Cranberry Orange Instant Pot Beef Brisket

Cranberry Orange-Braised Instant Pot Beef Brisket

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!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot beef brisket
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Pressurizing/Depressurizing Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 901kcal
Author Erica


Cranberry Orange Beef Brisket & Gravy

  • 2 pounds beef brisket trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or additional broth
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water

Merlot Pearl Onions (optional)

  • 1 pound 16 oz. pearl onions, peels removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
  • 1/2 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.




Calories: 901kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 1217mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g