“Chicken stock with a whole chicken, shock horror!”, I can hear the purists scream from here! Well, yes. When you’re a working parent trying to keep your head above water you do not mind this type of thing that much and the stock is super tasty so, if I’m going to keep my head above water, it might as well be delicious chicken stock (or broth as some like to call it), in my Instant Pot of course!…
You know those days when you’re feeling organised and you’re going to cook a particular recipe and then realise you’re missing key ingredients and in fact you have certain other ingredients that could do with using up… Add to that an inability to follow recipes to the letter and you end up with something like these pressure cooked All-in-One Lamb Shanks with New Potatoes and Chantenay Carrots, made simple by my Instant Pot….
Did you know there’s such a thing as a National Chocolate Week? There is, and it’s right now. Not that I need an excuse to celebrate or eat chocolate any day of the year! In this household the chocolate we buy regularly is Lind’ts 85%. That’s dark, very dark. But the little Tapita absolutely loves it. The other day I had the chocolate next to the beef I was buying in my basket at the supermarket and I thought to myself: “well, husband does add cocoa to his chilli, doesn’t he?”.
This Chocolatey Beef Stew makes a luscious sauce, enjoy with a nice glass of red wine if you can. Or a beer. Can you tell I am still off the alcohol due to my meds? At least I can eat chocolate, in everything it would appear.
I made this in my Instant Pot, you can make it in your stove-top pressure cooker if you have one. I like the Instant Pot because I don’t have to babysit it, I just leave it to it and I get on with life (or with putting my feet up). You will find all my Instant Pot recipes here and, if you’re a newbie, you will find my guide to get started here.
Ready to give it a go?
– 1 onion, large, chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 stalk of celery, chopped
– Extra virgin olive oil or oil of your choice
– 1 tin of plum tomatoes
– 150 ml vegetable stock
– 100 ml red wine
– 600 g beef, diced (I used braising steak)
– 7 g porcini, a handful, add more if you have more (I was down to my last 7 g)
– 280 g mushrooms, quartered
– 220 g carrots, sliced in half cm coins
– 40g Lindt 85% chocolate (4 squares)
Note: if you have a Thermomix just stick in the bowl the onion, garlic and celery and chop on speed 5 for 5 seconds.
1. Press Sauté, add a dash of the oil of your choice, and fry the chopped onion, garlic and celery.
2. Add the beef and, if you have time, brown it using the Sauté button (if you do brown it, make sure you deglaze by adding a bit of red wine or stock and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon at the end). Add the rest of the ingredients, stir. Lock the lid in. Steam release handle pointing to Sealing. Press Manual and programme 25 minutes, do a natural release at the end (the natural release is important).
3. If you would like to thicken the sauce, press Keep Warm/Cancel then press Sauté, then Adjust to set it to More and let it bubble with the lid off so that it reduces, stay near your pot as it happens quickly.
Tip: really nice served with mashed potatoes.
First of all, you might be wondering what is the difference between gammon and ham? It’s as easy as gammon is ham in its raw state. Once gammon is cooked or cured, it is called ham. So, in order to have ham, you need gammon.
There are several methods to pressure cook your gammon to turn it into ham. Catherine Phipps’ rule of thumb is to allow 10 minutes at high pressure per 500g for a sliceable ham, as the Instant Pot works at a lower psi, add a few minutes minutes to the time, making it more like 11 minutes per 500g, if you want to be on the safe side increase it to 15 (Marie, regular of the Feisty Tapas communities, reckons 15 minutes per lb, one lb is about 453 g). If you want a shreddable ham, increase the time even more.
There’s now a lot of talk about 8 minutes per 500 g which doesn’t work too well with huge joints, my almost-3-kg Christmas gammon wasn’t fully cooked through at 8 minutes per 500 g so I had to give it a bit longer. It works great for smaller joints though, this week I tried it with a 1.3 kg joint from Aldi. I’m leaving this here as feedback, if you ever think your gammon is not as juicy as it should be. However, I will be sticking to longer cooking times than 8 minutes per 500 g personally.
