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Instant Pot Short Ribs

October 23, 2018

We were talking about how little meat the Fussys eat. Well, here’s a great example.

Let’s flashback to last Friday. The young man had his braces adjusted, the wife was off on a business trip, and it was Shabbat. Old timers call it Shabbos, as did Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski. It’s the Jewish day of rest, and technically it begins Friday night at sunset. We play the whole thing a little bit fast and loose, but we still try to make a special meal for dinner to commemorate the holiday. It is, after all, the only holiday that makes it into the Ten Commandments. And it happens every week.

Usually, we have roast chicken. But apparently, when you have braces tightened, all you can do is suck food through pouches and maybe slurp some soup. Fortunately, I’m still sitting on a bunch of delicious homemade beef stock from those gorgeous bones I got from Bella Terra. And that broth combined with some orzo was a delightful treat for my progeny.

The big question is, how do you make that into dinner. The answer is short ribs.

Now remember that Mrs. Fussy is off on her work trip, so I’m solo with the kids. My job, these days, has been more busy than ever. And that’s a good thing. My job is a ton of fun. When my job gets busy it means I’m judging food competitions, eating my way across The Adelphi Hotel, and attending the Adirondack Film Festival.

It’s a hard life, I know.

But it also means there was precious little time to cook short ribs, but fortunately I’ve got my little Instant Pot. Which just happens to be the perfect size for a pack of Hannaford beef short ribs. There were four meaty pieces in the pack. I should have taken a picture, but it was probably about just a bit over a pound. The pack of “meat” cost just over ten bucks.

One of the cool functions of the Instant Pot is that you can saute and brown meats right in the thing. So I salted the meat, put down a little safflower oil, and cranked that thing on high.

I have to say, I was a little let down with its browning capabilities. Mostly, that process was slow. It took a long time to heat, and for some reason, it kept mysteriously turning off. Since I was under some time pressure, that was incredibly frustrating. But I think the problem was that the plug wasn’t secure in the back of the machine.

Let’s chalk that up to user error.

What’s the recipe? Salted and browned meat cubes. One onion, halved. Four carrots peeled. One bay leaf. Beef broth to come halfway up the meat. And cooked on high pressure for 45 minutes.

I have to say, these were just about perfect. They did not fall off the bone, but the bone did pull out cleanly from the meat with a slight pull. I might keep it in the pot a little longer for next time. However, I might not. Because really, things like short ribs are even better the second day. And once you cool, skim the fat, and reheat, you’ll be effectively cooking the short ribs a second time.

But that’s not what I did on Friday. I simply shredded the meat, and tossed it into a separate pot of homemade beef broth with sliced carrots. There was another pot of orzo. And all told, it made for a delightful meal without being stuck at home for the four hours it would typically take.

As an added bonus, that night I ran the Instant Pot again with with bones from the short ribs and made a deeply extracted bone broth. Except I realized that I skipped the critical step of roasting the bones and screwed up the resulting broth. Le sigh. Next time, bones. Next time.

Right. So this one-plus pounds of short ribs made dinner for three on Friday, dinner for four on Sunday, and dinner for three on Monday. Which puts the entire enterprise down as meat added for flavoring and not at the center of the plate.

To try and use all of the by-products of this cooking project, the dinner on Sunday night included a diced large potato from our CSA that was fried in some of the rendered beef fat. Dear god, that was delicious. But I have to confess to throwing away a fair bit of skimmed fat from the short rib project. We’ve cleared out most of the jars of reserved fat in the fridge, and I was fairly certain if I added a new one, Mrs. Fussy would kick me in a very uncomfortable place.

The bottom line, I’m totally making this again. But next time my bone broth will be better, and I’ll be saving more of that delicious delicious beef fat. Oh yeah, and I’ll get the short ribs from a local farm and not from the supermarket.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. the #1 Itinerary permalink
    October 23, 2018 10:27 am

    Great post 😁

  2. October 23, 2018 12:20 pm

    I’ve always recommended short ribs as the first dish you make in the Instant Pot because you get a great result for very little effort. I would follow your recipe except that I would dredge the ribs in flour before browning which will give you a thicker, juicy stock. (You are right that your saute problem is user error. Sauteeing in the Instant Pot is drop dead easy and effective and as a bonus your deglaze is automatically incorporated in your final product.)

    Hopefully you served young Mr. Fussy the broth but not the meat itself. Otherwise he would still be picking fibers out of his braces.

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