipe for their weekly newsletter, I had the perfect excuse.

When I told Andy my plans for this recipe, he was very obviously skeptical. In fact, he was making noises about not being hungry for dinner after he heard what I was making. And I have to admit, when I was stirring together the Guinness sauce, I did have a moment (or two) of uncertainty. But it all worked out in the end. And miraculously, come dinnertime (after a tentative taste), Andy had suddenly found his appetite. If you like corned beef sandwiches, you’ll love these tacos.

In making this dish, I had a few revelations:
  • After cooking corned beef, the resulting water is absolutely disgusting. If you’ve never done it, you’re in for a treat.
  • Also after cooking corned beef, the fat that needs to be scraped off the meat is equally disgusting. (Don’t get me wrong…I like corned beef, but the getting there is a little dicey.)
  • I used to drink Guinness (quite a bit, actually), but it has been a long time since I’ve had one. When I took a sip of the can I opened for this recipe, I understood why my dad always said it was like drinking motor oil. I still like the taste, but I really don’t think I could drink a whole pint. That is some seriously thick beer. (Does that mean I’m getting old?)

Corned Beef Tacos with Creamy Guinness Dipping Sauce

2-2 1/2 pound First Street corned beef brisket
flour tortillas

Guinness dipping sauce:
1 cup Guinness (or other stout beer)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1 1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

For corned beef:
Place corned beef, fatty side up, in a slow cooker and cover with water. Set on low and cook for 10 hours.
Remove corned beef from water and let sit at about 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Scrape off fat and discard. Shred remaining meat.

For Guinness dipping sauce:
Heat Guinness in a small saucepan over high heat. Let reduce to 1/3 cup.  Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Let cool.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk Guinness reduction into mixture until smooth.

For coleslaw:
Mix together cabbage, red onion and jalapeno in a large bowl.
In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Pour over cabbage mixture and toss until combined.

To assemble:
Warm tortillas. Spread a spoonful of Guinness dipping sauce down the middle, add shredded corned beef, then top with coleslaw.
Serve with extra dipping sauce on the side.

These flavors all come together perfectly. Salty corned beef, spicy and tangy coleslaw, and slightly bitter but creamy Guinness sauce…it just works. It’s a nice change from a standard corned beef sandwich and would be a fun St. Paddy’s Day party food.

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias. All opinions are my own. Recipe created for Smart & Final #sfsmarties.


  1. Hiberno-Latino cuisine you got to love it... I love the idea of your Guinness dip. This really is an interesting reworking of a dish that is only Irish American and is not commonly eaten in Ireland.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I'm brining my own brisket this year and am sure to have a lot of leftovers. I may have to keep this in mind...

  3. I love the Guinness dipping sauce...never tasted!

  4. I am not the biggest fan of corned beef but I think it would be lovely for tacos. Very creative!

  5. These look s delicious and I love the bright colors!

  6. Holy cow, what an awesome take on Irish classics :) I'd definitely love on of these beauties, and your pictures are stunning!

  7. What a creative way to make corned beef. And, Guinness dipping sauce? Sign me up!

  8. My boys love corned beef...what a great idea for a taco!

  9. Wow these tacos look fantastic Karen. I love Guinness and especially love it with Corned Beef. These tacos are rocking my world. :)

  10. I wish my half Irish hubby would eat corned these tacos look terrific!

  11. You just created some thing new that seems to go hand in hand; sure looks great.

  12. Those look delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing, I can't wait to give these a try. :)

  13. The corned beef tacos look delicious, great idea with the Guinness, awesome!

  14. My mother used to make corned beef all the time when I was a kid. I don't think I've ever tried to make it myself but I think I should give it a try.

  15. I am liking the sound of corned beef tacos!

  16. THis looks and sounds amazing!

  17. This is brilliant!!! A must make.

  18. It looks amazing but I'm not keen on corned beef so I'd have to use shredded chicken or pork, which I'm sure would also be good, although maybe not with the guiness sauce!

  19. Oh my word, that dipping sauce sounds amazing! I love corned beef.

  20. Karen, these tacos are such a lovely take on corned beef. What a great idea! Happy St. Pat's Day!

  21. So Excited about these! Do you have the Nutritional Info?

    1. Unfortunately, I don't calculate any nutritional info, and wouldn't even really know how. I think it's best to assume it's not the most lo-cal dish! :)

  22. ...I shall nibble them in my dreams while I slumber tonight. Ahhh.....

  23. They look very fresh, tasty and healthy. Great ideas and Beautiful photography. I would like to make them for me and my Irish friends this weekend.

  24. Fun! I did corned beef quesdillas a while back and bao this year so I am always pro-corned beef experimentation!

  25. Oh I love this dipping sauce, Guinness makes me sooooo happy! What a fun idea, making corned beef tacos:-) They looks wonderful! Hugs, Terra {I have to share on Pinterest!}

  26. Corned beef tacos with Guinness dipping sauce? One word to describe... Genius! Beautiful photography!

  27. These were simply amazing. I don't like the traditional corned beef and cabbage so I haven't made it years. I have been so stinking excited to try this recipe and it did not disappoint. Uh-mazing.

  28. Thanks for the delicious recipe! BTY, Guiness is actually a very light beer!

  29. It's way past St. Patty's, but I am ridiculously excited to try this... what a good idea!! YUMMM! Reubens are one of my favorite foods ever, so these look aMAZing. <3

  30. A great way of incorporating St Patricks day into tacos. I'm not a big fan of Guiness but they looked delicious with all the fresh looking coleslaw.

  31. Very creative! THis looks and sounds amazing!

  32. how much of the Guinness dipping sauce does the recipe make?
    Also this with corn tortillas is great

    1. Dan - Sorry, it's been awhile since I made this and don't remember the yield. I would say that it makes somewhere shy of a cup, based on the ingredients.

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