A friend of mine brought an Instant Pot back from Moscow three years ago and kept raving about it. Naturally, I waved my hand at her in dismissal and said, "No thanks."
More recently, I have been watching all sorts of recipes pop up on Pinterest featuring the Instant Pot. In several of my groups on Facebook, all the girls have been raving about it. I was not impressed -- until I heard that tough cuts of meat that take hours in the oven could be done in an hour. Sold.
An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. Remember those ancient pressure cookers that used to blow up? Yeah, those terrified me too … this is not that. This baby is electric, digital and super easy to use. And did I mention you can make a brisket in AN HOUR?
I have a really incredible Melt-in-Your-Mouth Brisket recipe that I swear by. Actually, I have friends and clients who swear by it too. It's divine and perfect for all your fancy dinners where nothing else but an incredibly tender roast will do.
There is however one tiny little issue -- this brisket takes 5-6 hours depending on its size. So while it would be perfect when planned ahead of time, it is not so perfect if you want to get your brisket on the table for a 7 p.m. dinner when you get home at 5:30.
As of recently, the hubs is on a low-carb diet -- actually, a no-carb diet -- so my house has become a carnivore's estate. By the time Sunday rolls around, my fridge is empty with merely dairy, fruits, eggs and deli meats remaining. So hub's choices are limited for his dinners and or snacks.
I decided to be a lovely wife and cook up a nice wholesome dinner for him and take my Instant Pot for a test drive. I had a brisket hanging out in my fridge from my last Crestwood Farms delivery and I needed to use it and fast. So I opened up my Instant Pot manual, checked how long to cook this baby up for and went to town.
Searing: The great thing about this Instant Pot is that all the steps can be done in the exact same pot. Simply turn it on to the "saute" option and pour some oil in. After seasoning the brisket liberally with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, I placed it right into the Instant Pot to sear on each side, about 7 minutes per side.
Aromatics and Flavors: I kept this recipe full of classic and simple flavors. I removed the brisket and deglazed the pot with some tomato paste, ensuring to scrub the bottom well. Then I added in roughly chopped onions, carrots, garlic cloves and rosemary and let it cook a few minutes to get them sweating. Lastly, in went back the brisket, red wine, chicken base and chicken stock. I placed the lid on, switched it to "close" and changed the setting to "meat/stew" for 50 minutes. That's it guys. Then I sat back and enjoyed funny re-runs of Parks and Recreation. Once I decreased the pressure, I opened the lid and an instant "HOLY CRAP" escaped my mouth. It was indeed beautifully tender and practically falling apart. Perfect.
The Sauce: I removed the brisket to rest on the cutting board. (This is imperative, the brisket needs to rest before cutting, just like any other meat or roast in order to output the most tender results). I prefer my sauce to be from the natural cooking juices. I turned the Instan Pot to "saute" and let the sauce boil away. After about 10 minutes, I turned it off and pureed it a bit in my trusty Vitamix. All that was left was to slice the brisket and douse it in that luxurious sauce.
I served my super tender brisket to the hubs with a side of love and my munchkin and I got my super crispy garlic and herb-roasted potatoes. Serves him right for wanting all protein.
That being said, he was quite pleased with his dinner and was very surprised that my brisket took all of one hour.
Red Wine Braised Instant Pot Brisket
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 large onion chopped roughly
3 large carrots chopped roughly
6 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup of red wine
1.5 cups chicken or beef broth
1 heaping tbsp of chicken base
salt and pepper to season
vegetable avocado or coconut oil to sear the meat
1. Dry the meat with a paper towel and season well with coarse salt and freshly crushed black pepper.
2. Turn the the Instant Pot to the "saute" setting. Add in oil and wait until the display reads "hot."
3. Sear the brisket well on each side, about 7 minutes per side.
4. Remove the brisket and add in the onions, carrots, and tomato paste. Use the tomato paste to scrub up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Allow to saute for 5 minutes.
5. Add in the red wine, chicken or beef broth chicken base, garlic and rosemary. Scrub the bottom making sure to get all the browned up bits (this is called deglazing).
6. Add the brisket back into the pot and place some of the vegetables on top.
7. Press the "keep warm/cancel" button to reset the Instant Pot.
8. Press "meat/stew" and set the timer for 50 minutes.
9. Once the timer goes off, allow it to lose pressure naturally. If you do a quick release on a large and tough piece of meat like this brisket you risk toughening the meat up. Allow to rest while tented with a foil.
10. Once the machine has released its pressure, remove the brisket and switch the mode back to "sauce."
11. Allow the sauce to reduce for 10-15 minutes and use either a blender or an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
12. Slice the brisket and serve.
1. My original recipe has an entire description of how to slice the meat properly.
2. This is extremely freezer friendly. In fact, it is one of the few recipes that tastes incredibly after defrosted. Just slice it cover it with sauce and freeze. Reheat it in a 350-degree oven, covered for about 40-45 minutes. And serve.
3. Some Instant Pots may take longer to heat up so the final cooking time may vary. That being said, this will still be cooked in a significantly shorter amount of time than any other cooking method.
4. The size of your brisket will also affect your cooking time. This size is great for a typical dinner for 4 people. I have noticed that for every pound of meat it will add on about 15 minutes of cooking time.