Ya gotta know I have a bit of a thing for Corned Beef. Heck, I and can hardly wait every year to make it for St. Paddy’s day! I even have a couple of recipes already on my site, Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner for the Crockpot or Oven and a Whiskey & Marmalade Glazed Corned Beef. Both are delish but I just had to make an Instant Pot Corned Beef for this year. I’ve actually made it several times just to make sure
I got my fill I perfected it before I posted the recipe, here.
Okay okay, I made the Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage several times for both reasons – just to make sure it was perfect AND to get my fill! But I did want to make sure the timing was down perfectly, whether you have a smaller Corned Beef or one that’s a bit larger. And I wanted to make sure the veggies were all going to come out beautifully with little fuss or bother.
About Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage:
And speaking of no fuss or bother, it doesn’t get easier than cooking your Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage. And there was a big surprise when I made the corned beef, and I’ve been making corned beef multiple times a year for close to 40 years. This Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage is just beautifully cooked.
The brisket is meltingly tender, absolutely juicy and luscious and really is perfection. I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to hit that exact stage with my regular corned beef and cabbage recipe and I know I never have with any slow cooker version. I know some people expect their corned beef to fall into shreddy chunks (and that makes me feel nostalgic, too) and if that’s the case for you, just add a few minutes to the cooking time.
The veggies, too, are just wonderful in the Instant Pot. The potatoes are a no brainer, they’re always gonna be good, right? The carrots are all soft and squishy and the cabbage? Well, you have your choice between very soft and wilty, which I gotta admit, I do love but I know some people don’t, or a cabbage that’s cooked through so it’s fresher or firmer. Whatever you like; it’s up to you.
Making Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage:
The very first time I made Instant Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage, in spite of the gorgeous texture, the flavor seemed a bit off to me. See my go-to method is the oven braised one I use for my Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner and I don’t use the spice packet because the flavors are so concentrated already. In this recipe, you need it, so definitely use the spice packet to boost the flavor. I actually recommend not straining out the spices before serving, though you can if you want, because they add a lot of flavor to the vegetables.
This is a two part recipe. First, the corned beef is cooked, then the veggies. You’ll use your rack for the corned beef, sprinkle the spice packet over the corned beef and liquid. When you remove the corned beef, dunk the spice side into the liquid; some of it will wash off and add help flavor that broth. Remove about a cup of the liquid and reserve.
Then add in the potatoes, the biggest, fattest carrots you can find and then the cabbage. If you’want your cabbage all melty and soft and wilty, lay it on top of the carrots. If you want your cabbage a bit firmer, take a piece of foil and fold the edges up so it’s a bit smaller than the liner of the Instant Pot. Put it on top of the carrots making sure to leave space at the sides of the pot and put the cabbage on it. Either way, drizzle the reserved liquid over the cabbage. Your pot is going to be very full, but no worries – it will be fine because there’s lots of space in between the cabbage and carrots so it can jut out above that “max fill” line.
Saving Money on Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage:
As far as cost, Corned Beef isn’t always the cheapest of meats, even when on sale for St. Patrick’s day, but watch closely and you’re likely to find some decent pricing. Depending on how the stores in your area handle the excess after the holiday, you may be able to pick a couple up for dirt cheap, after. Corned Beef will keep for weeks in the fridge and freezes well, so I always pick up extra if it’s at a great price.
Luckily, all the rest of the Corned Beef Cabbage Dinner IS dirt cheap and usually on sale. Compare pricing if you come across those bags of veggies, though. Sometimes the bagged “specials” might be more (or at least more per pound) than buying potatoes, carrots, and cabbage on their own. And while you’re at it, pick up extra of any of the vegetables while they’re on sale especially the cabbage if you have room. Then make my Cabbage Rolls or Cabbage Roll Soup, both perfect for cold spring days!
These days, corned beef seems to come in smaller packages, but If you can set a little corned beef aside to come back to the table another night, you’re able to “cost average” that brisket over two meals or more. While the Corned Beef will be the star of the show the first night while it will take on a secondary role the second. Think Classic Reubens, of course, or my Connemara Soup, Irish Pub Nachos or just about any of my postings under Irish & Irish American Collection for cost-effective ways to stretch a little leftover Corned Beef.
Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 1 two to three and a half pound flat cut corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 6 medium red or russet potatoes, peeled if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 large carrots, cut into 4-inch pieces
- 1 small cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
Remove brisket from package and quickly rinse off most of the gel. Do not “scrub” it clean, just get off the majority. If desired, trim some, not all of the fat from the top of the brisket, leaving an even layer.
Place 1 1/2 cup water in the Instant Pot, along with the onion pieces. Position the rack on top and add the brisket, fat side up. Sprinkle the content of the seasoning packet over the top of the brisket, allowing some to fall into the liquid, below.
Seal and set to High Pressure for one hour and 25 minutes (85 minutes.) When finished, use a Quick Release. Remove the brisket and rack. With tongs, place brisket back in the liquid, fat side down, then remove, and set aside, tenting with foil to keep warm. Remove, and reserve one cup of the liquid.
Add the potatoes to the bottom of the Instant Pot, sprinkle with salt, add carrots on top of the potatoes, larger pieces first. To cook the cabbage to a very soft state, add it on top of the carrots. If cooking the cabbage to a firmer state, place a round of foil with the edges turned up about an inch, just slightly smaller than the Instant Pot liner, on top of the carrots and then add the cabbage on top of it. Drizzle the reserved liquid over the cabbage.
Seal the Instant Pot and set to High Pressure for five minutes. When finished quick release.
Slice the brisket, serve arranged on a platter with the vegetables. Strain the liquid if desired and pour some over the brisket and pass the rest on the side.
Note: If a corned beef that is nearly falling apart in chunks is desired, set the timer for 90 minutes.