Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables

DinnerPressure CookerLamb

Leeks, peas, asparagus, turnips, and white wine turn this Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew into a spring event!

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

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.

Lamb Stew Recipe - pot of lamb stew with ladle

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.

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.

Instant Pot Lamb Stew - bowl of lamb stew

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:

  1. After browning the meat and cooking the leeks and shallots, add the wine and stock and bring the pot to pressure.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

The instructions here are for a stovetop pressure cooker. Instant Pot instructions are in a recipe note at the end of the cooking instructions.

Ingredients

  • 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

Special equipment:

Method

1 Tie the herbs together: With a piece of kitchen twine, tie the rosemary, parsley, bay leaf, and lemon peel together. Set aside.

Lamb with Vegetables - bundle of herbs

2 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.

Lamb with Vegetables - photo of lamb stew meat in pressure cooker

3 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.

Lamb Stew Pressure Cooker - sauteeing vegetables in pressure cooker

4 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.

Lamb Stew Pressure Cooker - lamb stew

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

Lamb Stew - lamb stew in pot with spinachLamb Stew Recipe - close up of pot of lamb stew with ladle and peas

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.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

3 Comments / Reviews

No ImagePressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Laurie

    What would the timing be if just wanting to just use the stovetop or oven?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Mary Taylor

    Made this for Easter Dinner. I used an IP Duo 6 qt. Don’t think the lamb needed 30 minutes. 20 minutes would have been enough. Also, the vegetables added at the end did not cook in the residual heat. Needed extra time. Just an FYI

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