There is much love for Instant Pot, yet it’s hard to find straightforward newbie instructions for what to do with this rather imposing device (which reminds me of a North Korean missile canister) when you first pull it out of the box. So here you go. Assemble it, wash and dry the cooking insert, then dig in. You are going to make an excellent rendition of Instant Pot short ribs in under two hours, start to finish. Serves 4-6.
2 oz bacon or pancetta, chopped
5 lbs short ribs, bone in
Ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1 T olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 T tomato paste
1 c dry red wine
1 1/2 t dried thyme
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
4 cloves garlic
2 c or more water or beef stock
Method: turn on the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting and add chopped bacon or pancetta. Very shortly it will start to sizzle. Stir with a wooden spoon till meat is crispy then remove and reserve. Add olive oil and begin to brown the short ribs: sprinkle each with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, then fry a few pieces at a time, turning till they are brown and crispy on all sides. (This took me two batches for 5 pounds of ribs.) Remove and reserve ribs, then add onions and cook, stirring, until softened. Add celery and carrots and stir 5 minutes or so till they are softened as well. Note: the Sauté setting has a 30 minute timer so may turn off toward the end of this process. Simply turn it back on (press the button) and continue.
Now, return the ribs and bacon/pancetta to the pot and dump in spices then liquids. There should be a generous amount of liquid but it doesn’t have to cover the ribs. Cover the pot and turn to lock it: it will take you a few tries but this is a safety feature, to make sure the pressure cooker seal really is tight. Flip the lever on top of the lid to the “Sealed” position. Press the Soups/Stews button and adjust the timer (press the + button in the center of the dial) to 40 minutes. Very shortly an “On” message will appear. You are done here; go do something else for the next 50 minutes or so.
When the 40 minutes are up, the Instant Pot will switch to the Keep Warm setting which it can maintain for many hours. During this time it is slowly releasing its pressure. After 10 minutes it is safe to manually release the pressure by flipping the release lever. Now open the lid and discover the magic: falling-of-the-bones short ribs in under two hours.
This is a good starter recipe because it demonstrates two of the Instant Pot’s core functions, and the result is delicious. Enjoy!