Recently one of the few things I could find at a grocery store was short ribs, and I thought, “well this I can work with”. I’m sure you have run into a few shortages in the grocery stores lately. Having an open mind in some ways can help you, I knew for sure that I did NOT want fish. There was no chicken to be found anywhere in the entire store, and I wasn’t really feeling a pork chop which did happen to be in the case. So short ribs it was.
Now I knew I did not want to spend all day cooking these in the oven, even though this is something that really requires no extra effort from me. No, I wanted to cook these in the instant pot, but the question was, how long would I need to cook these to replicate the texture you would get from a nice long slow cook.
So if you follow the blog you know that I made Corned Beef in the instant pot not that long ago and was able to get a 2.5 pound piece of meat pretty tender in 32 minutes. I will admit that I did cut the meat in half which helped it cook more evenly and quicker than just a huge hunk of meat would have. With short ribs being the size that they are I decided that 32 minutes would probably be fine, but just to be safe I went with 34 minutes.
So into the instant pot goes four short ribs, one large red potato cut into wedges and two carrots cut into similar sized pieces, I also had a leek that I needed to use, so in it went. I sprinkled some coarse salt over the mix of everything in the instant pot and then filled it with beef bone broth until it just covered the short ribs. I wanted them to be completely submerged if possible. There is a liquid limit on instant pots, but luckily I was well below that with this.
Now when I say I used beef bone broth, I did not go out to the store and spend 7 plus dollars on a jar of bone broth. I made it myself. Making your own stock is such a joy – and another post. So I will stop right here with the stock talk. Anywho! Regular old beef stock is just fine, does not have to be bone broth, but will be a sprinkle bit better if it is.
Back to instant pot talk, put the top on and set a pressure cook program for 34 minutes. If you’ve never used an instant pot before you just select pressure cook and then scroll until you have 34 minutes. With my model at this point you just stop touching the entire thing. After maybe less than a minute, the machine beeps and it all begins. Make sure you have the vent set to the sealing position. It does take some time for the machine to come up to pressure, and the first time you use it does seem like nothing is happening, have faith. It will come up to pressure and begin to start counting down. The short ribs took about 20 minutes before the machine began to count down the time.
So after the twenty or so minutes, that it takes the instant pot to come up to pressure are over – the actual cooking cycle begins. In the meantime you can cook up some pappardelle pasta and have it ready for when the beef is done.
Now we’re also going to make a slurry. A slurry is a mixture of water and corn starch that you can add to quickly thicken the liquid of your choice. In this case we are going to use the liquid from the instant pot – thicken it – and use it as a sauce for the noodles. But we have to wait for the instant pot to be done cooking. So back to the slurry – take 1/4 cup of water and mix it with 1/4 cup of corn starch. Mix it together, and keep it ready for when we are making the sauce. Keep in mind that the cornstarch may settle in the bottom of the glass, so you may need to stir it before you add it to the liquid.
So the instant pot is done, you have your noodles and slurry ready. Once you are able to remove the lid, take the liquid and add it to a sauce pan along with the noodles. Use a medium heat on the stove top. Once you have a light simmer, add 1/2 of the slurry – make sure you are stirring while you add the slurry. Once the sauce has bubbled you can see if you are satisfied with the thickness of the sauce, if you would like it thicker add the rest of the slurry. The sauce must come to a complete simmer for at least a minute to get the full thickening properties of the slurry.
Once you have reached this point, you are ready to plate. Serve the shortribs on a pile of noodles. And add some of the vegetables from the instant pot. I love to add just a sprinkle of dried parsley and coarse sea salt just for color and texture
So I’m always trying to share with you what I liked, what worked and what I am trying to improve on. The above was a trial that I really think was pretty good. Definitely would make an excellent dinner. However, I’m always trying to make things better.
So with this is mind, what I really wanted to improve about the above process was the tenderness of the short ribs. For some reason when I think of instant pot, I think of super fast – and this is true. BUT, sometimes when you invest a little bit of extra time in the instant pot you can really end up with something great. Case in point, this next trial of short ribs. Everything is pretty much the same except for in this case I increase the time to 44 minutes in the instant pot. Which put us at about an hour and twenty minutes total including pressurizing and depressurizing at the beginning and end. That said this is worth a try. You throw a bunch of things in the instant pot turn it on walk away, later on you thicken the juices from the cooking process and turn it into a sauce for the pasta. Very easy dinner night.