When holidays like Yom Kippur begin on a weekday evening, it’s sometimes a scramble to get a proper and filling meal on the table with enough time left over to actually enjoy it. I get it. If you have an Instant Pot Multi-Cooker, though, you can have this beautiful brisket main dish on the table in less than half the time of traditional cooking methods, and with less than half the mess!
Instant Pot Brisket
- 2 – 3 lb beef brisket
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. grapeseed, olive, or canola oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 cup black coffee (cold or hot – use leftover from this morning, if you want to)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Give the brisket a quick rinse under cool running water. Pat dry with some paper towels. There’s usually a thick layer of fat on one side of the meat, called the “fat cap”. You don’t need all of that, so trim most of it off with a sharp knife. Season the meat by rubbing it all over with the salt, and set aside.
Preheat the Instant Pot on the Sauté setting. When the pot beeps, add the 2 Tbs. oil and allow it to heat for about a minute.
Add the meat to the Pot, fattiest side down, and allow it to brown on that side for about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the garlic powder on the side of the brisket that’s facing up, and press it into the meat with the back of a spoon.
After browning the first side, turn over the brisket (I use a pair of long tongs for this), and let it brown on the other side for another 5 minutes.
Add the coffee, water, and balsamic vinegar to the pot, then sprinkle the cranberries over the top.
Press the red Cancel/Keep Warm button on the Instant Pot and place the lid on top, fastening it securely. Make sure the release valve on the top of the lid is turned to the “Sealing” setting.
When the lid is secured properly, press the Meat/Stew button – it should default to the “High” pressure setting – and walk away. This cycle is 45 minutes, but that timer won’t start until the pot comes up to full pressure, so allow about an extra 15 minutes or so.
About 1 hour later, the pot will beep when the cycle is done, and will automatically switch itself to “Keep Warm”.
At this point, you have a choice: You can either allow the pressure to reduce naturally, or you can carefully turn the valve on the lid to “Venting”. If you don’t have a lot of experience with this part, or you’re easily startled, I suggest putting on an oven mitt before turning the valve. Steam will shoot out, briefly.
After the pot is fully vented (no more steam is coming out of the valve), turn the lid slowly to the open position, and remove it, facing away from you.
Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly, against the grain, for serving.
If serving with the jus (the cooking liquid), strain out the cranberries, first. They’ve already given up all their flavor into the meat, so they really won’t add anything more at this point. I also like to serve the brisket with a little horseradish sauce or straight-up white horseradish on the side, if it’s not too vinegary.
After browning the meat, add the liquids and cranberries
About a year ago, I succumbed to the pressure and bought an Instant Pot Multi-Cooker. Hahahaha! I kill myself, sometimes. Frankly, I wasn’t sure just how useful the Instant Pot was going to be in my life. After all, I’ve been managing quite well without a pressure cooker all these years, and they honestly scared the bejeezus out of me. But, with the assistance of peer pressure, I overcame my fear and took the leap. I have made many soups, stews, and the best brown rice ever, over the past year. I’ve even started some of these meals with frozen meat and chicken, when I haven’t planned ahead! It’s also taken the place of my old slow cooker that recently bit the dust, so I can honestly say that the Instant Pot has earned its keep and a spot on the shelf in my kitchen.
With wishes for an easy fast and Peace in the year ahead –