I cook my 700 g gammon joints for 18 minutes. I know this is longer than
the times stated above but it works for me every time as I tend to buy
the same size joint. You can do more than one joint at the same time, I
tend to do three 700 g joints in 18 minutes (mainly because Ocado tends
to have 700 g gammon joints on offer). Increase the time for bigger
If you haven’t got Catherine Phipps’ book, The Pressure Cooker Book, it really is worth buying. All recipes have familiar ingredients and measurements for UK Instant Pot users.
The beauty of the Instant Pot is that you can leave it unattended, no need to babysit it and, do not fret, there is no rattling and no hissing. It’s silent. It’s sturdy. It’s very safe.
I tend to use unsmoked gammon joints. If yours is smoked, you can soak it but it might not be necessary. One way to tell if a smoked gammon needs soaking is by cutting a small bit off and quickly frying it until cooked, then tasting it, if it’s not too salty, no need to soak. If it’s only slightly salty, you can just boil it in fresh water, discard that water. Otherwise soak it.
Who fancies Ham, Egg and Chips then? As long as you don’t forget that having cooked ham in your fridge is handy for adding to risottos, pasta sauces, pizzas or even just to snack on!
How to pressure cook a gammon joint/ham in the Instant Pot
Method 1. On the trivet
Add 250 ml of water to the base of the inner pot, place trivet and then the ham on top. Lock the lid in, steam release handle pointing to Sealing. Press the Manual button and use the – and + buttons to the right time bearing in mind the rule of 11 minutes per 500 g of gammon joint, followed by a natural release (i.e. do nothing until the float valve pops back down). You can replace some of the water with cider, beer, wine, juice… You can save the liquid for adding to tasty risottos and soups.
2. No trivet and tons of tasty stock for other uses
Place gammon joint in inner pot (no trivet), add a peeled onion, 3-4 garlic cloves (unpeeled, whacked with the fist), 4-5 black peppercorns (really nice with the Szechuan ones as well), one bay leaf, one carrot and any veggies you may have going off. Cover with water, always being mindful of the three quarter mark as you’re going to use the pressure cooking function (only ever fill a pressure cooker, conventional or electric, three quarters maximum). Lock in the lid. Steam release handle pointing to Sealing. Press the Manual button, adjust to the right time based on 11 minutes per 500 g, natural release. As above, increase the time for bigger joints but for this method I also do 2-3 x 700 g gammon joints for 18 minutes with natural release.
My Ham and Cabbage Soup is a delicious way of using up the ham stock. Check back soon as I’ll be posting more uses for the yummy ham stock you’ll have left.
Tip: If you want to glaze the ham. Coat it in the glaze of your choice and pop it into a hot oven for about 10 minutes. You can also spread the coating of your choice all over it and let it stand without popping it in the oven. One of my favourite glazes to use is this chilli jam (as recommended by Lucy, who also gave me a jar last year, I need more Lucy!).
Yes, I still love my Instant Pot, I now have both the DUO 7 in 1 and the LUX 6 in 1.
The Instant Pot is a modern day electric pressure cooker that also slow
cooks, steams, cooks rice, the DUO 7 in 1 even makes yoghurt. My
favourite function of them all though is the automatic Keep Warm product
that kicks in at the end of the pressure cooking and slow cooking
*This post contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting Feisty Tapas*
A little while ago Waitrose challenged me (the Spaniard, just in case you had forgotten) to come up with a Great British dish. So, of course, I asked husband (the Britishman): ham, egg and chips with proper ham!, he decided. Now, husband has been in charge of making ham for the last three Christmas and I am, well, Spanish so I had never cooked ham and, most definitely, I had never cooked ham the British way. If you give me a piece of gammon I will probably stick it in a huge pan
with “grelos” (similar to kale), chorizo and potatoes. I am a Galician
Spaniard after all! I am good at research though and I do have the huge advantage of running a Thermomix Facebook group with over 500 members so, of course, I asked them all to fill me in with all their tips. A few minutes later two ways of cooking ham had caught my (and husband’s) eye: Cranbery Ham and Cider Ham.
