Here it comes again, St. Patrick’s Day. And we in the US celebrate the day with a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage.
Do they eat this in Ireland? My sources tell me no. Does that stop us? Again, no.
I’ve always shied away from cooking corned beef, as it has a reputation for toughness, requiring very long and slow cooking. I got no time for that!
But now, the Instant Pot. Ah, how marvelous. Making corned beef in the Instant Pot is easy and much quicker than traditional methods.
The result? Delicious and tender corned beef, ready in about 90 minutes.
And because it’s the Instant Pot, it’s mostly hands-off time. Perfect.
Why I love this recipe
3 words: easy, easy, easy. Ok, yes that’s cheating.
How about these? Easy, tender and delicious. Because that’s how the beef turns out.
I cook the corned beef with no cabbage in the pot at first, then cook the cabbage and other veggies after, while the meat is resting. Because they cook in the juices, the veggies will take on some of the corned beef flavors, which makes them quite wonderful to eat!
To cook the corned beef, you only need 3 ingredients, plus water.
Veggies are cooked separately and you can choose which you want. I always make cabbage, potatoes and carrots for a complete meal.
How to make Instant Pot Corned Beef
To start, remove the corned beef from its packaging, set the spice packet aside and then rinse the corned beef under cold running water. This will help remove some of the super-salty brine, as it is always more than you need for good flavor.
In the Instant Pot, place minced garlic, 2 cups of water and 12 ounces of beer. Some people will swear that you must use Guinness to be authentic, but I usually use whatever beer I happen to have on hand.
Then place the trivet in the Instant Pot and place the beef on top, fat side facing up. Sprinkle the spice packet on top of the beef.
Close and seal the Instant Pot and set the cook cycle for 60 minutes (1 hour) on high pressure. It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build, and once the cycle is done allow the Instant Pot to natural release pressure for at least 15 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure.
Remove the corned beef from the Instant Pot and place on a plate or baking pan, then cover with foil. The meat needs to rest under the foil for at least 15 minutes.
If you only want corned beef, this is all you need to do.
What about the cabbage?
Don’t worry, this woman can definitely not live on meat alone! I’m usually more excited about the side dishes in a meal, and this one is no exception.
But pressure cooking veggies for 45 minutes is going to turn them into mush. So I cook the corned beef with no cabbage first, then use the meat “resting” time for the veggies.
To the hot liquid in the Instant Pot, add baby potatoes and carrots. Layer the cabbage wedges on top. Close and re-seal the Instant Pot and set the cycle for 5 minutes on high pressure.
By the time the vegetables are done cooking, the meat will be ready and you can serve your corned beef and cabbage dinner!
I prefer to cook corned beef this way to help prevent it from getting too dry. To be honest, I’ve never tried cooking it fat side down, so I can’t tell you for sure whether it makes a huge difference.
It kind of feels that way, doesn’t it? I have found a lot of variability in how “fatty” some pieces of corned beef are. If it’s a thin layer, you are likely to eat the fat with your beef. But a super thick layer will probably be cut off when you are eating it. Yes, this means the spices get cut off as well. Even so, I kind of feel like the spices infuse the air inside the Instant Pot and provide a little flavor that way. Of course, I have no proof of this. 😀
To be honest, this is for the sheer convenience of these small vegetables. If you have large potatoes and regular carrots, feel free to cut into appropriate sizes before cooking. I like the carrots pieces to be about 2 inches long, and the potatoes 1.5 to 2 inches in size.
Wash the cabbage well and remove the outer leaves. Then cut the cabbage in half, right through the core. Then cut each half into thirds to make a total of 6 wedges from the head of cabbage. I like to leave the core intact for my wedges as it helps them maintain their shape.
More recipes for your St Patrick’s Day celebration
- Shamrock Martini – if green beer is not your thing, this drink is a wonderful alternative!
- Irish Nachos – no, they aren’t really Irish, but they really are delicious!
- Reuben Dip – if you are lucky enough to have extra corned beef, this hot dip is the perfect way to use it!
- If you have a smoker, you have yet another way to make your corned beef brisket!
Instant Pot Corned Beef (with or without Cabbage)
- 3 pound corned beef brisket
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 12 ounces beer
- 2 cups water
- 1 – 1 ½ pounds baby red skin potatoes
- 8-16 ounces baby carrots
- 1 cabbage cut into wedges
- Rinse the corned beef with cold water to remove the excess brine.
- Place garlic, beer and water in the Instant pot, then place the trivet on top.
- Placed the beef brisket on top of the trivet, fat side up, and sprinkle with the spice packet. Close and seal the Instant Pot, setting the cycle for 60 minutes on high pressure. Expect about 15 minutes for the pressure to build before the cooking cycle begins.
- When the cooking cycle is done, let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 15 minutes before using manual release for the rest. Lift the cooked beef out of the pot using the trivet and transfer it in a baking dish. Cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
For optional veggies:
- Once the meat and trivet are removed, add the potatoes and carrots to the hot liquid. Layer the cabbage wedges on top. Cover and seal the Instant Pot and set the cooking cycle for 5 minutes on high pressure. When the cycle is done, you can manual release the pressure right away. Remove veggies from Instant Pot and serve with your corned beef.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
I wanted to make corned beef this year in the instant pot. Thank you so much for sharing!
You will love it!
This was so easy to make in the instant pot!
Right? It's so great!
I was hoping I would find something to make in my Instant Pot this year for St. Patrick's day and your recipe is perfect! Thanks for making my day easier!
You are so welcome - enjoy!