Nothing screams good local Irish pub food like a heaping pile of nachos soaked in melty cheese. Now, imagine delicious Corned Beef Nachos with Herbed Whiskey Fondue. Bring happy hour home.

Corned Beef Nachos with Herbed Whiskey Fondue | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com

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In this recipe:

These corned beef nachos are a fun twist on traditional nachos. They’re not made with classic tortilla chips but rather crispy waffle fries as the base. Then, they’re loaded with smoked corned beef and soaked in a whiskey cheese sauce that will send your taste buds to a new dimension. Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day, game day, or a Saturday night, these corned beef nachos will knock all other beef recipes out of the park. 

What Is Corned Beef?

Corned beef, although popularized by St. Paddy’s Day menus everywhere, isn’t actually a traditional Irish dish at all. It was more used as a bacon substitute when times were tight in the early 1900’s. However, corned beef has become synonymous during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations along with other Irish pub foods like an Irish brat burger, Irish lamb stew, and Rueben hot dogs

Corned beef is actually a beef cut that has been salt-cured. That’s why it can be cooked low and slow for hours and retain a ton of flavor, and its signature pink color. Where corned beef is a term for the curing process of the beef, the cut doesn’t technically have to be anyone in particular but is often the fatty beef brisket. This explains why it’s important to watch the local market adverts.

Corned beef is typically made from the brisket cuts of the beef. The brisket is the lower neck and chest of the cow. When you see packaged corned beef, you might notice that it comes in two distinct types. Flat or round cut is the same thing. The point cut is different. 

The round cut has more fat content and comes from the chest. While the point cut is from the lower neck. People debate which is better, but they are both excellent for making corned beef. Supposedly, the point cut has more flavorful meat, but the round cut has a fat layer and more marbling. 

We think both are great, so really, it comes down to whichever you see and like in terms of weight and price. 

Corned Beef Nachos with Herbed Whiskey Fondue | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com

Irish Nachos Recipe Ingredients

FOR THE NACHOS

  • Bag of frozen waffle French fries – you could also make homemade 
  • Corned beef – you can make smoked corned beef or use leftover corned beef for this recipe. 
  • Shredded cabbage

FOR THE WHISKEY SAUCE

  • Whiskey – use your favorite whiskey. 
  • Honey – sweetens and thickens the sauce. 
  • Brown sugar – use dark or light brown sugar. Helps thicken and sweeten the sauce. 
  • Onion – adds a depth of savory flavor. 

FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE

  • Flour – thickens the cheese sauce.
  • Herb butter – adds an earthy flavor and creamy consistency. 
  • Whiskey – adds a depth of flavor. Use your favorite whiskey. 
  • Dubliner cheese, Skellig cheese, & Smoked gouda cheese – the base for the melted cheese sauce. Adds a tangy flavor to the sauce. 
  • Milk – helps thin out the sauce. 
  • Dijon mustard – adds a vibrant kick of flavor. 
  • Additional cheese for topping
  • Freshly snipped parsley
Corned Beef Nachos with Herbed Whiskey Fondue | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com

How to Make Irish Pub Nachos

First, get those waffle fries going by following the package instructions.

While those are cooking, let’s whip up a tasty whiskey sauce. In a small saucepan, whisk together whiskey, honey, and brown sugar. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until it thickens. Toss in the sliced onions and let them get all soft and flavorful for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Now, let’s tackle the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in the flour, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the whiskey, then add the cheese bit by bit, along with the milk and Dijon. Keep stirring until it’s all melty and delicious. Keep it warm over low heat until you’re ready to use it.

Once that’s done, mix the corned beef with the onions in the whiskey sauce and layer it all over the cooked waffle fries. Stir any leftover sauce into the cheese sauce. Pour this creamy goodness over the fries, making sure to leave a little pool at the bottom for dipping.

Top everything off with some cabbage, sprinkle the remaining cheese, and slide it under the broiler until everything gets beautifully melted and golden brown.

Finish it up by garnishing your nachos with fresh parsley.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • Play around with your favorite toppings, such as sour cream, pico de Gallo, green onions, black beans, or anything else you like.
  • Swap out the waffle fries for fresh potato chips made from thin-sliced potatoes, or use potato wedges. 
  • Prep this recipe ahead of time by making the corned beef a day or two ahead of time.

