This Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe is served with carrots and potatoes for a perfect St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Cooking corned beef and cabbage in an electric pressure cooker means this traditional Irish dinner will be ready in less time than other cooking methods for a quick and easy one pot meal.
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My entire family loves Corned Beef and Cabbage, not just for St. Patrick’s Day but any time we want a tender, tasty, home cooked family dinner. The only problem is that, like most roasts, corned beef has a long cooking time. Using a pressure cooker doesn’t make Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage a 30 minute meal, but it does shave at least an hour off the cooking time compare to boiling or roasting the corned beef, and it is much quicker than using a slow cooker.
Advantages of Pressure Cooking Corned Beef and Cabbage
But for me the biggest reason to use an electric pressure cooker for corned beef and cabbage is that it means you can have one pot cooking without overcooking the vegetables. Now I know that some people will put the corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots all in a slow cooker and cook them together that way. But that results in mushy vegetables, and I hate mushy vegetables. Carrots and cabbage are two vegetables I think are much better served crisp and not over cooked.
Using the electric pressure cooker allows me to cook the corned beef, and then finish the vegetables in the same pot, with the corned beef cooking liquid so they are infused with some of the corned beef flavor. The time that the corned beef needs to rest before cutting is just enough time to pressure cook the potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Then the complete meal is ready at the same time, not overcooked, and I only have to wash one pot.
How do I chose the right cut of corned beef?
There are generally two types of corned beef available – a flat cut or a point cut. It is also possible to have an entire corned beef brisket with both the flat and the point, but I rarely see it sold that way at the grocery stores I frequent. The point cut is a less uniform shape and has fat running throughout. The flat cut is a uniform width and has a large slab of fat on the top. I prefer the flat cut because it is easy to trim off the fat before serving the corned beef. It is also easier to cut and serve the flat, especially if you are planning on making sandwiches with the leftovers.
How to Make Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
The first step in making the corned beef and cabbage is to rinse off the corned beef. Corned beef is cured with salt – lots and lots of salt. So it is best to rinse off the brisket before cooking to remove any extra salt. This doesn’t remove the flavor because there is still plenty of salt infused into the meat. If you skip this step your final Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage will be excessively salty. Just rinse the brisket with cool water and pat it dry.
Then place the corned beef brisket in the electric pressure cooker, pour the spice packet over it, and add liquid to cover the brisket. If your corned beef didn’t come with a packet of spices you can use a few tablespoons of pickling spice to flavor the beef. For liquid I add 2 cups of beef broth and then as much water as needed to cover the brisket. You can also use beer as a cooking liquid. My family aren’t huge fans of meat cooked with lots of beer, so I stick with beef broth. Using a bottle of Guinness would be authentically Irish though!
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Then close the pressure cooker and bring it up to High pressure for between 75-85 minutes, depending on the size of your corned beef brisket. After the cook time is done let the pressure naturally release.
Vegetables for the Pressure Cooker Corned Beef Dinner
While the corned beef rests the cabbage, carrots and potatoes are steamed in the Instant Pot. There are two ways to cook the vegetables. You can put the vegetables directly in the cooking liquid or you can put them in a steamer basket above the liquid. Either way works, it is just a question of how crispy you want the vegetables and how much corned beef flavor you want to impart into them. For me the optimal choice is to put the potatoes in the liquid so they absorb a lot of flavor and put the carrots and cabbage in a steamer basket. But either way, put the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook the vegetables on high pressure for about 5 minutes.
I used two carrots, four potatoes and half a cabbage to accompany my corned beef brisket. This is because I know my kids will eat more potatoes than cabbage or carrots, so your proportions might vary depending on which vegetables your family favors.
Serving Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
Once the vegetables are cooked the corned beef should be rested enough to cut. I prefer to cut the fat slab off the corned beef brisket before serving. Slice the brisket against the grain into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick. This makes a complete and well rounded meal with lots of meat and vegetables. You can also add a hearty bread, like Guinness Bread or Irish Soda Bread if you’d like to round out the meal. And if there are leftovers you can make Reuben Pizza Rolls or corned beef hash!
- 3 pound corned beef brisket (with spice packet)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water (more or less)
- 2 carrots
- 4 potatoes
- 1/2 head of cabbage
- Rinse the corned beef brisket off and add it to the Instant pot.
- Top the brisket with the include spice packet, or use 2 Tablespoons of pickling spice.
- Pour the beef broth over the corned beef. Then add water until the brisket is covered.
- Close the lid and set to Manual, High Pressure, for 80 minutes.
- After cooking is done let the Instant Pot release naturally for about 15 minutes.
- Chop the potatoes, carrots and cabbage.
- After 15 minutes release any remaining pressure. Remove the corned beef brisket, cover it with foil, and set it aside to rest.
- Pour 2 cups of the cooking liquid into a measuring cup and discard the rest.
- Add the cooking liquid back to the Instant Pot and place the vegetables in a steamer basket over the liquid.
- Put the pressure cooker lid back on and set it for Manual, High Pressure, 5 minutes.
- When it is done cooking do a quick pressure release and serve the corned beef with the potatoes, cabbage and carrots.
For a 2 pound brisket you can reduce the cooking time to 75 minutes and for a four pound brisket increase the cooking time to 85 minutes.
I make and test my recipes in a 6 quart Instant Pot, so if you use a different one your results may vary. However I would expect that this recipe will work well in other brands of pressure cooker or other Instant Pot sizes, because it contains lots of liquid.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 798 Total Fat: 42g Saturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 20g Cholesterol: 240mg Sodium: 438mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 5g Protein: 71g