When the words “short ribs” are mentioned, it really doesn’t ever surprise me to see my fellow meat lovers’ eyes light up and mouths begin to drool.
That’s because they’re the most tender, fall apart, melt-in-your-mouth cut of beef one can devour. And making them in the Instant Pot only fuels the cause for cooking them to absolute PERFECTION.
The added bonus here is we’re making a rich French burgundy-Asian infused sauce that is going to have a wonderful combination of sweet AND savory! This one is GUARANTEED to be a home run!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Let’s start by making the sauce. Take some reduced sodium beef broth…
…a dry red wine (like a Pinot Noir)…
…oyster sauce (don’t worry – it doesn’t take like oysters)…
…light brown sugar…
…Chinese five spice…
…and minced garlic.
Whisk together until well combined and set aside.
Now take some star anise…
…and a cinnamon stick, broken into pieces.
Add them to a metal tea ball. (or sieved spice bag)…
…and securely shut and lock the tea ball so the spices are contained. Set this aside as well.
Then, take a large Spanish onion…
…and cut it into quarters. And, you guessed it, set aside.
Now, let’s focus on our short ribs! You’ll want either some bone-in or boneless short ribs (I used boneless and got them from Costco. Absolutely wonderful cuts of meat there for great prices!) Bone-in or boneless, whichever you choose the end results will be the same and, if using bone-in, they’ll fall off the bone anyway when serving!
Now let’s take a little Kosher salt (it has nothing to do with being Jewish OR keeping kosher – it’s simply a coarse salt that has amazing flavor when seasoning meat)…
…and some black pepper…
…and sprinkle it on the short ribs (but don’t overdo it).
With clean hands, rub it in nice and good and then flip the meat over and repeat on the other side (don’t worry about seasoning the sides – they don’t need to be seasoned). Wash your hands good when done.
Looka that! All rubbed in and seasoned!
Now go down to the Instant Pot and give it some heat. After a few minutes of heating, quickly sear the short ribs in batches…
…flipping them over and then making sure to sear the other side (don’t worry about searing unseasoned the sides – just the top and bottom is sufficient).
When done, remove the short ribs and let them rest on a plate (note how the sides aren’t seared and totally pink – this is what we want).
When done searing, you’ll see some of the kosher salt and pepper stuck onto the bottom of the pot.
Take just a little of the sauce and add it to the pot…
…and then take a mixing spoon or spatula and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot and any salt and pepper that was caked on will immediately come up and blend into the sauce.
Lay in the four onion wedges (rounded side-down as a foundation for the short ribs) and place the metal tea ball with the spices in the center).
Using the onion wedges and tea ball as a foundation, layer the seared short ribs on top…
…criss-crossing them until all are layered in.
Pour all of the sauce directly over the short ribs (DON’T STIR ANYTHING), secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done cooking, take some tongs and CAREFULLY transfer the short ribs from the pot to a serving dish. And I mean carefully because these are going to want to fall apart (which is fine if some does – they’re going to anyway once served, but it’s nicer to have larger pieces when serving).
Make sure you also pull out the metal tea ball with the spices and discard the spices (but save the tea ball)!
And there we have it. All of our fall-apart, melt-away short ribs transferred to s serving dish (and some will inevitably fall apart during the transfer but that’s ultra-tender short ribs for you)! Set those aside for a moment.
Let’s focus on our sauce now. Give the pot some heat and bring it to a bubble…
…and add in some honey…
…followed by a cornstarch slurry and IMMEDIATELY stir very well.
Allow the sauce to bubble for a minute and then turn the pot off and after it calms down, give it a good stir and you’ll see the sauce will have thickened up a bit.
Pour the sauce over the short ribs (you may have some extra)…
…and feel free to skim off any of the fat that may rise to the top from when the short ribs cooked (but some people enjoy this).
And just look at this beautiful plate of tender, rich, sweet and savory short ribs!
Look at how HAPPY your friends will be when its placed in front of them!
They may even recite some Shakespeare.
Or just look at you with loving eyes because every bite of these is an experience that must be tasted to be believed!
- 3.25-5 lbs of boneless short ribs OR 5-6 lbs of bone-in short ribs (I used boneless short ribs from Costco, which is stellar quality. If using bone-in, it will taste exactly the same but make sure they fit in your Instant Pot as the bones take more space)
- Kosher salt & pepper, to season the short ribs
- 1 cup of low sodium beef broth (1 tsp of Reduced Sodium Beef Better Than Bouillon + 1 cup of water)
- 1 cup of a dry red wine (a dry Pinot Noir is great, but don’t use red cooking wine for this as it’s too salty)
- 1/3 cup of oyster sauce (OR 1/3 cup of hoisin sauce if you wish it to be a slightly sweeter sauce)
- 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
- 1 tsp of Chinese five spice
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 3 whole star anise (not the same thing as anise seed)
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 1 large Spanish onion, quartered into four wedges
- 1/4 cup of cornstarch + 1/4 cup of water to form a slurry
- 1/4 cup of honey
- Create the sauce by whisking together the beef broth, red wine, oyster sauce, crushed garlic, Chinese five spice and light brown sugar until well combined. Set aside
- Take the Star Anise pods, cloves and broken cinnamon sticks and add them to a metal tea ball or sieved spice bag and also set aside
- Rub the short ribs with the kosher salt & pepper on both sides (a few sprinkles of each is fine, but don’t overdo it)
- On the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. After 2 minutes of heating up, in batches, sear the short ribs for about 1 minute on each side and then remove and place on a plate
- When done searing all the meat, add in about 1/4 cup of the sauce and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot so that any of the kosher salt and pepper that was caked on from searing is now mixed in with the added sauce
- Add in the four onion wedges, rounded side-down, as a foundation for the short ribs to rest on and place the metal tea ball with the spices in the center of the four onion wedges. Rest all the short ribs on top of the onion and tea ball in a criss-cross fashion
- Pour the remaining sauce all over the short ribs
- Secure the lid, hit the “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” at High Pressure for 45 minutes. Allow a 15 minute natural release when done followed by a quick release. (Note: This cook time remains the same no matter how many pounds of short ribs you put in your pot)
- When done, carefully remove the ribs from the pot using tongs and a spatula (they will be prone to falling apart, as they should because they are going to have cooked to perfection) and place in a serving dish. Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” followed by “Sauté” and bring the sauce to a bubble. Add in the honey followed by the cornstarch slurry, stir immediately and let bubble for 1 minute before hitting “Keep Warm/Cancel” to turn the pot off. The sauce will thicken as it cools
- Pour the sauce over the short ribs and serve with some bread to sop up the sauce as well as a wonderful side dish like my Aligot or Cauliflower Mash!
Seeing as it fuses together elements of french AND asian flavors, this sauce is both sweet AND savory. The savory will be covered perfectly (as is the sweet in my opinion) but if you want it sweeter, add in more light brown sugar and honey to taste (I suggest up to 2 tbsp extra for the brown sugar and 1/4 cup extra for the honey).
For encapsulating the spices, I used this metal tea ball.
In case you were wondering, a “natural release” means you do NOTHING and allow the steam to release on its own for the specified time stated in a recipe (in this case, for 15 minutes and it won’t look like any steam is coming out of the pot). After the 15 minutes have passed, finish by releasing the rest of the steam (where the steam will rush out).