What to Serve With Irish Potato Nachos

Since we’ve got the protein, carbs, and fats covered, let’s introduce some veggies into the mix by serving some air fryer vegetables, roasted butternut squash, or Brussels sprouts au gratin alongside our nachos. It’s all about balance, right?

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftover corned beef separately from the fries. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can freeze it for up to 2-3 months. 

Store the fries in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

When you’re ready to make your nachos, reheat your corned beef and fries. 

To reheat corned beef:

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF. 
  • Place leftover corned beef in a baking dish and cover it with foil. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until warm. 
  • Assemble your nachos. 

To reheat fries:

  • Preheat your oven to 425ºF. 
  • Lay your leftover fries on a baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crispy. 

​Don’t feel like making nachos again? Make corned beef sandwiches with your leftover corned beef!

More Nachos Recipes

These easy Irish nachos are the perfect way to take regular nachos to the next level. The smokiness from the corned beef combined with the ooey gooey whiskey cheese sauce is the ultimate combination.

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

Corned Beef Nachos with Herbed Whiskey Fondue

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Corned Beef Nachos with Herbed Whiskey Fondue | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com
Bring the pub home and dig into this platter of corned beef over creamy whiskey infused cheese sauce all drizzled over thick waffle fries.

Ingredients  

For the nachos

  • 1 bag frozen waffle fries
  • 1/2 lbs corned beef cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage

For the Whiskey Sauce

  • 1/4 cup whiskey
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 onion sliced

For the cheese sauce

  • 3 tbs flour
  • 3 tbs herb butter
  • 4 oz whiskey
  • 2 oz Dubliner cheese
  • 2 oz Skellig cheese
  • 2 oz smoked gouda cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • Additional cheese for topping
  • freshly snipped parsley

Instructions 

  • Prepare the waffle fries according to directions on package.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the whiskey, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and allow to reduce. 
  • Toss in the sliced onions and allow to simmer on low until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Make the cheese sauce.

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Stir in the whiskey. Add the cheese a little at a time, the milk, and the Dijon. 
  • Stir until melted. Keep heated over low until ready to use.
  • Toss the corned beef with the onions in the whiskey sauce and arrange over the cooked waffle fries in layers. 
  • Stir any remaining sauce into the cheese sauce. 
  • Pour over the fries, being sure to give a little pool at the bottom for dipping. 
  • Top with cabbage, sprinkle with remaining cheese and toast under the broiler until everything is melted.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 759mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs

What’s the difference between corned beef and pastrami?

Corned beef and pastrami are similar, but they are not the same. Small wonder, though, that people get confused about which is which. To set the record straight, both corned beef and pastrami come from similar brisket cuts of beef. Both are also brined in various pickling seasonings like coriander, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and such. 
However, this is where the similarity ends. 
Pastrami goes the extra mile and is smoke-cured. The smokiness is what makes pastrami special. It takes the brisket and essentially makes it like beef bacon. Now you know why pastrami costs so much more than corned beef. 
The good news is you can easily smoke your own corned beef to make homemade pastrami!
If you DON’T have corned beef stockpiled, let us give you some inspiration (besides these nachos) to make you run to the market right now….
The classic corned beef and cabbage (seriously, once a year, this is amazing).
Think about homemade pastrami…. yep. Homemade Pastrami.

Can I brine my own corned beef?

It is easy to brine your own corned beef. Usually, you can get a piece of brisket that fits into a one-gallon zip-seal bag. Ideally, you want to use large kernels of salt, like edible rock salt. Kosher salt works. Also, you can use that pink salt curing salt but don’t feel like you have to run out to the store for it if you don’t have it. 
Truth be told, any salt will do the trick.
Using about a cup of salt, rub it into the meat, then place it into the bag, add some water to cover, and throw in pickling seasonings. Let it sit for 5 to 7 days. Remove, rinse, repeat. Then, it is ready to slow cook on low heat until done. Let it cool a bit so it is easier to cut. 
If you don’t have pickling spices handy, then you can put your own together pretty easily with some peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, and some dill if you want. 

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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