Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Corned Beef in the Instant Pot

Through the years, I have prepared corned beef in the crock pot, in the oven, and stove top. While I love the flavor of a corned beef in the crock pot, it often produces a roast that is fall-apart overdone and next to impossible to thinly slice. I have done the 3-3-3 oven method, my mother's favorite: three cups of water, three hours, at three-hundred degrees. But it really depends on the size of the corned beef.

I mostly prepared corned beef in a large pot on top of the stove, slow simmered, periodically testing it for doneness by poking it with a long-tined fork. That's fine, if I'm home and have the time. All three methods suffuse the house with an aromatic, St. Paddy's Day flavor.

This year, however, I did mine in the Instant Pot. And, by far, it produced the nicest corned beef. It was flavorful (crock pot virtue) without falling apart. It sliced absolutely beautifully! It was tender and juicy. I prepared three since my store had a terrific sale. The one below is the one I liked the best. And it's the most simple.

For the first one, I added celery, potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, and beer. I used the obligatory spice packet. The result was a corned beef that, because of the beer, was a bit bitter as were the veggies. And I should have used more dried spices.

For the second, I only used one onion a large garlic clove, and the enclosed spice packet. It was okay, but it still lacked that St. Patrick's Day PUNCH of flavor.

For the third, (pictured) I used no veggies at all. NONE! I DOUBLED the dried spices. I added one large clove of garlic. And I reduced the amount of liquid. It was IRISH BLISS! 

All three of my corned beefs were 2-3 lbs. While the texture of all three ended up the same, tender and juicy, easy to slice, the third, by far, had the best flavor. (See your manual for the best cooking times according to the size of your roast.)

Unlike traditional recipes, I prefer my cabbage and potatoes "clean," so I boil them separately and season with some of the beef juice along with butter, salt and pepper.

  • 1 corned beef, flat cut, 2-3 lbs.
  • 1 packet spice mixture that comes with the beef mixed with:
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried pickling spices*
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed, peeled, cut in half

Remove corned beef from plastic wrap and rinse thoroughly under cool water. Place the steel trivet into the IP. Place washed beef on top. Drop in the garlic. Add the two cups of water. Sprinkle with the dried spices. Cover. Lock. Place vent to seal. 

Pressured cook for 75 minutes on "meat and stew" setting. Allow to self-vent for 15-20 minutes. Vent until lid opens. Remove corned beef. Cover with foil and allow to sit and additional 10-30 minutes. Slice and serve.

For warmed-up leftovers the following day, I made latkes, or potato pancakes. They paired remarkably well with the beef and were a real treat! Terrific for breakfast with a fried egg.

This was a great combo!

*I use McCormick Pickling Spice (you may need to visit a few stores before find pickling spices. It has a very long shelf life!)

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