So, off I went to Waitrose yesterday (full of cold, on a Sunday). I did consider shopping online as per the brief but I actually do all my shopping online, always with a meal plan and I actually love going to Waitrose (we have four large supermarkets in town and Waitrose is the only one I like going to), so I asked if it would be ok to shop in-store and it was. Well, there is the free coffee, the free newspaper and the free Kitchen magazine… and on top of it the staff are always nice AND helpful. These days that is a huge treat for me, the freelancer who works too many hours and now does the school run (oh the school run, more on that soon!). It was actually really quiet and bearable in there too, you know what supermarket shopping can be like on a Sunday.
This time I didn’t have the coffee or the magazine or the newspaper though as husband caught me at the checkout when he came to pick me up. The lovely checkout lady was used to loading gift cards but not so much redeeming them. She apologised profusely and then a lady called Jane came along and had it sorted in no time at all. By that time though husband just wanted to go, T was in the car with auntie L, T wanted ice cream. And, well you know what it’s like…I didn’t have time to ask her if they had any of the Kitchen magazines as I hadn’t seen any and she didn’t have time to ask me about newspapers. A coffee was, of course, out of the question.
Next time I might as well shop at Waitrose online! You know, if they really really like this post and want to work with me again 😉
Thank you so much to everyone at the Thermomix Owners UK group for the ideas and especially to Aveen and Clare for their cider and cranberry tips! I was amazed at the results and, courtesy of the lovely start to Autumn, I have to say that, after a lovely ham, egg and chips dinner last night, today this gave me the perfect opportunity to sit outside in the sun (which is actually rather warm for this time of September). I suggest a ham sandwich and coffee party when you cook these and, if you do, come back to tell me all about it!
Keep reading for the recipes and visit Waitrose’s Great British Garden Party page for brilliant ideas to make the most of the early Autumn sun in your garden is still intact after the summer, if like mine it has unexpectedly been taken apart and it has turned into a mud pit… throw the party at someone else’s garden. From Waitrose to décor Waitrose is not ready to let go of this wonderful summer we have had (hooray!). I also may or may not have spotted some gorgeous mugs while in there.
Ingredients for the ham:
– 1 unsmoked Waitrose gammon joint (mine was 1.802 kg)
– 6 cloves
– 2-3 bay leaves
– 2 litres Somersby cider
Ingredients for the glaze:
– 2 Bramley apples, cored and quartered, no need to peel
– 75 g water
– 1-2 tbsp honey (depending how sweet you like it, I went with 2 after adding just one)
– 1 tsp cinnamon
1. Place the gammon joint (leave the string in) in a large saucepan, cover with the cider, add the bay leaves and cloves.
2. Bring to the boil over a high heat and then reduce the heat and let it simmer (mine simmered for over 2 hours.
|Fat scored before glazing|
3. Take the ham out making sure you place it on a dish that will catch the stock it will release or it will flood your worktop. I placed it in the Varoma with the lid underneath to catch any extra stock. Do NOT throw the stock away, it’s gorgeous!
4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (mine is a fan oven) while the ham stands for 15 minutes and you prepare the glaze as per instructions below or, of course, go for your favourite glaze. Take the string and the rind off (if it has any), leaving the fat, score the fat and coat the ham (all sides) with the glaze, into the oven it goes for approx. 10 minutes.
1. Place the apples and 75 g water in the Thermomix bowl: 30 seconds, speed 4.
2. Scrape down: 8 minutes, 90ºC, speed 4.
3. Add cinnamon and honey.
4. Purée: 30 seconds, speed 8. Taste and rectify if necessary.
Ingredients for the ham:
– 1 smoked free range Waitrose gammon joint (mine was 1.192 kg)
– 2 litres of cranberry juice OR 1 litre of cranberry juice + 1 litre of orange juice
– 2 star anise
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 1 bay leaf
– *optional 1 orange, sliced, peel and all
Ingredients for the glaze:
– Orange marmalade, about half a jar
– Honey, about 2 tbsp but to taste really. You don’t want it too sweet as you want to taste the orange.
