Instant Pot Corned Beef And Cabbage Recipe

Unless you're well-versed in food lore, it's easy to look at a casserole of corned beef and wonder if corn ever had anything to do with the dish. The answer is: it never has, at least not in the form that you might expect. Smithsonian Magazine points out that the term "corned beef" was coined by the British, and was used to describe beef that was seasoned with salt crystals that were so large, they looked more like kernels of corn than salt. 

Although corned beef is a dish you're most likely to enjoy on St. Patrick's Day, its roots don't technically go back to Ireland and the old country. Like many good things we enjoy today, corned beef is a product of a few cultures. While much of Britain's corned beef in the 17th century came from Ireland, those slabs of beef were also costly, and were beyond the reach of most Irish folks, who consumed salt pork instead (via The Kitchn) — that is, until they immigrated to North America in the 1800s and found salt beef (aka corned beef) less expensive than their preferred salt pork. 

Because most 19th century Irish immigrants lived in urban centers like New York, the most convenient places to buy their cuts of meat were the local kosher butchers, where beef brisket brined the Jewish way was on offer — so this is what they ate. 

This recipe by Hayley MacLean takes that classic dish and brings it into the 21st century with the help of the Instant Pot, a gadget that guarantees mouthwatering results.

Why use an Instant Pot?

While corned beef is traditionally made by simmering brisket on a stove over low heat for an extended period of time, MacLean recommends using an Instant Pot instead, because, as she puts it, "Making this in an Instant Pot not only cuts down on time, I think it makes the meat even more tender — it absolutely just melts in your mouth." 

Cooking your corned beef using an Instant Pot set to "pressure cook" also serves another purpose. "By pressure cooking rather than simmering the corned beef on the stove, the tastes of the beef and vegetables are really amplified, which in turn gives us more rich and developed flavors," MacLean says.

Gather your ingredients for Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage

Because you're not likely to keep cuts of brined beef brisket around on the off chance you'll be making corned beef, this recipe will require a trip to the supermarket to acquire a three-pound cut of beef brisket (preferably a flat cut) with a seasoning packet (here's some help to make your own seasoning mix if your brisket doesn't come with one). 

The other ingredients will likely be staples you can find in your kitchen, and these include onion, garlic, beef broth, red potatoes, carrots, green cabbage, butter, salt, and pepper. If red potatoes aren't easily found, new potatoes will do the trick, as they are waxy and have a lower starch content — meaning they aren't as likely to fall apart while they are being cooked (via Serious Eats).

Rinse and pressure cook the brisket

To cook your corned beef, begin by rinsing the brisket very well under cold water, as the brine the meat is packed in could make your meat saltier than you had intended (via The Kitchn). From there, pat the cut of meat dry, and set it aside. 

Combine the onion, garlic, and the contents of the seasoning packet together in the Instant Pot, then lay the brisket on top of the spice mixture. You'll then want to add the butter knob on top of the meat, and then pour the beef broth over the brisket.

When the corned beef is ready, lock the Instant Pot lid into place and pressure cook on high for 90 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then turn the venting knob from sealing to venting to quickly release the remaining pressure.

Pressure cook your vegetables, and serve

After the brisket has cooked for 90 minutes, remove the cut of meat from the cooker, set aside, and cover with a piece of aluminium foil so it can rest. You can then use the device to cook the vegetables by adding the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage to the salty, savory liquid in the Instant Pot, seasoning the vegetables with salt (only if necessary) and pepper to taste. Replace the Instant Pot lid and pressure the vegetables on high for five minutes. After cooking, quickly release the pressure, then serve.

MacLean recommends serving corned beef with a horseradish sauce, which she says brings in a nice spicy kick. She also recommends that you save the juices, since "the cooking liquid from the Instant Pot can be strained and used to make a gravy," she says. "A nice crusty bread would also go great on the side of this to sop up all the delicious juices."

Instant Pot Corned Beef And Cabbage Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
This Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage recipe brings the classic dish into the 21st century with the help of a gadget that guarantees mouthwatering results.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
1.58
hours
Servings
4
servings
Corned beef and vegetables in a casserole serving dish
Total time: 1.83 hours
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 6 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 head green cabbage, cut into wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Rinse the corned beef brisket well under cold water, and pat dry.
  2. Mix together the onion, garlic, and seasoning packet in the Instant Pot.
  3. Place the brisket on top of the onion mixture and top with the butter.
  4. Pour the beef broth over the brisket.
  5. Lock the Instant Pot lid and pressure cook on high for 90 minutes.
  6. When the time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then quickly release the remaining pressure.
  7. Remove the brisket to a plate and cover it with foil to rest.
  8. While the brisket is resting, place the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage into the Instant Pot and mix with the cooking liquid, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Replace the Instant Pot lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. After cooking, quickly release the pressure.
  10. Thinly slice the brisket, and serve with the vegetables.
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