Beer-Braised Ribs

Last year I scored an electric pressure cooker  for my birthday. Every cooking geek will appreciate the gesture, but it's time to let all of you in on the not-so-new news: pressure cooking is the best thing since sliced bread.Seriously.

I jumped into the fray out of sheer envy while watching my friend Elizabeth post brag about how quickly she makes dinner every night .

But speed isn't the only thing I've loved about this now indispensable kitchen tool; I love how it traps all of the flavor in the food.

Imagine it as the opposite of a crock pot. Instead of cooking slowly and sending all of the scents into your kitchen, a pressure cooker is fast and locks the flavor into the food!  I'm not exaggerating to say it's been a complete game changer for me.

Today is one of my favorite recipes (pulled from the Pressure Perfect cookbook) for ribs.  Here's what you need:

  • 4 lbs pork ribs (if you use lamb ribs, add 5 minutes to the cooking time, or if beef ribs, 10 minutes)
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine (or cider) vinegar

Begin by cutting the ribs into 2-3 rib pieces.Set the ribs into the cooker so they have their own space, leaning against the side if necessary. The goal is to avoid much overlap.  If you have more ribs than space you can always do two batches and reuse the same liquid.Add the ingredients and lock the lid in place.

If you're using an InstantPot, push the meat button, then use the - sign to adjust the time to 15 minutes.  It make take 5 minutes or so to bring the pot up to full pressure, but since it's an electric version, don't worry about it.

The pot will beep when it's worked its magic.  If you have a stove top cooker, bring to high pressure and then start your timing to 15 minutes.

When the time has passed use the "quick release" nozzle on your cooker to let out the steam.  You can kind of see the steam rising over Billy's hand.While the meat cooks, preheat your oven to 400 degrees or fire up your grill (I use the oven unless I'm otherwise needing the grill).

Line a baking pan with foil (for easy clean up).  When your meat is cooked, brush the ribs with store bought or homemade barbecue sauce.

Bake for 10-14 minutes (brushing with sauce at least one additional time during the process) until the sauce has taken on a darker color and appears slightly crispy.

I typically use store bought sauce, but this time I made the version from Pressure Perfect and was really pleased.  Here's what you need for the homemade version:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy or Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Tapatio, naturally)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional - a few drops of liquid smoke

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup.

When all is said and done from start to finish, the ribs take 30-40 minutes.  This compares to 2-3 HOURS in the oven or 8 hrs in the crock pot. Boom!  Drops mic...

Put a pressure cooker on your Christmas list!

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