South Africans know and love their potjies and everyone has their secret recipe. What we don’t always have time for is the long, slow cook over the fire. Instant Pot means a potjie becomes possible on a weeknight, even after work. And, if you need the smokey flavour finish, simply light the fire at the same time you start and then finish it off on the braai.

Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:1-3 hours depending on cooking method      


  • 1.3-1.8 kg meat (oxtail, beef chuck or similar)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) oil or butter/oil mix
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) red wine
  • 1 cup (250 ml) stock (chicken or beef)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground coriander
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) paprika
  • ¼  tsp (1,75 ml) ground cinnamon
  • ¼  tsp (1,75 ml) ground nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground clove
  • ¼  tsp (1,75 ml) ground cardamom (or 1 whole green cardamom pod)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) chutney
  • 500 g baby potatoes (or potatoes cut into bite size pieces)
  • 300 g carrots, chopped
  • 200 g white mushrooms, chopped
  • 200 g  whole cherry tomatoes
  • 600 g other vegetables of your choice (mix of baby marrows, brussel sprouts, cauliflower or similar)

Place oil in inner pot of the Instant Pot and set to SAUTE mode. Pat the meat dry and set aside. Once the oil is heated, add the meat and brown well all over to seal. Remove the meat from the inner pot and set aside. Add onions and cook gently until softened. Add in garlic and spices and continue to stir gently. Remember you can adjust the Sauté mode to be ‘Less, Normal or More’ by pushing the button again.
Return meat to pot and give it all a good stir. Add in wine and deglaze, ensuring no bits are sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add in the stock, baby potatoes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and stir well. The liquid level should be half way up on the meat / potatoes. Add a little extra stock if needed.
Secure the Instant Pot lid and move sealing vent to closed position. Choose Meat pre-set and change time to 35 minutes. The Instant Pot will take a few minutes to come to pressure. Once the pressure cooking is complete, it will beep. Use a NPR (natural pressure release) – this can take up to 20 minutes.
When the valve drops, open the lid and stir gently. Taste and season or add more spices if needed. Stir in tomato paste and chutney. Then add in veg layers (in this order) carrots, baby marrow, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
There are 3 choices here, if pressed for time, you can secure the lid again and do another 10 minutes pressure cook on MEAT pre-set. With another 10 min NPR, then quick release for remainder.
OR replace the lid and set to SLOW COOK and simmer for 30 minutes without stirring. Stir and taste check. Continue slow cook until happy with the tenderness of the vegetables.
OR move to a potjie pot and finish over braai coals to get the smokey flavour.
The Sauce
If after either method, the sauce is too thin, then remove some of the liquid and mix in a corn flour or flour slurry and add this back to the pot. Change to Sauté mode and cook for a few more minutes to thicken and for flavours to set. Always allow the dish to stand for a few minutes before serving.
Note: remember with Slow Cook, there is no pressure to build, so the sealing vent can remain in an open position and the lid can remain off.  It is recommend that you use the glass tempered lid available as an accessory.

Tip: never use pressure cook once a thickener has been added to the pot as this may catch at the bottom of the pot and cause the ‘burn’ warning.

Serve with brown rice or Basmati in the fridge.