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The Kitchn: How to make Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage

Meghan Splawn, on

Corned beef and cabbage, the classic Irish dish most often enjoyed on St Patrick’s Day, is considered an essential March recipe by many home cooks. The star of the dish is the beef brisket, which has been cured with salt and spices for days (or up to several weeks) before cooking, resulting in briny, slightly tangy, extremely tender beef. You’ll most often see it paired with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes.

To achieve its signature tender texture and flavorful broth, homemade corned beef and cabbage usually requires hours of braising or slow cooking. But no longer! Our Instant Pot version is the absolute fastest way to cook this classic dish. It gives you perfect corned beef and ultra-creamy vegetables in under two hours, and you don’t have to tend to a pot all day. The easy, foolproof method is also great for beginners.

What corned beef is best for Instant Pot corned beef?

While corning your own beef is a wonderful cooking project, buying already-corned beef is your best bet for Instant Pot cooking. You can readily find it in most supermarkets alongside the beef briskets. Given the choice between a flat cut or a point cut corned beef, we prefer a point cut — it has more fat and marbling that keeps things tender. Many packages of corned beef also come with a spice packet, so be sure to check before picking up the pickling spices.

3 tips for fuss-free corned beef and cabbage

1. Rinse your brisket. Because it has been cured with salt, corned beef is pretty salty. Give the entire brisket a wash in cool water before cooking, which helps draw out the cure and balance the flavor in the Instant Pot.


2. Cook the brisket first. Cook the brisket with just an onion, spices, broth and beer for 60 minutes under high pressure. Let the Instant Pot naturally release for 30 minutes before releasing the pot’s pressure and removing the brisket to rest.

3. Give the veggies a quick cook. After the brisket is cooked, add the potatoes, carrots and cabbage for a quick (3-minute!) cook under pressure.

Serving Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage

After the corned beef brisket has rested, use a sharp knife to cut it into thin slices across its grain. Serve the tender beef and veggies with a ladle of the flavorful broth. Grainy mustard and a cold dark beer are optional, but highly recommended!


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