1. First thing to do is check how salty the ham is by cutting a little bit off and frying it in a dry pan until cooked, taste it, if it’s really salty it will need soaking in fresh cold water for about 12 hours, changing the water once (oh the things one learns from watching lacón con grelos being cooked). If it’s not too salty you can proceed.
3. Then it’s time to cover the ham with the cranberry juice (top up with water if necessary), add the 2 star anise, the cinnamon stick, the bay leaf and the orange slices (if using) and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes per 500 g. So mine didn’t need very long really, probably about 50 minutes.
4. Let the ham stand in a receptacle that catches the stock (do NOT throw away any of the stock), turn the oven on to 200ºC, prepare the glaze below and smother the ham in it (all over, remove the string first), once oven is preheated, stick the ham in for 10 minutes or so. Done!
1. Mix both ingredients (orange marmalade and honey) well and coat the ham all over. If just using cranberry sauce, just smother the ham in it.
Ham, egg and chips
Simply send the husband out to the chippy, slice the ham, fry one or two eggs. Done!
We now have a ton of ham and about 5 litres of stock. I am so excited about the stock possibilities, I am thinking risotto and soup to start with! I will freeze some of it and I have bought a lot of strong flour and yeast to make rolls for ham sandwiches and I am planning on freezing ham portions too for future meals. All in all, the initial cost was expensive but the ham will go a long way and so will the stock and, to be honest, it wasn’t hard work at all! I will definitely keep cooking ham and playing with various flavours from now on.
Disclosure: I was sent a £60 Waitrose/John Lewis gift card which I put to good use to buy the ingredients so I could experiment. Then I paid about £28 on top of that as I needed sophisticated things such as toilet paper, chopped tomatoes, milk etc. for the house.
Here is a recipe that will have most of you clicking away but I am feeling brave and posting it anyway because, when my brother and I were little, we used to beg my mother to make Chicken Liver Rice for us and now my daughter loves it and eats it so well. I used to prepare it on the stove but nowadays it is just so easy with the Thermomix (well, now that I have mastered it, the first few attempts were rather mushily interesting!).
If you still are puzzled by the word Thermomix (despite me going endlessly about it), here is more information and, if you are considering buying one or already own one and are based in the UK, don’t forget to join my Thermo Cooking UK with Feisty Tapas group on Facebook.
– 1 small courgette
– 1 red pepper (or yellow, green or orange, according to your taste)
– 20 g extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or your preferred oil
– 400 g chicken livers, washed and trimmed of any white/yellowy bits as best as possible, don’t chop them, leave them as big as whole as possible
– Half an MC of white wine (you could use red too or even no wine at all)
– 130 g risotto rice for 2 people / 200 g for 3 people
– 500 g hot chicken stock if using 130 g rice / 600 g if using 200 g, keep increasing proportionally according to your needs
1. Add 1 onion, 1 medium carrot, 1 garlic clove to the Thermomix bowl: 5 seconds, speed 5.
2. Add 1 small courgette + 1 red pepper: 2 seconds, speed 5.
3. Add the 20 g EVOO (or your preferred oil): Varoma, 5 minutes, speed 1.
4. Add the 400 g chicken livers + half an MC of white wine: Varoma, 3 minutes, REVERSE, soft speed.
5. Add your desired amount of rice: Varoma, 2 minutes + REVERSE + soft speed.
6. Add a proportional amount of chicken stock + a few twists of black pepper and salt if using: 18 minutes, Varoma, REVERSE, soft speed.
Optional: you can add a bit of tomato purée or a tablespoon of chopped tomatoes, I tend to add it when I remember but it can be added either in step 3 or step 4 really.
Tip: add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce if you would like to enhance the flavour.