Very Easy Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga

My version of the Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga using the corned beef brisket warrants a try, and you will not forget these simple beef chunks and vegetables. It’s so easy you won’t need a recipe the next time you make it. This is my happy bowl on rainy days, cold seasons, or when I miss my Mom’s hugs. 
 
Nilaga means boiled in Tagalog. So it technically is boiled beef until tender, then add the veggies. Cook time is lesser because of the instant pot (or pressure cooker). I also provided a stovetop version just in case you want to go the traditional route.
 

Combining the spice packet from the corned beef and the aromatics from the Filipino recipe makes this soup packed with flavor. Naturally, you will want this over rice. Oh, almost like a hug from your Lola (grandmother).

Close up of Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga
Be With Mia’s version of Corned Beef Nilaga.

Why is it called corned beef?

In the olden days, the curing process of beef uses kernels of salt. Hence salted beef is called corned beef. There were conflicting issues of Irish or English (when they took over Ireland) origins. Still, I am not going to delve into that right now because we are, after all, here to talk about the easy instant pot corned beef and cabbage soup Filipino style.
 
Americans brought the popular canned corned beef to the Philippines during their occupation. 
 
When I moved here, I was happy to try the popular St. Patrick’s Day, Corned beef brisket during St. Patrick’s Day. It is boiled with spices, carrots, potatoes, and beans.  Now, I consume corned beef nilaga regardless of the Irish traditions. I honor the corned beef through Filipino tradition, cooking beef when it rains (or cold). haha
 

Ingredients of Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga

Corned Beef Brisket is the main ingredient here.  Using corned beef in the can will result in shredded meat. 
 
I used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes because I wanted a tad bit of sweetness. Typically, saba (a type of sweet plantain) would be in the soup.
 
You can use round red potatoes or fingerlings or the regular all-around potatoes. 
 
Traditionally, two types of greens are added: Bokchoy and round cabbage. I used Napa cabbage. 
 
Green beans
 
Optional ingredients but really great to add are corn on the cob but cut into 3-4 pieces (as you would in a seafood boil) and sweet plantains or Thai Bananas.
 
 

How To Cook Instant Pot Beef Nilaga

How to cook beef nilaga is almost always debatable. Old school is to cook it long slow. For convenience, others opt for the pressure cooker or instant pot. I say, do whatever works for you best. The important thing is to not skimp on the aromatics because it gives the depth of flavor to this otherwise simple beef in broth. 

 

Instant Pot

1. Boil the meat with leeks, onion, and ginger. My rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound of corned beef. Note that different timing is needed for pot roast because that is essentially a huge chunk. A brisket is about 2-inch thick meat. Add water until meat and vegetable are submerged. 
 
You may also apply this to a regular pressure cooker. 
2. Quick-release.
3. Remove corned beef and cover.
4. Skim off the fat. 
5. Add veggies. Put on high pressure for 5 minutes
6. Quick-release. Adjust taste. 
7. Slice beef. 
8. Assemble beef and veggies in a serving bowl. Pour Broth. 
9. Serve with rice and a dipping sauce of fish sauce, lemon, and chili.  
 

Stovetop

1. Follow the directions on the package. Add the spice packet. 
2. Once the meat is tender, pull it out and cover it.
3. SKim off the fat.
4. Add potatoes and carrots. Let it come to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Then, add the green beans and cabbage.
5. Slice the corned beef. 
6. Assemble beef and veggies in a serving bowl. Pour Broth. 
7. Serve with rice and a dipping sauce of fish sauce, lemon, and chili.
 

Tips

There is no need to rinse the meat. But if you want the extra umami flavor, rinse out excess salt. Then augment with fish sauce later on. 
 
You can tenderize the beef ahead of time. Cool off, and refrigerate to let the oil settle on top. It’s easier to remove the fat when it cools. 
 
If this is served in one go, add all the veggies in. If not, estimate veggies to be consumed in one meal. Then when reheating the meat, add the vegetables, so they are not too wilted on the reheat. 
 
If you love this type of meal, you may want to check out this meatballs soup or this lamb stew.
Let us connect!
You can find me on Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, Pinterest, and working my way on more YouTube videos.
Use #BeWithMia when you replicate the recipe so I can find you. I love to hear from you. 
MAY FAITH, FOOD, AND LOVE FILL YOUR LIFE.
HAPPY COOKING!
MIA
Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga Pin
Pin this under Rainy Day Food and Fall and Winter Meals.
Close up of Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga

Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga

Mia Estolano-Levert
Instant Pot Corned Beef Nilaga is simply a meat variation of Beef Nilaga popular Filipino sabaw (soup) dish. If you've never made this before, this recipe is one you will thoroughly enjoy making and eating. Pin this recipe for the rainy days.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Release 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 6 people
Calories 556 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot or Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lb corned beef raw with spice packet
  • 1 tbsp peppercorn
  • 3 inches ginger root cut into half
  • 1 large onion cut in quarters
  • 1 stalk leek cut in half, and chopped to about one-inch slices.
  • 8 cups water to cover
  • Two sweet potatoes peeled and cubed (about 2 inches)
  • 3 medium carrots cut in two inches
  • 200 g green beans or two handfuls
  • 400 g napa cabbage
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce to taste
  • Salt to taste

For serving

  • fish sauce
  • lemon lime, or calamansi
  • Thai Chili peppers or tabasco opional

Instructions
 

Instant Pot

  • Cut corned beef in half to fit—no need to rinse. Put it in the pot together with the spices that come with it and the peppercorn, ginger, onions, leeks. Cover with water. Put on high pressure for 45 minutes.
  • Release vent after 15 minutes. Remove corned beef, slice and and cover.
  • Skim off the fat from the pot.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables: sweet potato, carrots, greens, beans, and napa cabbage. Add fish sauce to taste. Set to steam 3 minutes.
  • Serve with the soup vegetables over rice.

Stove Top (3 hours)

  • Cut corned beef in half to fit—no need to rinse.  Add the spices that come with it. Add the following: peppercorn, ginger, onions, leeks. Cover with water. Let it come to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer for about 2 -3 hours. Check the tenderness on the second hour, and then every 30 minutes, until it is tender.
  • Remove corned beef when tender. Slice and cover.
  • Skim off the fat from the pot.
  • Add fish sauce to taste. Add carrots, sweet potato, and green beans. Let it simmer for 5 minutes until carrots are tender. Add cabbage and cover. Turn off heat.
  • Remove corned beef from the pot and slice. Serve with the soup vegetables over rice.
  • Optional: a dipping sauce of fish sauce and lemon.

Notes

There is no need to rinse the meat. But if you want the extra umami flavor, rinse out excess salt. Then augment with fish sauce later on. 
 
You can tenderize the beef a day ahead. Refrigerate and remove the fat from the pot. It's easier to remove the fat when it cools down. 
 
If this is served in one go, add all the veggies in. If not, estimate veggies to be consumed in one meal. Then when reheating the meat, add the vegetables, so they are not too wilted on the reheat. 
 
Other options on vegetables: corn, bok choy (pechay), sweet plaintains or Thai bananas, green onions or scallions. 
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