Making Instant Pot Short Ribs couldn’t be easier! Try this recipe for tender, succulent, fall off the bone braised short ribs, made even more delicious with a secret ingredient! 🙂
I first owned a pressure cooker in 2011, when I first moved into my own apartment. Instants pots weren’t around at the time, and it was simply called a “multi cooker”. Thanks to my lack of proper meal planning, I quickly learned to appreciate the pressure cooker function on my multi cooker. The fact that you can get a kick ass meal made in less than 30 minutes, starting from frozen meat was a god send to me!
I think I’ve come quite far now in terms of meal planning, but the Instant Pot is still a beast! 🙂
This Best Instant Pot Short Ribs recipe is one I’ve used countless times, and I’ve used this same recipe for lamb chops as well. It works beautifully for any kind of red meat, really, but it’s just perfect with beef short ribs. The flavors here are simple but robust, and complement each other well. Plus, I’ve got a secret ingredient that makes these pretty much the BEST instant pot short ribs in the world! 🙂
Rinsed and dried short ribs, seasoned with salt
So what’s my secret ingredient?
BOURBON WHISKEY! You can use Scotch whiskey if you prefer as well, but bourbon is my choice over Scotch. The taste that it leaves behind is subtle, but it really adds to the depth of flavor in these instant pot short ribs.
Can I skip the alcohol?
If you’re worried about the alcohol content, you need not be! These braised short ribs are cooked at high pressure, so the alcohol in the bourbon whiskey evaporates completely, leaving behind just the flavor of the bourbon.
These pressure cooker short ribs are braised in my own homemade beef and chicken stock, but you can braise them in a good quality beef stock instead too. These instant pot short ribs are cooked to perfection in a slightly sweet and slightly spicy base. I added cayenne pepper and paprika to give these short ribs a little spicy kick. I usually add up to 2 tsp of cayenne pepper (even then, it’s only slightly spicy for us). But I’ve adjusted it to a milder level in this recipe. But feel free to adjust the level of spice to your liking.
Caramelizing the short ribs prior to braising them is an important step to add flavor.
The first step to making these instant pot short ribs is preparing the short ribs. This step is all the labor required for this recipe on your part!
- Soak the beef short ribs in COLD WATER for just a couple of minutes to wash off any excess blood and bone dust.
- Pat dry each rib with paper towels. Wet short ribs take AGES to sear and to form that beautiful golden crust, so make sure they are dry.
- Season GENEROUSLY. You can even cover the short ribs and leave them to marinate for about one hour if you wish. But honestly, you don’t have to. The instant pot (or pressure cooker) will take care of that!
- SEAR each short rib in the instant pot. This step is important!
Searing the meat will caramelize the surface of these short ribs. The caramelization adds another layer of flavor to these braised short ribs. Make sure to do this in batches, so that you don’t overcrowd your instant pot. If the bottom of the pan is too crowded, you’ll end up “boiling” the short ribs instead of searing them. Not good. So this caramelization step requires a bit of patience and time on your part, but I promise the result will be deliciously tender, succulent, fall off the bone, braised short ribs!
After this step, everything else is hands-off. So while these pressure cooker short ribs are cooking, you can prepare the rest of the meal.
How do I serve these braised instant pot short ribs?
I served these with garlicky, creamy, mashed cauliflower. But here are some more ideas!
- Mashed potatoes
- Cheesy polenta
- Roasted root vegetables
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Potato medallions
- Toasted crusty bread
I guarantee you will LOVE these instant pot short ribs! 🙂 What I cannot guarantee however are any leftovers! But just in case, here are some great options for leftover instant pot short ribs,
- AMAZING beef tacos
- Southwestern omelets
- Grilled cheese sandwiches with beef
- Steak and eggs with toast (for breakfast)
- Beef fried rice
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Instant Pot Short ribsPrint
- 6 lbs short ribs about 8 short ribs
- Salt to season generously
- 1 medium onion sliced thickly
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or 2 tsp if you prefer it spicier
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 6 cloves of garlic
- Thyme 2 - 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 cup beef stock I used homemade chicken and beef broth
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
- 1 tbsp water
Fill a large bowl or pot with cold water. Immerse the short ribs, and rinse the ribs in the cold water to wash off excess blood and bone dust.
Drain and pat dry the short ribs with paper towels. Generously sprinkle salt on all the ribs, on both sides.
Switch on the Instant Pot to the saute setting on high. When the instant pot is hot, pour about 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot, place about 3 - 4 short ribs in the instant pot to caramelize or to sear. It's important not to overcrowd the bottom in order to get nice caramelization on your short ribs. Sear the short ribs on all sides, about 2 - 3 minutes per side. Place the caramelized short ribs on a plate.
Repeat with the rest of the short ribs.
For the next step, you will only need about 1 tbsp of oil in the instant pot. Discard the excess oil if there's more than 1 tbsp of it in the instant pot at this point.
Place the thickly sliced onion in the pot, and add the boubon. De-glaze the bottom of the instant pot to make sure that all of the caramelized bits on the bottom are mixed with the bourbon (de-glazing is an important step, so don't skip it). Add the paprika, cayenne pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Then switch off the saute function on your instant pot.
Place the short ribs back in the instant pot, and add the garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt (how much salt to add at this point depends on how well you seasoned the short ribs earlier - be careful not to over-salt, since you can always add more salt at the end if needed).
Pour the stock over the short ribs. Close the instant pot. Choose the manual high pressure function and set it to high. Cook the short ribs for 45 minutes, followed by a 10 - 15 minute natural release.
Gently remove the short ribs on to a plate, and turn the saute function back on for the liquid/broth in the instant pot.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add it to the liquid/broth in the instant pot. Mix it in and bring it to a simmer until the liquid has thickened. Taste and season the liquid with more salt or balsamic vinegar, if needed. Transfer the short ribs back into the instant pot and switch off the saute function.
Optional step - once the short ribs have cooled off, place your instant pot cooker pot in the fridge (covered). Leave it overnight, or for at least 4 hours, until the fat has solidified on the surface. Then remove this layer of fat, and reheat the short ribs in the instant pot.
- Serve with creamy cauliflower mash or mashed potatoes.
Notes on cooking time
These bone in short ribs are about 0.75 lbs each in weight. If you are using bone in short ribs that are thicker or larger than the ones I used, you may need to increase the cooking time. If you are unsure, cook the short ribs according to the recipe and after 45 minutes. If the short ribs are not tender, cook them for a further 5 - 10 minutes more until they are tender.
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