Tag Archives: instant pot

Rich beef and prune casserole

This is THE best Autumn dish! I look forward to cooking it each year. Delicious, tender beef, tasty rich sauce all served over creamy mashed potatoes and garden vegetables. Who wouldn’t want this?

I cook this on the Aga top and then in the simmering oven however you can use whatever you have to hand. We are all about ease here remember. Stove top or slow cooker, even in the instant pot! The choices are endless. Here I give stove top times but adapt as you need to – let me know if you have questions in the comments below.


  • 500 diced beef (or rump stead)
  • 6 shallots or 2 small onions
  • 100g prunes in juice (I actually use a full tin for ease and it is yum)
  • 1 can tin chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml beef stock (I use beef gravy granules for ease)
  • grated zest of an orange OR 1/2 tbsp marmalade
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or sprigs of fresh
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Spray a heavy based, lidded pan (I use my trusty cast iron Dutch oven) with 1-cal spray and brown the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, ensuring you scrape any stuck on bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Leave for a hour, stir and taste. Simmer for another hour and serve.

You can make a vegetarian version by substituting 450g mushrooms for the meat and using vegetable stock.


Instant Pot recipe – honey and mustard chicken thighs

I don’t know about you but chicken thighs are marmite in my house. My husband would choose them over any other part of the bird, my daughter would prefer to be vegetarian and it’s too much effort for my son to have an opinion some days 😉

All that said, every week we are blessed enough to be gifted 2 large thighs, drumsticks and wings off an organic, pasture raised bird. So this week, I am making these honey and mustard flavoured thighs.


  • As many thighs as you need for your family, we had 5/6
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cornflour to thicken as needed


  • Season the chicken thighs in salt and pepper
  • If using the instant pot, on sauté mode seal the thighs individually, maybe 3 mins on each side and set to one side
  • Add chicken stock in to the empty instant pot to remove any stuck on pieces. You can use seasoned water if needed.
  • Add chicken thighs
  • Mix honey and mustard and pour over the top of the thighs
  • Set the valve to sealing and cook on manual for 10 minutes the quick release.

We served ours with brown rice and mixed vegetables and they were delicious.

Seasonal Minestrone Soup

I make this soup in my Instant Pot purely because that’s how I did it the first time and it was SO nice that I didn’t want to risk doing it any other way. It is delicious and a very hearty meal for any time of the year as you can chop and change the vegetables to match the seasons. Great for that glut of courgettes, or any other veg you’d like to substitute!

Practicing for winter cooking – any excuse!


  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped (I missed this out on this one as I didn’t have any – I replaced with celery salt)
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tin of chopped toms
  • 2 pints stock (I used ham stock from slow cooker gammon joint which makes all the difference)
  • 1 tin cannellini beans, drained
  • 1/4 cabbage or a bag of baby spinach
  • 100g spaghetti, broken or any other small pasta shapes


Chop your onion and fry off in oil/low fat spray, whatever you use for 3-5 minutes either in a large pan or sauté if using an Instant Pot.

Add the chopped carrots, courgette and celery if you are using.

Pop in tomato purée and tinned tomatoes, giving it all a good stir.

Season with salt and pepper and add the stock, tinned beans and spaghetti.

Stir in the cabbage or spinach, you could add peas or beans too.

Bring to the boil and simmer until the pasta is tender or if using an Instant Pot select manual for 7-10 minutes depending on how thick your veg and pasta is.


This won’t freeze well with pasta, omit until ready to eat if freezing.