This three-ingredient recipe for short ribs was soooo easy and so good that it made me think twice about ousting my slow cooker when I voyaged into Instant Pot cooking. I did some experimenting this weekend and successfully converted it to an Instant Pot recipe that is, believe it or not, even easier, with a better result. The original recipe ran on this site in 2013, and continues to get crazy traffic, especially around Super Bowl time when people are planning their football food menus. The ingredients are exactly the same minus flour, the mess is less by a lot, and the time reduced from almost five hours to about one hour total including cook time. The short ribs and onions stay intact better with meat every bit as tender and flavorful as the original recipe, making this version a huge win. Perfect cold weather food, football food, comfort food- this recipe is a crowd pleaser, and it is so easy that it does not require precise measurements. It’s hard to mess this one up.
Beef Short Ribs (loosely plan on about 3 per man, 2 per woman, and leftovers are heaven-sent so plan for them…)
3-4 Yellow Onions, sliced thinly (they reduce, so use more than you think)
Avocado or Grapeseed Oil (these are 2 healthy, high heat index oil options)
2 cans of Guinness Beer (I recommend using this beer specifically)
Season the short ribs with salt & pepper.
Set your pressure cooker to the Sautee function and give it a few minutes to heat up.
Add a few tablespoons of oil to the bottom of your pressure cooker insert and brown the short ribs in batches, on all sides, and transfer to a plate.
Pour a little of the Guinness into the pot and with a wooden spoon, scrape any bits from the bottom of the insert. *This is an underemphasized yet very important step to any pressure cooker recipe to prevent burns on the bottom of the liner, which cause the dreaded “HOT” warning, which shuts down the device in the middle of cooking.
After scraping the bits off, turn sautee function off.
Add the sliced onions to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
Place the short ribs on top of the onions and add the 2 cans of Guinness. Season with salt and pepper, seal the lid and lock the steam valve.
Cook for 40 minutes on high pressure.
When cooking is complete, manually release the steam, and remove the short ribs and onions to a plate.
Change setting back to Sautee to reduce the sauce by 1/2. *A note about sauces in a pressure cooker- the technology prevents liquids from thickening while cooking, so it is up to you to thicken them afterward. I recommend reducing the sauce, and also adding a little cornstarch slurry until you reach the desired thickness, or using a mixture of equal parts flour/butter (which is known as buerre manie or kneaded butter) – slowly whisking a little bit at a time until the sauce thickens to your desired level.
I have made this recipe for years in a slow cooker (recipe here) and was pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out in the Instant Pot. Not only did it reduce 4 hours of cook time to 40 minutes, but it made considerably less mess and didn’t require flour for browning. The flavor is every bit as good, and the meat is super tender without falling apart or off the bones, which makes the presentation better with this version. These short ribs were the only reason I kept my slow cooker. I have since given it away because I am now fully transitioned to and spoiled by my Instant Pot.
The short ribs are terrific served over mashed potatoes, with the sauce. This is a good make-ahead recipe- equally delicious (possibly more) the next day for any number of uses such as sandwiches or tacos. The sauce is worth saving to use again in a different meal. It is absolutely delicious and the Guinness beer flavor is not recognizable. I have heard from readers who substituted the Guinness for another beer that the flavor was not nearly so good.
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