Prep your holiday protein elsewhere and save the oven for a better use – the pies! This Cranberry Orange Instant Pot Beef Brisket is moist, full of flavor, and ready in just over an hour!
This post is sponsored by Florida Beef Council. I’m partnering with them (and some friends!) to celebrate #Beefsgiving again this fall. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. As always, all opinions are my own.
Six days out from the big day, and you still don’t have your menu planned, you say?
After X amount of Thanksgivings, you’re in need of something new and exciting?
#Beefsgiving in the Instant Pot is here to save your tired palate!
Cranberry Orange-Braised Instant Pot Beef Brisket
So, let’s cover the basics: it doesn’t taste like turkey? Check. It’s adjustable based on your number of dinner guests? Check. It has a boss gravy recipe to go with it so you can drown your mashed potatoes? Double check.
To be completely honest with you guys, I’ve never made a brisket outside of St. Paddy’s Day. Corned beef this is not. This is a whole other animal, heavily influenced by My Other Half. I was thinking of just doing a cranberry-maple-mushroom beef concoction, but when he suggested cranberry orange, I was intrigued. It’s a delish flavor combo, and I was curious to see how it would translate with beef.
Turns out it produces juicy, tender slices just begging to be picked at while you’re carving it up to put it on the Thanksgiving Day table.
The gravy was a labor of love and a recipe development nightmare. The recipe you’re seeing is heavily amended because – guess what? Pureeing tart cranberries with tart orange zest into a gravy…makes it kinda bitter. Duh.
Brown sugar and extra salt saved the day for gravy, thank goodness.
And as for the pearl onions? They are utterly optional, I just really wanted some to go with this meal. I figured cooking them in the Instant Pot with everything else would make them mushy – not at all the texture I was going for.
A little quick saute and simmer with some of my favorite Merlot and a bit of broth and voila! Perfectly al dente baby onions, just the textural contrast this fall apart brisket recipe needs.
Not feeling brisket? No Instant Pot? Just need another entree for your huge brood? Try one of these recipes out!
- Chorizo-Stuffed Standing Rib Roast
- Cranberry Pork Tenderloin
- Holiday Rosemary Garlic Pork Roast
- Sweet and Sticky Pomegranate Chicken
- Ham with Pineapple and Cherries
- Easy One Pot Lasagna
- Bacon Wrapped Maple Baked Cornish Game Hen
- Roasted Rack of Lamb with Basil Goat Cheese Sauce
Cranberry Orange-Braised Instant Pot Beef Brisket
Cranberry Orange Beef Brisket & Gravy
- 2 pounds beef brisket trimmed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large red onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ cup dry red wine or additional broth
- ½ cup beef broth
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Zest of 1/2 an orange
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup water
Merlot Pearl Onions (optional)
- 1 pound 16 oz. pearl onions, peels removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup Merlot or other dry red wine
- ½ cup beef broth
- Rinse the brisket and dry it completely with paper towels. Trim off the excess fat, leaving about 1/4-inch. Season it on both sides with salt and the pepper to taste.
- Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot, set to highest heat setting, and add the oil to the pot. (If using a stovetop pressure cooker, heat oil over medium high heat.)
- Place the brisket in the pot with the side with the most fat facing down, and let it sear for about 5 minutes until it is a dark brown. Use a pair of tongs to turn it over and sear it for 5 additional minutes. Transfer brisket to a plate.
- Lower the Instant Pot to a medium "Sauté" setting. (If using a stovetop pressure cooker, lower the heat to medium.) Add another teaspoon of oil if necessary, then add the sliced onions, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions soften and beginning to caramelize.
- Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping the brown bits from the bottom. Add the broth, orange juice and zest, cranberries, brown sugar, and herbs.
- Carefully lower the brisket back into the pot, leaving the side with the most fat facing up. Spoon a bit of the cooking liquid over the meat, then place the lid on the pot, being sure the pressure regulator is sealed.
- Press the “Manual” button, then set the time to 50 minutes at high pressure. (For stovetop pressure cookers, cook for 45 minutes at high pressure.)
- When the cooking time is over, let the pot depressurize naturally over 20 minutes, or perform a quick pressure release by moving the vent from “Sealing” to “Venting.” (For stovetop pressure cookers, perform a quick pressure release.)
- Transfer the brisket to a plate or carving board. Strain the cooking liquid into a fat separator, or into a bowl that you can skim the fat from the top in as it cools. Place the onions, garlic, and cranberries in a bowl, then add only the cooking liquid. With an immersion blender, blend into a thin, slightly chunky gravy. Set aside.
- Discard all but 1/4 cup of the fat and place remaining fat back in the Instant Pot. Set it to medium "Sauté. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water, then whisk it into the fat. Continue to whisk until the gravy begins to thicken, then slowly add back in the thinned gravy. Alternate stirring and adding the gravy, maintaining the consistency you want, for 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding more brown sugar as needed also if it's too tart.
- Slice the brisket against the grain into thin slices. Pour the gravy over the brisket and serve hot with Merlot Pearl Onions.
Merlot Pearl Onions:
- In the final 20 minutes of the brisket's cook time, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the peeled pearl onions (blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds to remove the skins) and sauté for 6-8 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Allow to reduce 2-3 minutes, then add beef broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot with brisket.
Happy #Beefsgiving 2017 from me and my lovely group of meat-atarian friends!
Cranberry Orange-Braised Instant Pot Beef Brisket from The Crumby Kitchen
Epic Beef Wellington from Go Epicurista
Instant Pot Beef Roast from April Go Lightly
Italian Beef Braciole from Love and Confections
Roast Beef from Katie’s Cucina
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon from Girl Abroad
Christina Thomas says
What a fun flavor combo on beef! I would have never thought of cranberry orange but I bet it was so delicious! Your hubby definitely knows his stuff. I love those pearl onions but funny enough I’ve never cooked with them. I need to try them like this because I don’t like them mushy either. Happy Beefsgiving!
Terri - Love and Confections says
I love the cranberry-orange combination but never thought about using it in a savory application. This definitely sounds intriguing. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Love my Instant Pot! I need to try this recipe for Sunday dinner!