Tender, flavorful short ribs made with tart cherry juice for a paleo-friendly short rib recipe. Serve these Paleo Instant Pot Short Ribs on top of mashed sweet potatoes for a complete, satisfying meal!
Words can’t adequately describe how much I love this Instant Pot short ribs recipe. I’ve made short ribs countless times over the years, and the Instant Pot version is by far my favorite approach.
Not only does the meat turn out incredibly rich, flavorful, and fall-apart tender, but the recipe is so goof-proof that it is impossible to mess up.
So if this is your first time making Instant Pot beef short ribs, no sweat. Guaranteed success lies ahead.
I shared these recently with my mom and her partner, and they officially dubbed them, “Disappearing Short Ribs.” Let’s just say they do not disappoint. 😉
Cooking short ribs in the Instant Pot requires far less time than the stove top, oven, and slow cooker approach.
For the longest time, I reserved short ribs for very special occasions because of the length of time required. But this method only takes just over an hour, if you can believe it!
The end result is so consistently amazing. Mouth-wateringly tender, fall off the bone tender meat in a delicious sauce. This is the life.
While short ribs are absolutely delicious when made on the stove top or in the crock pot, the electric pressure cooker has them ready in a fraction of the time with an absolutely amazing result.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Short Ribs:
Short Ribs: Bone-in beef short ribs are the star of the show here! You will need two to three pounds. Just note that short ribs shrink a lot during the cooking process, so buy more than you think you need.
Vegetables: Onion, carrots, garlic
Cooking Liquid: Tart cherry juice and balsamic vinegar. For the best result, use 100% cherry juice rather than sugar added juice.
Seasonings: Dried rosemary, dried oregano, sea salt and black pepper. This combination of seasonings is all we need to generate an herby rustic flavor.
- If you love the flavor of tomato sauces with short ribs, mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato paste in with the cherry juice before adding it.
- Love sweet sauces? Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of brown sugar.
- You can substitute beef broth for the cherry juice if necessary.
- Add 1 to 2 bay leaves if you have them on hand.
- Replace the balsamic vinegar with Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce if you’d like.
In the past, I’ve always used red wine for braising ribs, but this time around I wanted to take a different approach. Rather than using red wine, I used tart cherry juice.
Because tart cherry juice is relatively low in sugar, it works marvelously as a braising liquid – yielding a great deal of flavor with just the right tang-to-sweet balance.
If you keep red wine on hand and prefer using red wine, simply swap out the cherry juice for wine. You can absolutely use broth, but I find using a tangy-sweet liquid yields a much tastier result than broth.
Now that we’re familiar with the simple ingredients, let’s make it.
How to Make Instant Pot Short Ribs
Start by searing the meat. To do so, plug in your Instant Pot and press the Sauté function. Allow it to heat up for a few minutes until it is sizzling hot.
Place the short ribs on the hot surface at the bottom of the pot (no oil needed) and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat is golden-brown. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Note: this process can be done in a cast iron skillet if your pressure cooker doesn’t get hot enough to sear.
You’ll likely need to brown the meat in two batches, as there won’t be enough room to fit all of the short ribs at the same time. Once the meat is browned, transfer it to a plate.
Leave the Instant Pot on the Sauté setting and add the onion and carrots, sautéing them in the beef fat. Note: if not much fat rendered from the meat, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of avocado oil or olive oil).
Once the veggies have softened up a bit, place the meat back in the Instant Pot and add the cherry juice and remaining ingredients.
Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, press Manual or Meat/Stew and set the time for 45 minutes for bone-in short ribs or 35 minutes for boneless short ribs. Be sure your Instant Pot is set to its default of High pressure and that the pressure release valve is closed (set to ‘sealing’).
While this may seem like a long cook time for an Instant Pot recipe, the longer cooking time is well worth it because the finished product is just so perfect.
Once the IP is finished pressure cooking, allow it to naturally release and go into the Keep Warm mode for 15 minutes.
In other words, don’t touch it after it has finished pressure cooking and let it go into natural release mode.
If aren’t in a rush, allow it to naturally release for 30 minutes for the absolute best result. The extra time will yield incredibly tender beef.
Now open the pressure release valve to release the remaining pressure. If you skip the keep warm portion of the recipe and quick release too soon, the meat can turn out tough, so the keep warm setting is pretty pivotal in this application.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Glaze or Not to Glaze?
If you’d like, you can make a sassy little sauce for this adventure.
To do so, remove all the meat from the Instant Pot when it has finished cooking and skim the fat off the top of the braising liquid (if you don’t have a fat skimmer, you can leave it but the sauce won’t get quite as glazey).
Press Sauté, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour (regular all-purpose flour or a cornstarch slurry works too).
Allow the liquid to boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired thickness. This process will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve your short ribs on top of mashed sweet potatoes with some sauce and a sprinkle of fresh thyme and you’re set for a super swanky, sexy meal.
Slow Cooker Method:
If you have the time, you can absolutely make short ribs in your slow cooker. You’ll simply follow the first two steps using a skillet on the stove top, then transfer everything to your crock pot. Slow cook for 8 to 10 hours on low for the best result.
You can also follow my recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs.
What to Serve with Short Ribs:
If you prefer white potatoes, make my Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
You can do this up with all sorts of side dishes. Here are some of my favorites:
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Winter Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
- Pesto Smashed Potatoes
- Orange-Ginger Roasted Carrots
- Stir Fry Vegetables
- Butternut Squash Kale Salad
- Crowd-Pleasing Roasted Vegetables
If you love this recipe, also try my Instant Pot Red Wine Braised Short Ribs.
Questions? Holler at your girl.
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Paleo Instant Pot Short Ribs
- Press “Saute” on your Instant Pot and allow it to heat up for a couple minutes. While the pot is heating, sprinkle the short ribs liberally with sea salt. Place the short ribs on the hot surface (no oil needed) and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat is golden-brown. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes. This will likely need to be done in 2 batches depending on the amount of meat. Once the meat is browned, transfer it to a plate.
- Leave the Instant Pot on the Saute function and add the onion, carrots, and garlic, sauteing them in the beef fat.
- Once the veggies have softened (about 3 to 4 minutes), place the meat back in the Instant Pot and add the cherry juice, dried rosemary, oregano, and sea salt.
- Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, put it on the Stew/Meat mode and set the time for 45 minutes for bone-in short ribs or 35 minutes for boneless short ribs.
- Once the IP is finished with Stew mode, allow it to automatically go into the Keep Warm mode for 15 minutes.
- After the 15 minutes, Turn the venting to Fast Natural Release to release the pressure.
To Make the Sauce (optional):
- Use tongs to remove all the meat from the Instant Pot and transfer to a plate. Skim the fat off the top of the braising liquid.
- Put the Instant Pot back onto the Saute mode, add the balsamic vinegar, and allow the liquid to boil and reduce until it reaches your desired thickness. This process will take about 20 to 30 minutes. Taste the sauce for flavor along the way and add sea salt and more balsamic vinegar to taste.
- Serve your short ribs on top of mashed sweet potatoes with some sauce and a sprinkle of fresh thyme and you’re set for a super swanky, sexy meal.
I posted this recipe on November 12, 2018. I added more information to the post and updated the photos, but the recipe itself remains the same.
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