Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew

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Instant Pot Irish lamb stew is a comforting meal full of tender lamb and vegetables. Making it in the Instant Pot means dinner is done easy!

I grew up in the Midwest, so winters for me are automatically associated with warm, hearty stews that have been simmering all day.

Of course, I don’t always have the opportunity to get dinner prepped before the day gets busy, so I often turn to my Instant Pot to get a hearty dinner on the table.

lamb stew in a mug

Meals like this slow everything down, even when they are made quickly.

I know some of you are tired of the Instant Pot trend, but I say this “trend” is as much here to stay as the slow cooker was when it was introduced. 

We use ours nearly every day, from breakfasts like quiche and bacon and egg risotto, to dinners like this stew.

Irish lamb stew is very similar to classic beef stew, simply using lamb instead of beef. I like cooking with lamb meat for a nice change from beef, especially because it is a much more sustainable meat in terms of production.

bowl of irish lamb stew on table

The flavor is often much milder than you might expect, depending on the cut and preparation. All in all, it’s a great meat to add to your dinner rotation.

As with any delicious stew, leftovers will be even better the next day. And your lunch will already be done. Win all around.

Ingredients for lamb stew

Full list of ingredients with quantities is located in the recipe card.

You’ll need:

  • Bacon
  • All-purpose flour
  • Lamb stew meat
  • Beef broth or stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried bay leaves
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • Onion (yellow or white)
  • Button mushrooms (optional)
  • Sliced carrots
  • Small potatoes

If you only have dried herbs on hand, you can swap them in for fresh. One tablespoon of fresh herbs equals approximately 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.

How to make Irish lamb stew in the Instant Pot

First, chop your bacon, then add it to the Instant Pot and set to Saute mode. Cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is starting to crisp, stirring often to prevent sticking. This will take about 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Add the lamb and toss to coat.

Add the lamb to the Instant Pot and sear meat on all sides.

Pour in 1 cup of broth and scrape up the stuck bits at the bottom of the pot. This is called fond and adds a lot of flavor, so don’t skip this step!

Add the rest of the broth (and beer or wine if using), bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme.

sauteing lamb in instant pot
pouring beer into instant pot
lamb stew in instant pot

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure it is set to Seal, not Venting. Switch it from Saute to Manual High Pressure and set the timer for 30 minutes.

While it cooks, chop your vegetables. I use onion, potatoes, and carrots, and sometimes add button mushrooms. You can peel the potatoes and onions if you like, or just make sure they are clean.

Once the time is up, manually vent the pressure and open the lid. Add the veggies and reseal the lid, setting the timer for 5 minutes this time. 

After 10 minutes, let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the rest of the way. 

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Tips for instant pot irish lamb stew

If you can’t find lamb stew meat at your grocery store, ask your butcher to cut a lamb shoulder cut for you. 

Cut your vegetables approximately the same size for even cooking, otherwise you could end up with mushy ingredients.

Don’t forget to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot after sautéeing the lamb pieces. This makes the broth’s flavor richer, as well as thickening it just slightly.

Remove the bay leaves and stems from the rosemary and thyme before eating. If you prefer, you can use a bit of tied cheesecloth or empty teabag to create a bouquet garni that you can remove easily after cooking.

Instant Pot Irish lamb stew is a hearty meal made in half the time of the traditional.

Recipe suggestions

This stew can be adapted to suit your tastes or to add more veggies.

Mushrooms are not a traditional ingredient, but are great for added umami, especially if you decide to not add bacon.

I also tend to add garlic to my stews. Simply add diced garlic to the sauteed onions and saute for an extra minute, until fragrant, then proceed with the recipe as usual.

If you’d like some color and extra vegetables, add frozen peas during the last minutes of cooking.

Sweet potatoes add a different flavor to the stew. You can also add other root vegetables into the mix, like parsnips, turnips, or even rutabaga. 

Chopped fresh greens like bok choy or kale add great color and even more veggies. Stir in any greens at the end just to wilt, so they don’t get overcooked.

For added flavor, replace some of the beef broth with beer or red wine. An Irish stout like Guinness is perfect here!

Storage and reheating

One of the great things about stews is that they taste even better the next day.

Store any leftover stew in airtight containers. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

You can also freeze lamb stew. I recommend freezing it in individual portions, which makes it easier to thaw and reheat just what you need.

Make sure to leave room at the top of the container to allow for some expansion while freezing.

To thaw, place overnight in the refrigerator.

Reheat stew in a saucepan on the stove until warmed through, or heat in the microwave. Make sure to use a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a paper towel or silicone guard to prevent splatters.

Keep in mind that stew does thicken more as it sits.

FAQ

Absolutely! 

If you prefer to use your slow cooker, follow the same method for browning in a sauté pan, then transfer to the slow cooker. 

Add all the ingredients and cook on Low for 8 hours.

You can also make it on the stove in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Simmer over low heat with the cover on until ready to eat.

If you prefer a thicker broth in your stew, make a cornstarch slurry.

