Where I live, spring drags its feet. This warming bowl of lamb stew is a welcome harbinger of things to come, while fitting the bill for the chilly days of spring.
The meat and veggies swim in a rich broth that is truly slurp-able, and the spring vegetables add a sprightly touch. The lamb cooks to tenderness in the pressure cooker, with the tender peas, asparagus, and spinach added at the very end so they are still fresh and bright.
Quick Lamb Stew in the Pressure Cooker
Tender chunks of lamb in 20 minutes? Seriously? Yes, it’s true.
The whole process, including browning the meat and softening the vegetables, takes only 40 minutes! The traditional route takes hours.
Now that I know it's so easy in the pressure cooker, I no longer pass by the stew meat at the market like I used to, because I know I can make a stew in under an hour. This puts a stew like this one into the ‘weeknight supper’ category rather than a ‘weekends-only’ dish.
Stovetop Pressure Cooker vs. Instant Pot
The instructions I give here are for a stovetop pressure cooker. If you have an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, look for those instructions at the end of the recipe.
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
What Cut of Lamb Should I Use?
Trimmed and cubed lamb is fairly easy to come by in the grocery store. It should come from the leg, shoulder, or shank. If you don’t see it in the meat case, often the butcher will cut it for you, so be sure to ask.
Three Easy Steps for Lamb Stew
Cook this stew in three stages in order to cook the meat until tender, without turning the vegetables into mush:
- After browning the meat and cooking the leeks and shallots, add the wine and stock and bring the pot to pressure.
- Sixteen minutes later, release the pressure under cold running water, which only takes about 30 seconds. Add the turnips, return the pot to the stove, and bring it back up to pressure again. Bringing the pot to the correct pressure is much faster the second time, and the turnips only take a few minutes to cook.
- Finally, release the pressure and return the pot to the stove. Add the peas and asparagus. Since the stew is already hot, it only takes another couple of minutes to simmer these vegetables to the perfect doneness.
More Easy Recipes With Lamb
- Shepherd’s Pie in the Instant Pot? Yes, please!
- Mix up your burger game by trying Grilled Lamb Burgers!
- Break out your slow cooker and enjoy this Basque Lamb Stew!
- Greek Meatballs made with spicy lamb and pork!
- Lamb makes a tasty meatloaf!
Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables
The instructions here are for a stovetop pressure cooker. Instant Pot instructions are in a recipe note at the end of the cooking instructions.
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 wide strips of lemon peel
- 2 pounds lamb, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 medium leeks, trimmed tough green parts, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 to 4 small turnips (about 12 ounces), trimmed, scrubbed and cut into 4 wedges
- 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 handfuls baby spinach
Tie the herbs together:
With a piece of kitchen twine, tie the rosemary, parsley, bay leaf, and lemon peel together. Set aside.
Brown the meat:
Sprinkle the meat all over with salt and pepper. In a stovetop pressure cooker over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the lamb pieces in batches if they don’t all fit into the pot. Turn them with tongs until browned and transfer to a plate. This should take 10 to 15 minutes.
Cook the shallots and leeks:
Add the shallots and leeks to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they soften slightly.
Finish the stew base:
Add the lamb cubes back to the pot and sprinkle with the flour. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 seconds, or until the flour coats the meat. Add the wine, chicken stock, and herb bundle to the pot. Use a flat wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to release the brown bits.
Seal the pot and cook:
Cover the pot with the lid, seal it, and set it over a burner at high heat until the pressure gauge registers at its highest setting. Turn the heat to low and set the timer for 16 minutes.
When the timer goes off, place the pot in the sink and run it under cold water until the pressure is released. This should only take about 1 minute, but it depends on your cooker. Open the pot and remove the lid.
Cook the turnips:
Add the turnips to the pot. Re-cover the pot with the lid, seal it, and set it over high heat until the pressure gauge registers at its highest setting. Turn the burner heat to low and set the timer for 3 minutes.
When the timer goes off, place the pot in the sink and run it under cold water until the pressure is released. This should only take about 1 minute, but it depends on your cooker. Remove the lid.
Add the remaining vegetables to the stew:
With tongs, remove the herb bunch. Place the pot over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute longer or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted and bright green. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with boiled new potatoes, if you like.
Instant Pot Instructions:
Steps 1-4: Use the sauté setting.
Step 5: Secure the lid and set the pressure release to ‘sealing.’ Press the cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the ‘meat/stew’ setting, and set the cooking time for 30 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure release to ‘venting.’ Watch for steam! Once you no longer see steam venting, open the pot.
Step 6: Add the turnips and secure the lid again. Set the pressure release to ‘sealing.' Press the cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select ‘pressure cook’ or ‘manual.’ Set the cooking time to 3 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
Step 7: Open the lid and add the asparagus, peas, and spinach. Return the lid to the pot to allow the vegetables to cook in the residual heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until tender.