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Can You Freeze Leftover Corned Beef And Cabbage?

plated corned beef and cabbage
plated corned beef and cabbage - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Corned beef and cabbage is a delicious and hearty Irish meal and, of course, it's a staple recipe for St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the U.S., when it is cooked and served in large portions to accommodate loved ones at gatherings. Once the festivities are over, those large portions often mean that you've got leftovers to contend with, and you may be wondering if you can freeze these additional servings for a later date to avoid getting flavor fatigue in the days that come. The good news is that, yes, you can, and we've got you covered regarding the best way to do so and how long you can expect the meal to last.

When stored in the refrigerator, leftover corned beef and cabbage only lasts for a few days, so it's great news that it can easily be frozen for later enjoyment. In the freezer, this dish will last for up to three whole months — an exponentially longer window. If you want your corned beef and cabbage to taste as fresh coming out as it does going in, however, you should be sure to take steps to freeze it properly. Only begin to prepare the meal for freezing once it has fully cooled; this cuts down on potential ice crystals and freezer burn. Then you can portion out individual servings to conveniently access without thawing an entire batch. Finally, place each portion into an airtight container and then stow them in the freezer.

Read more: What Happens If You Accidentally Eat Mold?

How To Thaw Frozen Corned Beef And Cabbage

woman places food into fridge
woman places food into fridge - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

When you're ready to eat your next serving of corned beef and cabbage, it's important to take the time to thaw it properly in order to keep its flavor and texture intact and to ensure it is safe to eat. While you may be tempted to rush the process, the best way to do so is to allow the dish to thaw slowly by placing it in the fridge for several hours. From there, you can reheat it any way you choose — in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave. Never use warm water to thaw food; even though it is convenient, it risks raising your leftovers to a temperature where bacteria will thrive unchecked.

Even with proper storage, it's important to keep an eye on your corned beef and cabbage for signs of spoilage. This will ensure that the meal you are eating is fresh and that you do not accidentally consume harmful pathogens like mold or bacteria. Keep an eye out for evidence that the food has expired, such as an unusual change in color, a strong sour or rotting odor, or a slimy texture. If any of these traits are present, you can assume that the dish has gone bad. In these cases, it is best to dispose of the food rather than to serve it.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.