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!
Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 (3-pound) corned beef brisket
- 1 small yellow onion
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle lager or brown ale
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pickling spices (or use the included spice packet)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 pound small waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or red
- 1 pound savoy cabbage
Rinse the brisket and chop the onion: Remove the brisket from its packaging and rinse under cool running water for 1 minute, rinsing off any spices that may have come in the brine. Place the brisket in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, cutting it in half if needed to fit. Peel and chop 1 small yellow onion into 1-inch thick wedges and place on top of the brisket.
Add the seasonings and cooking liquids: Add beef broth, lager or brown ale, apple cider vinegar, pickling spices, and granulated sugar.
Cook under HIGH pressure for 60 minutes. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 60 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables.
Prep the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage: Peel and cut carrots crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Halve small waxy potatoes and cut savoy cabbage into 1-thick wedges.
Let the pressure naturally release for 30 minutes. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 30 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure.
Cook the vegetables under HIGH pressure for 3 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the corned beef to a clean cutting board cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Add the vegetables to the Instant Pot, lock on the lid and seal the valve, and cook under HIGH pressure for 3 minutes. It will take about 6 minutes to come up to pressure.
Serve the corned beef and cabbage: When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Turn the Instant Pot off and use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl. Slice the corned beef across the grain and serve with the vegetables.
Meghan Splawn is the food editor for The Kitchn’s skills content at TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to email@example.com. Copyright 2021 Apartment Therapy. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.