Dinner and a Story


I love to cook. No, I love to cook for my family. Most nights. Being a stay at home mom, sometimes, it’s all the excitement I get to see for a week. Meal planning, searching recipes, trying new things, tweaking, checking out new appliances… Sad? Maybe, but I enjoy it. Tonight, we decided to try out a short rib recipe in our Instant Pot. Sounds like a great idea in theory but… you are not me.

The recipe called for various ingredients, all of which we had on hand except for the red wine. You see, I’m not much of a drinker. I was once. But I have never ever been the lightweight that I am now. Anyway… we don’t keep wine in the house but my husband likes the occasional beer so… ehhh, why not?

Long story short, the recipe turned out great. It was so tasty. We would have bathed ourselves in this luxurious and rich sauce. As I was getting up to clear the plates… I re-entered the dining room and turned to my husband and said, “Damn, I feel like I’ve been drinking…” I felt that warm glow just under the surface of my skin, the ever-so-slight buzz in my head… and he looked at me and started to Google furiously… all while my little one ate her noodles in sauce. Sure enough, “Since a pressure cooker does not release any vapors, all of the alcohol will remain in the pot until you open the lid.”

My husband pulled the plate out from under my kiddo’s nose while she ate. Now, to be fair… I did use the saute function prior to pressure cooking (and after) so, I can’t be sure that there was any alcohol left in the dish but, to be safe, we took the food from our toddler (who was not very happy about losing her dinner).

We are still unsure if I what we thought happened actually happened but we will always remember this night as the night that I got drunk on short ribs.

Also, here is the recipe. It’s fantastic, really. We used beer but the original recipe called for red wine. Enjoy and… drink and eat responsibly.



  • 2.5 tablespoons (22.5g) cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water


    • Brown Short Ribs in Instant Pot: Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More. Wait until it says HOT (prevents short ribs from sticking to the pot). Add 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil in Instant Pot. Season one side generously with salt and black pepper. Add in 5 pieces of short ribs, then brown each side for 4 minutes. While one side is browning, season the other side with more salt and black pepper.

      *Pro Tip: Avoid overcrowding by browning short ribs in batches.

    • Saute Onion & Garlic: Set aside the browned short ribs. Add in sliced onions, and saute until soften (~ 3 minutes). Add in chopped garlic, and saute until fragrant (~30 seconds).
    • Saute Veggies & Spices: Add in chopped carrots, celery, a pinch of dried thyme, and 2 bay leaves, then saute for 2 minutes.
    • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour ½ cup (125ml) red wine in Instant Pot and deglaze by scrubbing the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Give it a quick mix. Let the wine simmer for a minute to allow some of the alcohol to evaporate.
    • Pressure Cook Short Ribs: Add 1 tbsp (15ml) light soy sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce, 1-1.5 tbsp (14-21g) brown sugar, 2 tbsp (30ml) balsamic vinegar, and ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot. Carefully add in browned short ribs + meat juice.

      If you are making mashed potatoes: Cut 3 – 4 potatoes in half, then place them in a stainless steel bowl. Layer the bowl on top of the short ribs.

      Then, pressure cook:

      With Potatoes: High Pressure 42 minutes + Natural Release 15 minutesNo Potatoes: High Pressure 45 minutes + Natural Release 15 minutes

    • Thicken & Seasonings: Carefully set aside the short ribs. Mix 2.5 tbsp (22.5g) cornstarch and 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water together in a small mixing bowl. Bring the sauce to a simmer and add the cornstarch mixture one third at a time to thicken the red wine sauce until desired thickness. Taste and season with more salt, black pepper, and brown sugar if necessary (For reference: we added 3 large pinches of salt).Serve Short Ribs: Carefully place the short ribs back in the sauce to keep them hot. Serve & be prepared for your guests to beg for more of this deliciously beautiful creation!

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