These Instant Pot balsamic short ribs are easy to make and the epitome of winter comfort food, plus they’re dairy free, paleo, and Whole30 compliant!
Shooooort ribs! I remember the first time I ordered them, at a restaurant in Jamaica Plain on New Year’s Eve in 2011. I said to the waiter, “So short ribs are pork, right?” 😂
I’ve learned a lot about short ribs since first falling in love with them almost a decade ago. To begin with, they’re beef! Also, they’re one of the richest, most tender cuts you’ll find, and are best slow cooked or braised. After much testing and experimenting, I’m happy to report that using your Instant Pot* is one of the best ways to cook them (*this link and others with an asterisk are affiliate links, which means I earn from qualifying purchases).
I’ve been making balsamic short ribs for years in the slow cooker (get that recipe right here) and recently decided it was time to revamp the recipe for the Instant Pot (it should work in any electric pressure cooker, though!).
Why make short ribs in the Instant Pot instead of a slow cooker? There are two main reasons. First of all, it’s a lot faster. In the slow cooker, after searing, these short ribs take 7-8 hours. In the Instant Pot after searing, they take about 1 hour. That’s a pretty big difference!
Second of all, since you can sear these short ribs right in the Instant Pot*, you only need to get one pot dirty, instead of having to wash your slow cooker insert AND a skillet. That makes cleanup almost twice as fast.
And luckily, these Instant Pot balsamic short ribs taste just as good as the slow-cooker version, if not better. With both recipes, you end up with meat that’s falling off the bone and dripping with savory, slightly tangy, supremely comforting flavor. This time of year, I like to top the short ribs with pomegranate arils for crunch and extra juiciness, but it’s totally optional.
I love to serve these Instant Pot balsamic short ribs with a simple parsnip puree. It’s super smooth thanks to a good stint in the food processor with plenty of cooking water added in. Parsnips have a unique flavor that’s a bit unexpected for most people, so it’s fun to find that new taste paired with the familiar texture of a creamy mash.
If you’re not a fan or parsnips or can’t find any (try asking for ghost carrots before you give up!), these balsamic short ribs are also delicious with mashed potatoes (here’s an Instant Pot recipe for those in case you have two pots like me), butternut squash, or rutabaga. To round out the meal, you could add a salad–this bacon, arugula, and avocado salad is one of my favorites.
I hope you’ll give these Instant Pot balsamic short ribs a try soon!
Looking for more short rib recipes? Try these:
- Instant Pot short rib ragu
- Slow-cooker Cuban short ribs
- Kratiem prik thai short ribs
- Chili Lime Instant Pot short ribs from What Great Grandma Ate
Want even more delicious ways to use your Instant Pot? Here are some of my favorites.
- Instant Pot bacon & sweet potato chili
- Instant Pot fesenjan (Persian pomegranate chicken)
- Five-ingredient Instant Pot carnitas
- Instant Pot Pot Roast from Real Simple Good
- 6 bone-in beef short ribs (3-3 1/2 pounds)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil or ghee
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar*
- 1/4 cup low-sodium or homemade chicken or beef stock
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for serving
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils, for serving (optional)
- Push “Sauté” on the Instant Pot, making sure the heat level is set to “Normal”. Pat the short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper. When the Instant Pot says “Hot”, add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the short ribs and sear for a few minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Transfer the seared short ribs to a plate.
- Add the onion to the pan and sauté for about a minute. Add the balsamic vinegar, stock, and mustard and stir, using a spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Push “Keep Warm/Cancel” to turn off the sauté function. Add the rosemary and bay leaf. Return the short ribs to the pot, arranging them so they stand up vertically.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to “Sealing”. Set the pot to cook for 45 minutes on high pressure (for the model used for testing, push “Manual” and adjust the time to 45 minutes). Once the pot comes to pressure, it will begin counting down from 45 minutes.
- When the time is up, push “Keep Warm/Cancel” to turn off the warm function. Let the pressure release naturally by doing nothing for 15 minutes, then carefully move the valve to “Venting” to release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid and use tongs to transfer the short ribs to a plate. Spoon some of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid if desired, reserving what remains for serving.
- Serve hot with parsnip puree and some of the cooking liquid and onions spooned on top. Garnish with fresh rosemary and pomegranate arils if desired.
- To make the short ribs up to three days ahead, store the cooked ribs on a plate in the refrigerator and pour the cooking liquid into a glass jar or measuring cup in the refrigerator. Remove solidified fat before reheating cooking liquid. You can warm the short ribs and cooking liquid in the Instant Pot on “Sauté”, in the microwave, or in a low oven.
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