Ready for some braised comfort food? These pressure cooker short ribs are braised in red wine, combining dried figs and just enough hot pepper for a sweet and spicy flavor explosion! Make some creamy mashed potatoes and you have the perfect dinner to sit by the fire on a cold evening.
We’ve been battening down the hatches for winter around here. Doing our fall yard cleanup, putting away all the outdoor furniture, getting the rugs shampooed, having the chimney cleaned, and cleaning out the gutters. Whew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks! And that’s with Thanksgiving in the middle. 😮
All this means we need easy and yummy comfort food more than ever.
And that makes it a great time to continue working on my Instant Pot recipes! I have to say that pressure cooking does excel at making braised meats. I already like it for cooking chickpeas for hummus (and other beans) and recently learned it can make an excellent shrimp risotto (with no stirring of the rice!). Now that colder weather is here, I can definitely see making many more stews and braises.
This particular braise was inspired by Melissa Clark’s recipe for Pressure Cooker Beef Short Ribs With Red Wine and Chile. I came across the recipe a while back when I was looking for ideas on how to use my Instant Pot and thought it sounded perfect to try.
Once I tried it, I gave the recipe my own spin, changing flavors, timing, and amounts. You know, the way you do. Or at least the way I do. And I so present to you my version of short ribs braised in red wine along with figs and thyme.
What do you need?
- Short Ribs – You will want meaty ones, preferably on the bone.
- Vegetables – Onions, carrot, and garlic, all diced up.
- Dried Figs – One cup of nice, soft dried figs.
- Red Wine – Use a full bodied wine with plenty of fruit flavor.
- Spices – A little ancho, a little chipotle, and some dried thyme.
- Flour – For thickening! Switch to cornstarch for gluten free.
- Fresh Herbs – Parsley and fresh thyme if you have it.
How to make this
To make braised pressure cooker short ribs first brown the ribs, then saute the vegetables. Add stock, wine, and figs and set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 45 minutes. When done bring the sauce to a simmer to thicken and serve.
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper, then brown in the pressure cooker on all sides. Remove to a bowl.
- Add the carrots, onions, and garlic and saute until soft.
- Add the stock and wine. Mix in the browned ribs, figs, and thyme.
- Set the pressure cooker to 45 minutes at high pressure.
- Release the pressure, then cook down the sauce until thick and glossy.
- Serve over mashed potatoes.
First thing you are going to do is prep your short ribs. I like to give them a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and then set them aside while I chop up the onions, carrots, garlic, and figs.
Once my prep work is done, I turn on the pressure cooker to saute (or you can use a saute pan and your cooktop), and brown the meat well on all sides. As you can see, this takes two batches.
Then, while they hang out in a bowl, I cook the vegetables – onions, carrots, and garlic, until all soft and lightly browned.
Stir in a bit of flour to help thicken the sauce and then it’s time to add the stock and wine.
Tip: To make a gluten-free version, mix cornstarch into the stock and use that to thicken instead of the flour.
I use a flat whisk to keep things smooth so I don’t get any lumps of flour in the sauce. Because no one likes that!
Bring everything to a nice boil, which helps the cooker come to pressure quicker. And then add in the reserved short ribs, figs, thyme, and spices. Give it all a stir.
4. Add Pressure
Now put on the lid, lock it in place, and set your pressure cooker to 45 minutes of high pressure.
We did try 35 minutes first (as noted in the recipe I used for inspiration), but the meat was just a little tough. I’d rather wait a few more minutes and be guaranteed tender meat.
Also, I found that letting the cooker natural release for 10 minutes before I hit the manual release button kept the ribs perfectly tender. It’s a little more time again, but still totally worth it.
5. Finish Up
When the ribs are done and all depressurized, transfer the ribs to a bowl and cook down the sauce. This isn’t strictly necessary, but I like a good and thick sauce for braises, so I would definitely recommend.
No pressure cooker?
Try my French braised short ribs! They are made in the oven and are full of great flavors. You can also easily adapt the flavors in this recipe to the method for the oven braised ribs.
How about boneless?
Yes, you can.
However, boneless won’t have quite the same flavor since you won’t have the bone or the cartilage, both of which add flavor and body to the sauce. Also, boneless ribs will most likely cook more quickly. However, I have not as yet tested pressure cooked boneless ribs.
If you try my recipe for creamy Pressure Cooker Short Ribs, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Braising, Annemarie
Pressure Cooker Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 4 lbs short ribs
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp flour, or 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup full bodied red wine
- 1 cup low or no sodium chicken stock, or homemade beef stock
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp ancho powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme, or 1 tbsp fresh chopped
- 1 cup (4 oz) dried figs, cut into quarters
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- Sprinkle the short ribs with salt and pepper.
- Heat up your pressure cooker on the saute function. (Medium saute on the instant pot.)
- Add the oil and then the meat. Brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total. You may need to do this in two batches. Remove the short ribs to a bowl.
- Pour in a little more oil if needed. Add the onion and carrot to the cooker and saute for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and soft.
- Add garlic. If using flour, add the flour too. Cook for 1 minute.
- (If using cornstarch, mix it with the stock now.) Pour in wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Return the short ribs to the cooker all with their juices. Stir in chipotle, ancho, thyme, and figs.
- Cover the pressure cooker and set it to high pressure for 45 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then use manual release to finish depressurizing. Open the cooker. If there is a lot of fat on the surface of the sauce, skim it off with a large spoon.
- Remove the beef and switch the cooker to the saute function on high. Simmer to reduce the sauce for 6-8 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.
- Garnish with fresh parsley (and fresh thyme if you have it) and serve.
- Inspiration: This recipe was inspired by Pressure Cooker Beef Short Ribs With Red Wine and Chile by Melissa Clark.
- Pressure Cooker: I used an Instant Pot Ultra.
- Releasing the Pressure: When releasing the pressure put a kitchen towel over the valve. This will keep things neat and not let the steam everywhere.
- Variations: Adding some frozen peas at the last moment before serving is a nice touch. Also nice would be to increase the number of carrots (to four) or to add some parsnips at the same time as the carrots.
- Serving: Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes or Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes make a great base for the stew. If you want bread, either my No-Knead Rosemary Bread or No-Knead Dinner Rolls would be great.