Make easy Instant Pot lamb shank for a dinner. Using a pressure cooker means the lamb shanks are juicy and fall off the bone tender in just over an hour. Cooked in red wine with carrots, celery and onions this is a delicious meal you can make without a lot of effort!
Lamb is one of my favorite meats to cook when I want to make an out of the ordinary dinner. And using a pressure cooker makes it easy to cook delicious lamb every time, like Instant Pot Lamb Stew and Instant Pot Leg of Lamb. This recipe for lamb shanks makes a terrific and elegant dinner.
Instant Pot Lamb Shank cooks quickly in a pressure cooker for a tender and juicy dinner. The lamb is cooked with carrots, onions and red wine, which combine to make a rich and hearty gravy.
Why Pressure Cook Lamb Shanks?
A lamb shank is a cut of meat taken from the lower leg. Like most leg meat it is tough and is usually cooked by slow braising. And when I say slow braising I mean 3 to 4 hours.
Using an electric pressure cooker makes it possible to cook this meat in a little over an hour. In this case high pressure takes the place of long cooking to create a tender meal.
In addition this is a meal that takes minimal preparation. All you need to do is brown the meat and some vegetables and then let it the pressure cooker do its job.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Lamb Shank
In this recipe I combine the lamb lamb with standard stew vegetables – onion, garlic, carrots and celery. These vegetables provide a nice flavor to the meat as it cooks and are tasty served with the lamb shank.
I use a combination of red wine and water as the cooking liquid. Red wine gives the meal a rich, deep flavor. But if you prefer not to cook with alcohol you could substitute chicken broth for the wine.
Serving Size for Lamb Shank
Lamb shanks range can range in size from just over 1/2 a pound to almost 2 pounds. The ones I bought were about 1 pound each, so I used a total of 2 pounds of lamb for this recipe. I served these to just my husband and I, so we each ate 1 lamb shank.
That is a very generous serving of meat for one person. I think this recipe could easily serve three people, but giving one lamb shank to each person makes a nice presentation. So how many people this recipe serves is up to you!
Can I Cook More Lamb Shanks?
I have a 6 quart Instant Pot and three one pound lamb shanks would fit in it with no problem. I would suggest increasing the amount of liquid in the recipe to 1 cup each of wine and water with 3 lamb shanks.
I think fitting four lamb shanks into my Instant Pot would be tricky. The shanks aren’t that large, but they are an awkward shape and you can’t really cut them to fit like you can a roast. So I’d stick with 2 or 3 lamb shanks unless you have a larger pressure cooker.
How to Make Instant Pot Lamb Shank
1. Brown the Lamb Shanks
I love to use the Saute function of my Instant Pot to make browning meats quick and easy. But lamb shanks have long bones, and the ones I bought were too long to brown in my 6 quart Instant Pot.
So after I tried (and failed) to brown them in the Instant Pot I was forced to get out a frying pan, add some olive oil, and brown them on the stove. This worked fine, but it did leave me with a frying pan to wash.
You could also skip browning the lamb shank if you prefer. This saves a few minutes of time and will have only a small effect on the taste of the final dish.
2. Saute the Vegetables
The vegetables that are being used to flavor the lamb should be browned next. If you were able to brown the shanks in the Instant Pot take them out before adding the onions, carrots and celery.
Otherwise add some olive oil to the Instant Pot, put it on Saute, and cook the vegetables for about 3 minutes to soften them. Then add the garlic and turn the Instant Pot off.
3. DeGlaze the Instant Pot
Add the water and wine to the Instant Pot and stir, scraping the bottom to deglaze the inner pot. You want to remove any browned bits of meat or vegetables that have become stuck to the pot. This step is key to avoiding getting a Burn error from the Instant Pot.
Once you have scraped the bottom of the Instant Pot add the rest of the herbs and spices to flavor the lamb. I used salt, peppercorns and fresh rosemary to flavor my lamb shank. Thyme and parsley would also make good choices for adding to the broth.
4. Bring the Instant Pot to Pressure
Now it is time to put the lamb shanks back in the Instant Pot. Make sure you put the meaty bottom of the lamb shank into the liquid. It is fine if the bone of the shank sticks up a little above the Max Fill line on the Instant Pot.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot, checking that the sealing ring is tight and the pressure valve is closed. Set the Instant Pot to Manual, high pressure, for 45 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for the pressure cooker to reach pressure.
5. Make a Simple Gravy
Once the pressure cooker has completed let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. Remove the lamb shanks from the pressure cooker and set aside to rest for a few minutes.
To make a quick gravy mix cornstarch and cold water and add to the liquid in the Instant Pot. Turn the Instant Pot on Saute and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until the liquid has thickened.
What to Serve With Instant Pot Lamb Shank
The traditional dish to serve with lamb shanks is mashed potatoes and that goes perfectly with this meal. I had some Instant Pot mashed potatoes I had made earlier that I used.
The lamb shank was juicy and fork tender. The meat came right off the bone. The vegetables were slightly caramelized and the gravy was amazing with the mashed potatoes.
This meal seemed like a fancy restaurant dinner and it really didn’t take much effort at all to make!
- 2 1 pound lamb shanks
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 springs rosemary
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- Brown the lamb shanks. If they fit in the Instant Pot set it on Saute and brown on all sides in olive oil. If they are too large use a frying pan to brown them.
- If you browned the lamb shanks in the Instant Pot remove them and set them aside. Set the Instant Pot on Saute and saute the carrots, celery and onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and turn the Instant Pot off.
- Deglaze the Instant Pot by adding the wine and water. Scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot with a wooden spoon to release any bit of meat or vegetables that are stick to the bottom.
- Add the peppercorns, salt and rosemary and stir. Return the lamb shanks to the Instant Pot, putting the meaty ends in the liquid.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, checking the sealing ring and making sure the valve is closed. Set on Manual, high pressure, for 45 minutes.
- Once the pressure cooker is done let it release naturally for 10 minutes. Then release any remaining pressure manually.
- Take the lamb shanks out of the liquid. Mix the cornstarch and cold water. Stir the mixture into the Instant Pot and set it on Saute. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes to thicken the gravy.
It is ok if the top bone of the lamb shanks extends a little above the Max Fill line on the Instant Pot.
I cook and test my recipes in a 6 quart Instant Pot. You might need to modify the recipe if you have a different brand or size of pressure cooker.
If you are cooking 3 lamb shanks increase both the wine and the water amounts to 1 cup each.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 832Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 240mgSodium: 1428mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 66g
Nutrition facts are estimates.