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A classic lazy-man dish using canned corned beef.

caribbean cornedbeef recipeA combination of being tired, lazy and hungry forced me into our pantry to find something quick to eat with the leftover rice we had from the night before. I not much of a breakfast person, but when lunch time comes around I need to get some food in me. I work from home (have done so the past 11 years now) so I have the convenience of  eating well if I want to. Today all I wanted was something fast, but I wasn’t ready to sacrifice on taste. There was Mr. Hereford corned beef staring at me, as if it was saying “I dare you”…

This dish takes me back to when we owned a “parlor” (like a variety store) in Trinidad and late at nights the local drunks and bachelors would come calling on us to sell them a can of corned beef or Vienna sausages so they could have a quick meal. Even though we had closed for business hours ago and were in bed (our house was at the back of the store). I still remember telling my brother to shut up and pretend we’re not hearing them.

You’ll Need…

1 can corned beef
1 medium tomato chopped
1 medium onion sliced
1 scallion sliced
1 hot pepper sliced (remove seeds to control heat) I used a habanero pepper
dash black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ketchup
1/4 bell pepper – optional (sliced thin)

Heat a pan on medium heat, then empty the contents of the can of corned beef into it and break it apart. The original way I’ve seen this done is to heat some oil in the pan first, but since I’m trying to get back in shape I’m holding off on amount of oil and fatty stuff I use.

fast corned beef recipe

cooking canned cornedbeef

corned beef and rice

The corned beef itself is very fatty, so basically there’s no real need for oil. The next step is to prepare the onion, pepper, tomato, scallion and bell pepper. Normally bell peppers and scallions are not used as this in it’s original form is very rustic. But not only do I like the added flavour, I like using up the stuff I have in the fridge when I cook, so it doesn’t waste. Then toss everything into the pan with the corned beef and hit it with a dash of black pepper. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Don’t cover or you’ll risk everything going soggy and into a “mush”. BTW, this is cooked on a medium heat and is good 5-7 minutes after adding all the ingredients.

ingredients for cooking cornedbeef

trini cornedbeef

recipe for cooking trini style corned beef

trinidad corned beef

caribbean cornedbeef recipe

This dish is only complete for me with sliced cucumber on the side as in the pictures below. Besides rice, this can also be enjoyed on sandwiches, as a topping for crackers, roti, sliced bread.. even stuffed in pitas.

trinidad cornedbeef and rice

Trini cornedbeef and rice

Do you have a different way of making this? Leave me your comments below as I’m always looking for different ways to prepare the dishes I grew up on and I’m sure everyone else would love to learn different techniques.

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happy cooking


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56 Responses to “A classic lazy-man dish using canned corned beef.”

  1. Jenny Ming says:

    I find corned beef to be very versatile and it can be combined with any time of vegetables. I use bora (chopped finely), grated carrots, frozen corn kernels and green beans along with the other seasonings. Sometimes I would use a can of red beans. If using it for breakfast then I would scramble the eggs and corned beef together, with the seasonings of course.

  2. doraima says:

    Dried Filipino corned beef recipe. I sauteed little oil, onions, garlic and tomatoes until these are translucent. Then put the corned beef until the corned beef is cooked like almost well done. Season with salt and pepper. Then I cook some steamed rice, or sometimes I put it with garlic fried rice. I even add some sunny side up egg with semisoft yolk. Boy, this is really yummy. comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    I read other responses, and find it interesting that we had similarities in preparation, and other different. Cooking Lazy corned beef has reached in other places and countries too.

  3. Victoria Shmyr says:

    I just made your lazy corn beef recipe for the first (cooking Caribbean) and on my goodness, absolutely love it. I also added some Caribbean spice with roasted garlic, and it made it hotter, cause I didnt have any hot peppers. Thank you so much, the next recipe im going to try is your pelau recipe, looks delicious.

  4. korease says:

    This is so simple and delicious. Growing up in Tobago and being well taken care of by my mom, I just wished she would have kept me in the kitchen with my sisters. When I came to the U.S.A. At age 13 till recently I Tried to create the corn beef taste my mom always had me wanting more but I was adding seasonings, water, bunch of ketchup but it never satisfied my taste. With your site my my everything I had growing up is made available to me. Made this two times now and my kids give me that same look I would give my mom. haha. I am a pro at this recipe now and its all thanks to you. Made it tonight again. this time 2 cans instead of 1. The food is gone however.

  5. Cathy says:

    A friend from Tobago’s recipe uses thin sliced onion, green pepper, one hot pepper sautéed with canned meat until soft. Add one can red kidney beans and chopped cilantro. Add cumin to taste. So delicious and different!

  6. GEENA says:

    I am puerto rican. I learned to make it 1 can tomatoe sauce/ 1 can water. sofrito. (onions, peppers, cilantro, and sweet ajices blended) a bit of adobo since corned beef is already kind of salty. An envelope of Sazon. Corned beef chopped up and mashed in the pan, mix all ingredients let cook with the lid on low. Make french fries on the side. Incorporate into the Corned beef when cooked. Served with white rice and hot corn on the side.

  7. Urban says:

    I grew up in St.kitts and I surely remember my Auntie cooking many ways of preparing and using canned Corned Beef in various Dishes as well often Breakfast and Dinner. Corned Beef and Bake(Bread), Corned Beef and Mashed Potatoes, Corned Beef and Mac/Cheese, Corned Beef Mashed Potato Pie(Corned Beef sandwich layered on top mashed potato baked in oven). I know I forgot some others. But few things take me right back home mentally as in making Corned Beef dish.

    I like my Corned Beef also made with chopped Cucumbers vs just the Cucumbers on the side. When I use Corned Beef out the can one the things I do us to just use a knife and scrape off the excess fat around the beef edges as it came out of the can so a little less fat in the dish since the beef has enough as it is.

  8. William Tutai says:

    Man in the pacific we do it the same but we sometime eat it with coconut cream or corn beef with spaghetti in a can is magic…yumo…. :)

  9. Tam says:

    Recently, hubby and I have been doing corned beef a little differently. We’ve actually been adding some turkey kielbasa sausage and sliced okra gumbo mix with our onion, garlic, scallion and scotch bonnet pepper. Serve it over a bed of white rice. YUMMY!!!! We usually do it for dinner and will stretch for lunch the next day.

  10. Diana S says:

    I am from the Bahamas we add potatoes, thyme, onion, green pepper, hot pepper and tomato paste. We call it “fire engine”

  11. Anna says:

    I use the corned beef with cabbage shredded with all the same seasoning you used and serve it on white rice or a bed of noodles…. Really good even grate some pumpkin into it also…. Try it. Super meal. Ok. Thanks anna

    • Manuela says:

      I am from Trinidad, I add the cabbage and cilantro. My secret ingredient is Menudo (dried spices in a pack). Actually use it in all my dishes, stir fry veggies, stew meats, and on eggs, is to die for!!

  12. Val says:

    Onions, garlic, a little curry powder an black pepper, add chopped Tomatoes from
    the tin then put in the corned beef. A few minutes before your ready to turn of the stove add some sweet corn. That’s how I like it *wink*

  13. Jen says:

    Bajan recipe: onions. Tomatoes, ketchup, Barbados hot sauce and fresh thyme.

  14. pokwang says:

    I sauce mine with garlic and onion then add the corned beef and a cup and a half of h2o. when it boils I add in sotanghon or rice noodles(??) and shredded cabbage season with salt n pepper.


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