This Instant Pot Lamb Stew is an easy dinner that is full of flavor! Lamb cubes are simmered in Guinness and combined with carrots and potatoes for a hearty Irish stew recipe that will warm you up on a cold day. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!
Lamb isn’t the most commonly used meat in American cooking, but it is delicious. Lamb has a tasty and deep flavor which complements a wide variety of cooking, from Irish to Mediterranean.
I have made Irish Lamb Stew for years, but once I got a pressure cooker I wanted to make a lamb stew recipe in my Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is perfect for making stews, because it allows you make it without hours of cooking.
Using a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot means you can have tender meat without simmering the meat for 2-3 hours. And to make it even better you can brown the meat right in the Instant Pot with the saute function, so there are fewer dishes to wash.
Why You Will Love this Instant Pot Lamb Stew
- It is a is a delicious St. Patrick’s Day main dish.
- Lamb can be expensive but by making a stew you can stretch the meat and make it go farther.
- It is easy to make and this rich Irish Stew will be ready in less than an hour.
- Nothing is better on a cold day than a steaming bowl of warm stew for dinner!
- If you leftovers this tastes even better the next day.
- Lamb meat, cubed – This can be made with any kind of cubed lamb. Shoulder meat is commonly used and if you can find pre-cubed lamb stew meat it will probably be from lamb shoulder. Leg meat also works well. Lamb shoulder is a little tougher than lamb leg, but cooking it in a stewing it makes it tender.
- Guinness stout and broth – I prefer to use Guinness for a rich and unmistakable flavor. It also complements the lamb and makes it distinctly Irish. But you can substitute another kind of beer, broth or wine.
- Flour and tomato paste – These help thicken the meal so it is more stew like and less soup like.
- Vegetables – I include onions, carrots and potatoes. Other root vegetables or celery would be a good addition if you want to add even more vegetables.
- Seasoning – Salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary and mustard all combine to make this dish flavorful and delicious.
How to Make Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness
1. Brown the Lamb
Put the Instant Pot on Saute and let it heat up for a few minutes. Then add oil to the Instant Pot and add the lamb cubes.
Brown them, stirring, until they are mostly brown, about 5 minutes. Then add the onion and stir to let it soften and brown for 2 minutes.
2. Deglaze the Instant Pot
Turn the Instant Pot off and add the broth. Stir, scraping the bottom of the Instant Pot to get off all the bits of browned meat and onion on the bottom of the Instant Pot. This will help reduce the chances of getting a Burn error from the pressure cooker.
Now add the flour, thyme, rosemary, Guinness, tomato paste, mustard, salt and pepper to the Instant Pot. That is everything except the potatoes and carrots!
Stir to mix everything together in the pressure cooker. Then put the lid on the Instant Pot, locking the lid and making sure the valve is shut.
Pressure cook the stew for 20 minutes on Manual/Pressure setting. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure and start counting down the time.
4. Add the Vegetables
While the lamb cooks in the Instant Pot you can cube the carrots and potatoes. To ensure even cooking make the pieces about the same size, 1 inch or less in size.
I usually peel the potatoes, but that is not necessary. Once the Instant Pot is done cooking do a quick pressure release and remove the lid.
Now add the carrots and potatoes and put the lid back on the Instant Pot. If you have a hard time getting the lid to reseal run a little cold water on it to cool it off.
Set the Instant Pot on Manual/Pressure for 10 minutes to cook the vegetables. It should come to pressure more quickly this time since everything inside is so hot.
Once the Instant Pot finishes use either the quick pressure release or natural pressure release, depending on how soon you want to serve dinner.
If the stew is not thick enough for your tastes mix 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of cold water and cook it on saute for 5 minutes until it bubbles and thickens.
How to Avoid Mushy Stew Vegetables
One thing my family and I don’t like is when the vegetables in our stew are mushy and fall apart! That is why I bring the Instant Pot up to pressure twice – first to cook the meat and then to cook the vegetables.
You could add the potatoes and carrots at the beginning and only bring the pressure cooker up to pressure once. It would still taste good but the texture would be a little different and the vegetables’ texture would not be as firm, so I prefer to take a little more time and not overcook the vegetables.
How to Serve Instant Pot Lamb Stew
This hearty stew is a complete meal in itself. But if you want to stretch the meal you could serve it with a green salad or over noodles. I like to garnish it with fresh parsley or thyme.
It also tastes delicious with a crusty bread – especially a beer bread! And if you are a fan of Guinness then make sure you have a few bottles to serve with dinner!
How to Store
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors will deepen and I think it actually tastes better on the second and third day.
This lamb stew recipe freezes well and will keep for about 3 months in the freezer. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and heat it over low heat on the stove.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, frozen lamb works fine in this recipe as long as it is cubed before it is frozen. If the meat is frozen searing it before pressure cooking isn’t really effective. Increase the initial pressure cooking time to 30 minutes if the meat is frozen.
Guinnes contains malted barley, so I don’t think it is technically gluten free. So you would need to substitute a gluten free beer for the Guinness, in addition to replacing the flour in the recipe with a gluten free thickener.
You can substitute chicken broth, another type of beer or red wine for the Guinness. All would change the flavor somewhat, but it will still be a delicious stew, just less Irish!
Find More Recipes with Guinness
- 2 Tablespoon oil
- 1 pound lamb stew meat, cubed
- 1 yellow onion, medium, diced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Guinness Stout
- 2 Tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 2 Tablespoons fresh)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium potatoes
- 3 carrots
Note - This recipe was originally published in 2019. I recently revised it to add some information on deglazing the Instant Pot because a few people reported they were receiving a Burn error. The recipe hasn't changed, but I'm suggesting adding the ingredients in a slightly different order now.
- Set the Instant Pot on Saute and let it heat up.
- Put the oil in the Instant Pot and brown the lamb cubes on all sides in the oil.
- Add the onion to the Instant Pot and let brown for 2 minutes.
- Turn the Instant Pot off. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the Instant Pot. Scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula to remove any browned bits of meat and onion that have stuck to the bottom. This reduces the changes of getting a BURN error.
- Add the Guinness, flour, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste and Dijon mustard, along with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Switch it to the Manual/Pressure setting and program it for 20 minutes on high pressure.
- While the stew cooks peel and dice the potatoes and the carrots.
- When the 20 minutes is done release the steam using the quick pressure release.
- Add the potatoes and carrots, and lock the lid back on the Instant Pot. Run the lid under a little cold water to cool it off if it doesn't want to reseal. Set the Instant Pot to Manual/Pressure on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Once the 10 minutes are up use either the quick release or natural release, depending on how soon you want to serve dinner.
Avoiding mushy stew vegetables
I prefer to make this as the recipe describes, by pressure cooking twice, once to cook the meat, once to cook the vegetables. This keeps the vegetables from overcooking and being mushy. But you can add potatoes and carrots with the rest of the ingredients and only pressure cook the stew once, for 30 minutes, if you want to make it more quickly.
Making with frozen lamb
Increase the initial pressure cooking time to 30 minutes if the lamb cubes are frozen.
Substitutions for Guinnes
Use more chicken broth, wine or another type of beer if you don't have Guinness.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 468Saturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 811mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 37g