Rookie mistakes include cooking it at a full boil and not using enough water — both of which lead to tough, chewy meat.
Fortunately, both of those mistakes can be avoided with the Instant Pot, which has proven a reliable way to cook all kinds of otherwise problematic foods.
The Instant Pot’s programmable pressure cooker makes it ideal for such foods as corned beef that require slow and steady cooking. And the sealed pot makes it a good choice for any dishes for which you do not want the liquid to evaporate.
The Instant Pot also can avoid another common problem, that of not cooking corned beef long enough. Brisket is a tough cut, and it takes time to get it tender. But everything cooks faster under pressure. So a four-hour stovetop simmer may translate into 90 minutes
in the Instant Pot’s pressure cooker. Corned beef also turns out well when cooked in the Instant Pot’s slow cooker, but that takes 8 to 10 hours.
A 3- to 4-pound piece of corned beef cooked for 80 to 90 minutes should be tender and slice nicely. But it pays to slice and taste a piece to check. You always can return the meat to the pressure cooker for a few more minutes.
Once the meat is done, remove it to a cutting board or platter. You can tent it with foil to help keep it warm while you cook the cabbage, carrots and potatoes. The vegetables take only about 4 minutes under pressure — plus the time it takes for the Instant Pot to build up pressure.
If you’d like more vegetables, this dish is also good with turnips, parsnips and rutabagas. Just make sure you don’t fill the Instant Pot past the maximum fill line — in a pinch you can remove some of the broth to make room for extra vegetables, because a pressure cooker doesn’t require as much water as a pot on the stove.
I like to butter the vegetables and give them a few drops of cider vinegar at the table. If you want to dress up the corned beef, serve it with some coarse-ground mustard or a simple horseradish cream sauce.