The Instant Pot pressure cooker is a fast and easy way to make a complete corned beef and cabbage meal. The beef cooks in less than 90 minutes and the vegetables take only two minutes. Be sure to allow extra time for the cooker to come to high pressure—about 15 minutes for the beef and 10 to 15 minutes for the vegetables—along with an extra 15 minutes of pressure release time. If you simmered the same cut of corned beef on the stovetop, it would take about 3 1/2 to 4 hours to make it perfectly tender. Not only do you save time; you save energy.
Corned beef has been around since the 17th century and it has nothing to do with corn the vegetable. The Old English word "corn" means small, hard particles, such as the coarse salt used to cure the beef. Corned beef is popular in American pubs and Irish restaurants, and has long been a favorite for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
This recipe was made with a two-inch thick, four-pound flat cut corned beef brisket. If your cut is thicker than two inches, add 5 minutes of cooking time for each 1/2-inch over two inches.
- 4 pounds corned beef (preferably flat-cut)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (red-skinned or fingerlings)
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 head cabbage
- Garnish: parsley
- Optional: whole grain or spicy brown mustard, for serving
Gather the ingredients.
Peel and slice the onion. Put the onions and corned beef in the Instant Pot. Add the mixed pickling spices and bay leaves, followed by the 4 cups of water.
Lock the Instant Pot lid in place and turn the venting knob to "sealing." Choose the manual setting and high pressure. Set the time to 85 minutes.
Meanwhile, scrub and peel the potatoes (or leave them unpeeled) and cut them into 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch pieces. Peel the carrots and cut them into 3-inch lengths. If the carrots are quite thick, halve them horizontally. Cut the cabbage into six to eight wedges.
When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then carefully move the knob to "venting." Remove the meat to a cutting board and slice it thinly. Transfer the meat to a platter and cover it with foil to keep warm.
Strain the liquids into a large bowl or gravy separator and skim off any excess fat. Discard the solids and return the liquids to the Instant Pot. Add the vegetables to the pot.
Lock the lid in place and make sure the venting knob is set to "sealing." Choose the manual setting, high pressure, and set it for 2 minutes.
When the time is up, carefully turn the knob to "venting" to release the pressure quickly. With a slotted spoon, arrange the potatoes and carrots around the sliced corned beef. Arrange the cabbage wedges in a separate bowl.
Garnish the corned beef, cabbage, and vegetables with parsley and serve with a spicy brown or whole grain mustard.
- If you don't have mixed pickling spices, it's easy to make it at home. Combine 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds with 1 teaspoon of whole allspice berries, about 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, and about 1 inch of a cinnamon stick.
- Corned beef comes in a few different cuts. The most common corned beef is from the brisket. If you want corned beef that can be neatly sliced, choose the flat cut. For more tender, shreddable corned beef, choose the point cut. If you prefer a much leaner beef, look for a corned eye of round. You might also choose to do it yourself and cure the beef at home.
- Corned beef leftovers offer many creative possibilities. Aside from sandwiches, corned beef makes fantastic hash, delicious casseroles, and tasty soups. Or try something a little different, like these corned beef and cabbage rolls or these crescent roll Reuben bites.