Instant Success with Instant Pot’s Festive Menu

Words: Crush

Impress your guests this festive season, without spending hours in the kitchen! This year the holidays and family get-togethers can be so much easier (and delicious) thanks to these easy recipes all made in the world’s number 1 multi-cooker. Try these two recipes from Instant Pot’s festive menu.

Meet the Instant Pot

Instant Pot is the smart cooker that combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1 – its a pressure cooker, slow cooker, food steamer, yoghurt maker, rice maker, sauté pan and food warmer.  With Instant Pot you can cook all your favourite meals up to 70% faster.

It keeps you in control with 13 easy to use one-touch smart programs that even customise to the way you cook.  Plus, it features a stainless steel cooking pot with no chemical coatings and over 10 built-in safety systems.  Download the Instant Pot app for 1000+ delicious recipes and join the official community for great tips and support.

Instant Pot’s Festive Menu Duck Confit with Cherry Sauce

by Sam Linsell (Drizzle & Dip)

Instant Pot's Festive Menu

Recipe: Serves 2 (Recipe for the duck confit slightly adapted from Melissa Clark – Dinner in an Instant)

Duck confit

4 duck legs with breasts attached (Maryland cut)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sea salt flakes
½ tsp (2,5 ml) allspice berries
¼ tsp (1,75 ml) cloves
¼ tsp (1,75 ml) black peppercorns
4 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves torn

Mixed leaves, shaved fennel and radish to serve – optional

Cherry Sauce

1 Tbsp (15 ml) reserved duck fat from the cooking process
1 x shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup (60ml) port
200 g frozen cherries
1 Tbsp (15 ml) dark brown sugar or Maple syrup
zest from half an orange, which you have thickly shaved off with a vegetable peeler
juice from one orange
2 star anise
¼ tsp (1,75 black peppercorns
pinch of salt

Duck Confit (make in advance)

Line a small tray, baking sheet or plate with paper towel. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the all-spice berries and peppercorns. Add these to a bowl with the salt, smashed garlic, thyme stalks, cloves and torn bay leaves.

Toss the duck legs around in the mixture to coat as much as possible and lay skin side down on the paper towel. Tuck the aromatics underneath and on top of the flesh of the duck. Store this in the fridge uncovered overnight or for 2 days. This is an important process whereby the meat absorbs the flavour and the legs dry out.

Instant Pot's Festive Menu

When you are ready to cook the duck, heat the Instant Pot to sear and dust off the bay leaves, garlic and thyme from the duck legs. Fry them skin side down for 5 minutes until they turn golden and the fat has started to render off. Turn them over and brown the other side for 5 minutes. If necessary, do this in two stages. Turn off the sauté mode and allow the legs to cool slightly.

Scrape down the bottom of the Instant Pot to ensure no bits are sticking, then place the four duck legs fat side down at the bottom of the Instant Pot and place the garlic and herbs that were dusted off on the top of the legs. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and let it sit for a few minutes to trap moisture inside.  Close the seal and set to pressure cook at High for 40 minutes. Use the quick-release method, turn the legs over and cook for a further 30 minutes on high. Allow the pressure to release naturally after the second cook.

You can either store the duck in the fat overnight and until you are ready to use it, or get stuck into making the sauce straight away. Drain the fat off through a fine-mesh sieve reserving the sticky aromatics from the pot and set the duck aside. Keep the reserved duck fat to use for cooking potatoes. Do not wash the pot and keep the additional meat bits that might be stuck on the bottom. This has a very delicious flavour.

Cherry Sauce

Set the Instant Pot to sear and heat one tablespoon of reserved duck fat in the pot that was used to confit the duck legs. There should still be sticky bits on the bottom. Fry the shallot for about a minute until it softens. Add the star anise and continue to fry but making sure nothing starts to burn. Add the port and deglaze the pot. All the sticky bits at the bottom will now easily scrape off.

Add the reserved sticky aromatics from the confit cooking process, the orange zest, orange juice, sugar, salt and peppercorns and set the Instant pot to cook on High for 5 minutes.

