Instant Pot

The Instant Pot Short Ribs I Could Make in My Sleep

A case for pressure-cooked beef (and 40-minute naps).

by:
January  7, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham

In the introduction to Dinner in an Instant, Melissa Clark writes about how the Instant Pot is "not about what you can make in it, but what you should make."

One of the things you should make? Short ribs.

Not just because the electric pressure cooker winds down the laborious cook time of oven-braised beef short ribs from 3 hours to a mere 40 minutes. And not just because science tells us that we can still achieve the Maillard reaction without searing (read: less effort, same savory oomph). But because they come out better, softer, and more flavorful, as well.

Though I love the slow, measured process of Dutch-oven braising—especially searing the gorgeous, marbled ribs I get from my local butcher, then pouring in half a can of whatever beer I've popped open after work, deglazing the pot, transferring the heavy pot to the oven, and baking for 1 1/2 hours, flipping, then baking for another 1 1/2 hours—the Instant Pot is a little more...well, instant. Here's a case where the appliance-driven shortcut actually makes the end result taste better. And when the food tastes better, and the method is easier and faster, and the cleanup is so much chiller—why the heck wouldn't you?

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Top Comment:
“Eric, there is NO way those ribs can be seared on the outside like the photo shows by just dumping them in the Instant Pot with beer. They would have to be seasoned and seared first, then pressure cooked. ”
— Dredge R.
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I've written before how I love slow-cooker food because it almost requires you to go binge-watch Netflix for six to eight hours. Well, as much as I love television, I also love closing my eyes for short bursts of time. The Instant Pot lets you do all of that and more: As your meal pressure-cooks for 40 minutes, you can go take a nap and have dinner waiting for you at the end of it.

Here's a case where the appliance-driven shortcut actually makes the end result taste better. And when the food tastes better, and the method is easier and faster, and the cleanup is so much chiller—why the heck wouldn't you?

How to Make Short Ribs in the Instant Pot

For the softest short ribs you'll ever eat, all you have to do is throw bone-in beef short ribs (seasoned generously with salt and pepper), one jalapeño (I love the fresh heat it lends), garlic (4 cloves), and beer (the bitterness is lovely here) into the Instant Pot, and pressure-cook on High for 40 minutes. (Don't forget to release the pressure!)

You could just as easily skip the aromatics because the true star of this dish, if I'm being honest, is the fresh mint sauce. Its vinegary herbaceousness picks up the deeper unctuousness of the beef and keeps things clean and light. This way, too, you still taste the meat in all its brawny glory.

As ever, I like to eat this with white rice and a cold beer.

What do YOU like to cook in the Instant Pot? Let us know in the comments below.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jeannine Fay
    Jeannine Fay
  • Pat Branum
    Pat Branum
  • Dredge Rivers
    Dredge Rivers
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Eric Kim is a Senior Editor at Food52, where his weekly solo dining column, Table for One, runs every Friday morning. Formerly the Digital Manager at Food Network, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.

3 Comments

Jeannine F. January 13, 2019
I was wondering about searing too. Not as instant but would this step be worth the extra flavor?
 
Pat B. January 11, 2019
I'm a novice instant pot user. Just got an 8 qt. for Christmas. I have a question, rather than a comment. This sounds divinely delicious, but I would need to triple it for my family. What time adjustments do I make? Thanks for the help!
 
Dredge R. January 7, 2019
Eric, there is NO way those ribs can be seared on the outside like the photo shows by just dumping them in the Instant Pot with beer. They would have to be seasoned and seared first, then pressure cooked.