Although it is not instant, the Instant Pot recipe for braised ribs takes only half of what other recipes require. The mildly sweet sherry wine, carrots and star anise contrast beautifully with the richness of bacon, short ribs, and their subtle sweetness.
Slow (natural), vs. Quick Release
The pressure release is the key to cooking meat in an Instant Pot, or any other electric pressure cooker. The natural release function of your Instant Pot is the best way to ensure food doesn’t get ruined by prolonged cooking times (tough cuts, stews, etc). This allows steam to escape slowly and evenly and gives the dish a little more time.
You can also choose to stop the cooking process faster by using the quick release setting. This releases a rapid stream of steam and stops the cooking. This quick stop to cooking is ideal for foods that are otherwise ruined by overcooking (think fresh vegetables and seafood). Quick release for meat results in a rapid change of pressure and moisture that dries out the meat leaving behind a rubbery chunk of protein.
An natural release is a combination of speed and proper cooking. To achieve this, you will need to first do a natural release for about 15 minutes. Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions and let the steam escape quickly without affecting the meat’s texture.
You can prepare this recipe a day ahead and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. The overnight rest will allow the flavors to meld and infuse deeper into the ribs.
After the mixture has chilled to room temperature, you can either skim off any fat or reduce the cooking liquid to a thicker sauce that you can drizzle over the ribs. Make a thicker gravy by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons broth together in a small bowl. Once the mixture is whipped into a slurry, add the mixture to the pot. Stir the slurry to the pot until it thickens.
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YIELDS 6 SERVINGS
PREP TIME:0 HOUR 15 MINS
TOTAL TIME:2 HOUR 25 MINS
slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
Short ribs bone-in (approx 13-14 ribs).
Freshly ground black pepper
large shallots, quartered
Large carrots can be peeled and sliced into 3″ pieces
Celery stalks, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes
6 Chop cloves garlic
2 Star anise
4 Garnish with fresh thyme and a few more sprigs
1 c. Dry sherry
2 tbsp. Brown sugar packed
Low-sodium beef broth
Mashed potatoes for serving
- Salt and pepper the short ribs and place in a bowl. Set Instant Pot to Saute setting. When the Instant Pot is hot, add the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes until it becomes lightly golden and most of its fat has been rendered. Set aside the bacon, and leave the bacon fat in the pot.
- In batches, cook ribs until caramelized on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Stir in the shallots and carrots, celery and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste, star anise and thyme until fragrant.
- Bring to a boil, add sherry, and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Turn off the Saute function, then add sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, broth and cooked bacon. Salt the mixture and close the lid. Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes.
- Allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 15 mins, then proceed with depressurization according to the manufacturer’s instructions for quick release. Wait until cycle is completed before unlocking lid and removing it. Toss the star anise and thyme.
- Serve the ribs with vegetables and mashed potatoes if you like.