Once it has finished cooking, use the quick release method. Take the lid off and mash the cherries with a potato masher. Drain this mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, using a wooden spoon to press all the liquid out. Give the pot a quick rinse and put it back onto the Instant pot and set it to Sear.

Pour most of the cherry sauce mix back into the pot reserving about 2 Tablespoons. To that, you will add 1 1.2 tsp of cornflour and mix to make a slurry. Add this mixture to the pot with the rest of the cherry sauce and cook for about a minute until it bubbles and thickens. Serve this warm with the duck breasts.

To heat the confit duck breasts, set your oven to grill/broil and pop place the legs on a baking tray skin side up. Grill until they start sizzling and are heated through.

Serve with the cherry sauce on a bed of mixed leaves of watercress, rocket and baby spinach, shaved fennel and radish.

Gammon with Rooibos and Ginger-beer

by Sam Linsell (Drizzle & Dip)

Instant Pot's Festive Menu

Of course, a South African Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a great gammon on the table.

This recipe like most things in the Instant Pot is super easy. You literally bang it all in and press play. At this time of year and when things are crazy busy, this is pure heaven. *Cooks Notes ~ I made the glaze on the stovetop but you could easily make it in the Instant Pot on the Sauté setting.


1 large smoked gammon approx 1.5kg – 2.5kg
4 rooibos tea bags
750 ml strong ginger beer
2 celery stalks
2 medium carrots
1 small white onion
1 tsp allspice berries, crushed
½ tsp (2,5 ml) black peppercorns
½ tsp (2,5 ml) cloves
3 bay leaves

Honey & Mustard Gammon Glaze

1.5 cups of cooking broth
¼ cup of honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of cloves


Bring the gammon to room temperature and remove all the outer casings including string. Boil the kettle.

Heat 1 cup (250 ml) of the ginger beer in a jug in the microwave until hot and then add a cup of boiling water. Add the 4 Rooibos teabags to the liquid and allow it to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags.

Instant Pot's Festive Menu

Roughly chop the celery, onion and carrots and place at the bottom of the Instant Pot. Put the gammon on top of the vegetables and then add the bay leaves and spices. Pour the 2 cups of tea mixture and the remaining 500ml of ginger beer over the gammon and adjust the vent to the sealing setting.

Set the timer to the time necessary and then cook manual pressure on HIGH. Allow 15 minutes per 500 g of gammon, so 2 kgs of gammon will cook for 60 minutes.

Cook the gammon and then allow for a natural release of pressure. Remove and set aside. Strain the solids out of the cooking broth.

Instant Pot's Festive Menu

Honey & Mustard Gammon Glaze

To make the glaze, put 1.5 cups of the strained cooking broth into a small pot and bring this to a boil. Add the cloves and honey and cook this down until it has thickened. This will take around 30 minutes or longer. Add the mustard around halfway through and stir to ensure it is incorporated. The glaze should thicken even more once it’s off the heat.

When you are ready to serve/glaze the gammon, remove the thick outer fat layer from the gammon and cut a crisscross pattern into the fat. Place it on an oven tray under a hot grill ensuring that it is not too close to the element. Drop the oven rack to low if necessary.

Once about half of the fat has started to render off, start brushing the glaze over the gammon and return to the grill. Keep a close eye and keep basting it a couple more times. Remove and set aside to serve either straight away or at room temperature a little later. Serve the leftover glaze on the side.

Decorate the serving platter with fresh bay leaves, rosemary, pomegranates or grilled peaches.

Instant Pot's Festive Menu

Top of the Wish List

Instant Pot tops the most-wanted gift list on Amazon.  For busy working parents or kitchen connoisseurs, Instant Pot is the gift that keeps on giving.  It saves time preparing meals, brings healthy food to the table, while also allowing one to experiment and create delicious meals and desserts. Gift one to the foodie in your life this year.

Instant Pots are available in South Africa through Yuppiechef or @home for R2199.00. | Facebook | Instagram

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