Recipe: Braised ribs, polenta, and cupcakes – Starring GFuel

Braised Ribs

Ingredients and Equipment
Short ribs (I used 2 bone-in)
Fresh garlic
Mushrooms (any kind will do, I used crimini)
Fresh onion
Salt and pepper
Beef stock
Olive oil
Instant Pot 3qt

Yield: 1-2 servings


Turn the Instant Pot on to Saute. While heating, add some salt and pepper to taste on your ribs. Once it is hot, add in some olive oil and sear your ribs. Two fit nicely in the 3qt for me. Just a few minutes each side to get a nice sear. Once done, set them aside. I wasn’t able to chop the vegetables while searing as it was very quick to sear. Turn off the saute when done.

Slice the mushrooms and carrots. I used about 1/4 of a large onion, but that’s a preference. Then I added 2 crushed bulbs of fresh garlic. The veggies get sautéed with olive oil added as needed to keep the veggies from sticking.

Once done, turn off saute, and with the existing heat, add in a little bit of the beef stock to deglaze. With a spatula or spoon, gently scrape the stuck bits from the bottom of the pan. Probably ideal to use a rubber or wooden spoon or spatula, but I was able to get the stuck bits off just fine with gentle stirring with a metal spatula. This step is important. Not only will this help the Instant Pot to seal and come to pressure properly, but it’s where all the flavor is.

After the deglaze is done, add your ribs back in and pour in the beef stock. You want it to be just covering the two ribs without going over the half line. I did about 16oz of beef stock.

Give the veggies a good stir. Put the lid back on and set it to high pressure for 30 minutes. I initially did 40 minutes, but I think it can go to 30 minutes. If needed, put the ribs on the stove to finish. When done, turn off or keep warm and allow to do a natural pressure release for 15 minutes. I ended up not needing to do a quick release after the natural pressure release, but you do want to give it a good 15 minutes to drop the pressure.

When it’s done, you can optionally thicken the liquid with corn starch. I chose not to and had a delicious soup to go with it. Add a bit of salt and pepper as needed.


  • Add salt and pepper to ribs.
  • Saute in Instant Pot with olive oil.
  • Take ribs out.
  • Saute veggies.
  • Deglaze pot with a bit of beef stock.
  • Add ribs back in.
  • Pour in the beef stock. I used about 16 oz. Do not go over the half fill line. Give it a good stir to keep the veggies off the bottom of the pot.
  • High pressure for 30 minutes, NPR for 15, QR if needed.

If preparing with the polenta, you’ll want to do the polenta while the ribs are cooling off. Then get ready for fall-off-the-bone goodness. Plate the ribs on the polenta and enjoy.

GFuel Polenta

Ingredients and Equipment
1/4 tablespoon Golden Apple Pear GFuel
Salt, optional

Yield: 1-2 servings


Bring a cup of water to a boil. Once to a boil, add in 1/4 tablespoon of GFuel. I did 1/2 tablespoon and thought it was just a bit too overpowering. Stir. Add in 4 tablespoons of polenta; tablespoon, stir, tablespoon, stir.

GFuel Cupcakes

Adapted from Bigger Bolder Baking – Crazy Cupcakes

Ingredients and Equipment
4 Eggs
1/2 tablespoon Watermelon GFuel
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk

Yield: ~12 servings


Pre-heat oven to 350F. I used an over-sized muffin tray without liners and everything turned out fine. But if you do that instead of liners, use a cooking spray and a silicone brush to cover each cup.

With a mixer, beat the butter on low to medium until fluffy. Add in 1/2 tablespoon of the watermelon GFuel and the sugar. Mix on low until the butter is light pink.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low thorougly between each egg. When done, add the milk. Be careful to not over-mix. You should have a nice light pink batter. Pour in to each cup, being careful to not overfill (they will rise a bit). Generally half-way to 3/4 is sufficient.

Add to oven for 16-18 minutes. When done, do the toothpick test and add more time as necessary. Allow to cool and top with the frosting.

GFuel Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Bigger Bolder Baking – Best Over Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients and Equipment
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon Lemonade GFuel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

Yield: ~12 servings


Mix butter on medium to high until light in color and creamy.

Fun fact: Salt is a flavor enhancer, but we humans like salt for its own flavor. For example, salt can actually make sweet things taste sweeter. Try it next time you have a cantaloupe. Just a small pinch of salt on your cantaloupe slice.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar, spoon by spoon and mix on low to medium. When done, add in the 1/2 tablespoon lemonade GFuel, salt, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on high until fully mixed together. It should be light in color and creamy.

It’s probably best to decorate rather than globbing it on as I did here, but I was too excited. 😛

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