Sherry Braised Short Ribs with Pearl Onions {Pressure Cooker}

Sherry Braised Short Ribs with Pearl Onions are tender, falling off the bone beef short ribs  cooked in about an hour in a pressure cooker.  Now you can have your short ribs on week nights, too!

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I consider this meal a splurge — we don’t eat beef too terribly often.  Especially short ribs, so when we do have them, they’re really special.  Before I owned a pressure cooker, it took a  minimum of 3 hours to get tender, falling off the bone short ribs.  Not anymore. 🙂

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This is my best cooking buddy right here:

pressure cooker

I touted the benefits of the pressure cooker last week with my White Bean Wild Mushroom Gratin, so visit this post for my run-down of pressure cooker benefits.

And here’s the one important factor that I forgot to include last week:

  • Because of the high heat, foods caramelize more, and flavors become more concentrated, which results in a lot more flavor.

Pressure cookers are like magic my friends. 🙂

So, let’s get back to talking short ribs.  Short ribs are the kind of meat that’s either melt in the mouth delicious, or tough and ornery.  They require low, slow cooking in the oven or slow cooker as I mentioned, but the key words there are slow cooking.

Sometimes you have all day, and the slow cooker is a viable option, but sometimes you won’t.  Sometimes you’ll have your ducks in a row to get dinner started early…and sometimes you won’t.  Most of the time, I don’t have my ducks in a row, so having the option to get my short ribs done 70% faster with my pressure cooker is worth it’s weight in gold.

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The only prep I did for these ultra tender ribs was to salt and pepper them and let them come to room temperature.  There was no fancy rub or dry brining overnight going on.  Simple, simple.

If you go the pearl onion route like I did, they take a little time to prep.  The quickest way I know to peel pearl onions is to boil them in water for just a couple of minutes, then the peel comes off easily.   I thought they were worth it here, because they turned the most luscious, caramelized little onion bulbs.  Lordy, were they good.

I used dry sherry to impart a nice layer of flavor here, but the real flavor comes from the aromatics that I added to the pot.  We already talked about the onions, and I also added a carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, parsley, and a bay leaf.  These are the ingredients that make soups, stews, and stocks flavorful, and they made this sherry sauce out of this world good, too.

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The thing that I loved about this sauce was that it was the perfect consistency when the ribs were tender, and I didn’t need to do a thing to it except add a little salt and pepper.  If yours seems thin, you can remove everything from the pot except the sauce, and add a cornstarch slurry (about 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with a bit of water), and cook the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency for you.

I was so excited to get tender, falling off the bone short ribs in such a short time — I can’t even describe it.  Actually, I think describing it as life changing is right on target.  This pressure cooker thing — it was money well spent. 🙂

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Sherry Braised Short Ribs with Pearl Onions {Pressure Cooker}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sherry Braised Short Ribs with Pearl Onions are tender, falling off the bone short ribs cooked in a pressure cooker in about an hour. Now you can have short ribs on week nights, too!
Serves: About 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 lbs. beef short ribs
  • 10 ounce bag pearl onions, ends trimmed and peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 1 large carrot, top removed, peeled, and cut into large chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into large chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig flat leaf parsley
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, if needed
  1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and allow to come to room temperature while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pressure cooker with the lid off over medium heat. When hot, add the short ribs, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Brown both sides until golden, and set aside.
  3. Degrease the pan, then add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pearl onions, browning slightly, about 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
  4. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits. Add the ribs back to pot, along with the carrot, celery, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, and beef stock.
  5. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and lock it in place. Set the pressure cooker on high, and turn the stove top on high. When the pressure cooker releases steam and comes to pressure, turn the heat down to medium and cook about 45 minutes. Let the pressure cooker come back down to pressure naturally and check for doneness. If the ribs aren't yet tender, bring back up to pressure and cook another 10-15 minutes or until very tender.
  6. Remove the ribs and vegetables from the pot, and thicken the sauce if necessary with a mixture of 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with a bit of water and cook until it reaches the desired consistency. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve!
If you don't own a pressure cooker, you can still make this dish! Simply reduce the sherry by half on the stove top after browning the ribs, and cooking the onions and garlic, and place everything in the slow cooker for 2½ - 3 hours, or until tender.

Recipe by Flavor the Moments.


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