Last summer, my friend and New York Times columnist Melissa Clark mentioned to me she was writing a cookbook for the pressure cooker/slow cooker contraption. I didn’t say anything but thought perhaps it was overkill. It seemed like a machine only master pitchman Ron Popeil could love (or market) if Ron Popeil was still alive.
But to my amazement the Instant Pot has so far found a devoted audience that Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman or even his ubiquitous rotisserie chicken grill failed to sustain. Serious home cooks I respect have told me just how wonderful a device it is and how they can’t image life before buying it.
Clearly, Clark was onto something and the last time I checked her book, Dinner in an Instant, was an Amazon best seller. Like a menu for a New York diner, she includes a wide array of recipes, everything from yogurt and cheese to frittatas and meat dishes. The Instant Pot is apparently the king of all kitchen gadgets! (Perhaps it’s time to junk your now obsolete rice cooker, yogurt maker and, of course, slow cooker.)
If you’re one of the Instant Pot faithful or have been wondering about it, Clark’s Korean Chile-Braised Brisket and Kimchi Coleslaw might just be your new favorite recipe. “Gochujang, a very slightly sweet and powerfully spicy Korean chile paste made from gochugaru (Korean red chile), has become a staple in my kitchen, where it adds a more intense, complex bite than other hot sauces,” she wrote in her book. “Here I use it to flavor tender beef brisket, along with the gochugaru chile flakes for added heat, sesame oil, garlic, and lots of fresh ginger. If you can’t find gochujang, Sriracha makes a good though slightly less spicy substitute.”
No doubt Ron Popeil would have approved.
Korean Chile-Braised Brisket + Kimchi Coleslaw
4 to 5 pounds Beef brisket, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
1 Tbsp Dried red chile flakes, preferably Korean gochugaru
1 Tbsp Sweet paprika
2.5 tsp Kosher salt, plus more to taste
.5 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 3 Tbsp Peanut or safflower oil, as needed
1 large Onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup Lager-style beer
.25 cup Gochujang (Korean chile paste) or Sriracha
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
2 Tbsp Light or dark brown sugar
2 tsp Asian fish sauce
1 tsp Toasted sesame oil
For the Kimchi Coleslaw
5 cups Shredded cabbage (from 1 small cabbage)
.25 cup Chopped kimchi, plus more to taste
2 Tbsp Peanut, grapeseed, or olive oil
1 tsp Toasted sesame oil
Juice of half of a lime, plus more to taste
.5 tsp Fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1. Rub the beef with the chile flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
2. Set the electric pressure cooker to sauté (or use a large skillet). Add a tablespoon of the oil, let it heat up for a few seconds, and then add a batch of the beef and sear until it’s browned all over, about 2 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed. Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat with the remaining batches.
3. If the pot looks dry, add a bit more oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add the beer, gochujang, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Scrape the mixture into the pressure cooker if you have used a skillet.
4. Cover and cook on high pressure for 90 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.
5. To make the kimchi coleslaw, combine the cabbage, kimchi, both oils, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl and toss well. Taste, and add more salt or lime juice if needed.
6. Transfer the beef to a plate or a rimmed cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Set the pressure cooker to sauté and simmer the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is reduced by half or two-thirds (remember that it thickens as it cools). Use a fat separator to skim off the fat, or let the sauce settle and spoon the fat off the top. Serve the sauce alongside the beef, with the kimchi coleslaw.
TIME: 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES, PLUS AT LEAST 1 HOUR MARINATING
YIELD: 8 SERVINGS
Reprinted from Dinner in an Instant. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.