Instant Pot Cowboy Beans are super flavorful and hearty enough to be a main dish. Bring these to your next potluck or barbecue!
First, get everything ready. Meat & veggies chopped, spices ready, garlic pressed or minced, measuring cups, etc. This helps the process go smoothly!
Turn on the pot's Sauté setting and add the ground beef, bacon, and onion. Cook until meat is no longer pink (you shouldn't have to drain it unless you use a fattier meat. Leave some of the fat in there..
Add the garlic and stir. Let cook for a minute.
Add the water and kielbasa.
Add the remaining ingredients in order (except brown sugar), and do not stir, just push them down into the mixture to cover them.
Put the lid on the pot and set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Cancel the Sauté setting.
Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button or dial, and then the + or - button or dial to select 8 minutes.
Watch the pot until it comes to pressure. This is a pretty thick mixture, so you want to make sure you don't get the burn message. If you do, remove the lid if the pin is still down (otherwise release any pressure first) and get your wood spoon down in there and scrape the bottom. Add another 1/4 cup of water if it looks too thick, close the lid, and reset.
When the cook time is finished, turn the pot off (so it doesn't go to warming) and let it sit undisturbed for 15 minutes (Natural Release). Then release the remaining pressure in short bursts, until you are sure no sauce will be spewing out with the steam.
When the pin in the lid drops down, open and carefully mix up the beans. Stir in the brown sugar.
Serve with corn bread.
*If you are using an 8 quart pot, use 2 cans of kidney beans. Bump the amount of water up to 3/4 cup.