Remove ¼ cup of broth from the pot and add it to a small bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until it is completely dissolved. 

Then, stir the slurry back into the stew and let it simmer for a few minutes to thicken.

two mugs filled with lamb stew

What to serve with Irish lamb stew

For me, all I need with a hearty stew like this is some bread for sopping up the extra broth!

Make some loaves of French bread, corn muffins, or a classic Irish soda bread.

You can also omit the potatoes from the stew itself and instead serve the dish over mashed potatoes, like my garlic mashed potatoes. 

You’ll love this flavorful lamb stew. Make it for dinner tonight!

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two mugs filled with instant pot irish lamb stew

Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew

Instant Pot Irish lamb stew is a comforting meal full of tender lamb and vegetables. Warm up with a bowl tonight.
Author : Megan Myers
4.51 from 118 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Irish
Servings 6
Calories 265 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lamb stew meat
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 pound small red or yellow potatoes, quartered
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place chopped bacon into Instant Pot and set to Sauté. Cook until bacon is browned and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes.
  • Place the lamb in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together salt, pepper, and flour, and pour over the lamb, tossing to coat. Add the lamb to the bacon and brown on all sides.
  • Pour in 1 cup of the beef broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the broth, and the bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. 
  • Close the Instant Pot and set to Seal. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 30 minutes. When the timer beeps, do a manual release of pressure.
  • Add the onion, mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes. Close the pot again, re-seal, and cook on Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes. When the timer beeps, let rest for 10 minutes, then do a manual release of pressure.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Notes

If desired, swap 1 cup of the beef broth for 1 cup beer or red wine

Nutrition

Calories: 265 kcalCarbohydrates: 20 gProtein: 21 gSaturated Fat: 3 gCholesterol: 58 mgSodium: 963 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 3 g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

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About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really great recipe! Only made a tiny change and that was to replace 2 cups of broth with Guinness…cause Guinness, lol. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Really great recipe! Only made a tiny change and that was to replace 2 cups of broth with Guinness…cause Guinness, lol. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    1. Wonderful stew! First time cooking lamb here and also substituted half the stock for Guinness. I will definitely make again. Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    This was fabulous. I had a left over leg of lamb in the freezer and followed the recipe exactly. Added a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up at the end, and it was dee-lish.

  4. 5 stars
    This was fabulous. I had a left over leg of lamb in the freezer and followed the recipe exactly. Added a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up at the end, and it was dee-lish.

  5. 5 stars
    One of the best stews I have ever made in the Instant Pot. Terrific flavour, especially the gravy. Many thanks. A little heavy with the bacon. Next time I will use maybe two slices. cheers!

  6. 5 stars
    One of the best stews I have ever made in the Instant Pot. Terrific flavour, especially the gravy. Many thanks. A little heavy with the bacon. Next time I will use maybe two slices. cheers!

  7. I had my ggson find a lamb stew recipe I am about to begin , I have read the people s review .in full trust it’s going to be great!

  8. 4 stars
    I tried it yesterday,… very good, we loved it. think it would have tasted even better if the onions were first fried before adding the lamb. Garlic would have added to the taste too. Will try that next time.

  9. 4 stars
    I tried it yesterday,… very good, we loved it. think it would have tasted even better if the onions were first fried before adding the lamb. Garlic would have added to the taste too. Will try that next time.

  10. 3 stars
    I just recently started using an instapot so still figuring it out. The lamb came out quite tasty and tender but I felt the carrots and potatoes were overcooked. Cooking veggies for 10 minutes on high pressure seems like too much. Maybe I will try it again and just add veggies and cook on lower pressure for less time. Also I love making stews in a Dutch oven. With instapot , it tate good but you dont get the smell of yummy food cooking in the house. But I do like the way it cooks meat. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      Ten minutes in the instant pot is equal to 30 minutes standard cooking. I usually cook chopped veggies for three to four minutes, and place the carrots towards the bottom.

  11. I substituted a cup of red wine for one of beef broth. Instead of bacon I browned onions and mushrooms. Reduced second cook time to 6 minutes But carrots were still mushier than I like. I’ll probably reduce veggie time to 4 minutes next time. Broth is delicious.

    1. Hi Daniel, you can take a bit of the cooked broth and whisk it with cornstarch or arrowroot powder to make a slurry, then whisk that mixture back into the stew. Hope that helps!

  12. Perfect! Is yummy and easy! I added half cup red wine to stock and sautéed onion and some garlic before adding. Only cooked veggies for 6 mins as suggested. Great recipe! Will make again!

  13. 5 stars
    Probably one of the best stews I’ve made. I added garlic and cooked with onion in the beginning. I added celery and skipped the mushrooms and cooked the veggies for 6 mins. I used bone broth I had made the night before. Seriously stellar, will make again!!! Thank you!!

  14. 5 stars
    I LOVE lamb stew, and the instant pot makes it easy. I like to use chicken broth instead of beef, and I haven’t tried it with bacon yet. I have found adding sauteed greens like bok choy give it a fresh taste and texture.