Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew

Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew features tender lamb cubes with earthy root vegetables in a savory stew flavored with herbs and (of course) stout… This hearty stew is a great option for St. Patrick’s Day, but I’ll bet the “luck of the Irish” you’ll love it any day!

Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew in a white bowl full of lamb and root vegetables.

May your pockets be heavy, and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

~~ Traditional Irish Blessing

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Instant Pots

It’s still technically “winter” in many parts of the World, right? With the exception of 1 really hot day, even the Rio Grande Valley has been temperate.

In considering my March posting schedule, Irish stew seemed appropriate, but admittedly it’s hard to get “in the mood” when it’s 101 degrees outside.

It was a hot one… on February 23! That’s when I decided to work on this recipe. Whew! Fortunately, that day was an anomaly. We’re back in the seventies and eighties for the time being. So, I digress.

With the popularity of Instant Pot, I am finding loads of interest in pressure cooker recipes. First, for the record, I don’t own one. I have been cooking with a pressure cooker since the “olden days” when I was a teenager and was fascinated by my mom’s dangerous electric model. 😝

I purchased a stove top model years ago when I had the luxury of cooking on gas. Lo and behold we moved to the Rio Grande Valley where gas lines are nearly non-existent. Do you detect sarcasm?

Cooking on an electric (albeit fancy) cooktop is a frightening experience when using a stove top pressure cooker. The lack of heat control means basically heating two burners – one to get the pot pressurized, and one to move it to quickly so that it doesn’t explode.  😱

I love pressure cooker cooking – in most cases the results are superior to slow cooking. That will be a post for another day… I went shopping. I toyed with the idea of buying an Instant Pot because they’re “hot” right now.

After doing some research, I settled on a Pressure Cooker XL. At the time, the difference in price was substantial, and the reviews for both were solid. I saved about 20%, and the features are very similar, and highly recommend both brands.

I have also purchased stove top pressure cookers for 2 of our 4 sons, and they do quite well with them. In any case, the days of exploding pressure cookers are behind us. All models have built-in safety features, and you can feel confident in using one. Trust me.

2021 UPDATE: I now own 2 Instant Pots – a 6 quart and a 3 quart (for making yogurt).

🍺 What Beer Should I Use?

Beer. Specifically stout. Disclaimer: I don’t love Guinness Stout. I am a dark beer girl, and Guinness is a bit “one note” for my taste.

However, it works well in this recipe, and it is widely available. Feel free to substitute another stout, but stay away from a sweet stout like a milk or a chocolate stout. Do not worry about the alcohol. It will dissipate, leaving the flavor of the beer. Do not use a hoppy beer, as it will result in a bitter stew. Porter or another dark, malty beer should work just fine.

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew: Lamb cubes, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaves, potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, flour, stock, Guinness.
  • olive oil
  • lamb stew meat – If you have an aversion to lamb, you can use beef!
  • flour
  • onion
  • garlic
  • thyme leaves
  • bay leaves
  • beer – A dark malty beer, Guiness Stout is perfect (see What Beer Should I Use above).
  • beef broth or stock
  • root vegetables – I always use parsnips, rutabagas, and carrots, but you can use your favorites like potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • flat leaf parsley

🔪 How to Make Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew

  1. Brown the lamb – I complete this Irish Stew in two steps. I want tender lamb, and tender vegetables. I do not want mushy vegetables. If you’re using an electric appliance, select “sauté” setting on . If using a stove top model, heat over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when it is hot, add the cubed meat coated with flour (shake off excess!). Brown the meat, then add the onion and garlic. Stir an additional few minutes until they begin to soften. Sauté the meat mixture for 3-4 minutes to give it a chance to begin browning. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent flour from accumulating and causing a “burn” error.
  2. Pressure cook the lamb – Add the thyme, bay, beer and broth or stock. Scrape the bottom of the pot again to loosen any browned bits and flour. Lock the lid, and cook 30 minutes. After 10 minutes, release pressure. After experimenting a few times, I found that cooking the meat in the liquid for 30 minutes, de-pressurizing, adding the root vegetables, and then cooking another 8 minutes is about right.
  3. Prep and cook the vegetables – After a quick pressure release (be careful!) open, and add the root vegetables. Lock and set for 8 minutes (or 8 minutes on the stove). Do a quick release. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with flat leaf parsley if desired.
Lamb cubes in a zip bag with flour and seasonings.
Lamb cubes coated with flour before cooking.
The seasoned and floured lamb in a red bowl ready to be cooked.
Use a spider to remove the lamb cubes from the flour. Shake them off a bit to remove excess.

❓FAQ

Do I have to use lamb? Yuck!

My preference for this stew is lamb, though beef is very tasty as well A very traditional Irish stew uses mutton, and I’ve never found, much less cooked with it. If you’re the adventuresom sort, and you find mutton, go for it!

I’d like my stew thicker. What can I do?

You can make a slurry. Allow enough time on sauté to bring the stew up to a boil as you add the slurry a bit at a time.

I got a “burn” error! What do I do?

Using a thickener like flour in a stew cooked under pressure can sometimes be problematic if it hangs out near the heating element on an electric pressure cooker. I’ve only had this happen once in all my years of cooking with them. It is important to combine the flour with the meat in a zip bag, shake off the excess, and then stir in the liquid scraping any bits off the bottom of the pot. If you get a “burn” warning, all is not lost. Release the pressure carefully, and stir it again, scraping the bottom of the pot. If the meat is close to tender, go ahead and add vegetables and proceed. I always want my flour browned, but if you are risk averse, you can make a slurry and add it at the end and bring the stew to a boil on sauté.

Do you typically prepare a special meal for St. Patrick’s Day? If so, what would that be? I love to hear your food stories!

If this Instant Pot stew recipe isn’t quite what you had in mind, check out my Instant Pot Lamb Stew Provençal, or my Instant Pot Lamb Butternut Squash Stew – two of my most popular recipes. I think you will find it’s hard to beat the tender results achieved in a relatively short time in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

A white bowl of Irish Stew with a silver spoon and beige napkin.

Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew

Tender lamb cubes with earthy root vegetables in a savory stew flavored with herbs and (of course) stout… Pressure Cooker Irish Stew is a great option for St. Patrick’s Day, but I’ll bet the “luck of the Irish” you’ll love it any day!
4.86 from 7 votes

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
De-pressurize 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Irish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 485 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lamb stew meat - boneless, cubed, (see notes)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion - chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves - fresh if possible
  • 1 can or bottle dark malty beer - Guiness Stout is perfect (see notes)
  • 4 cups beef broth or stock
  • 4-5 cups root vegetables - cubed, (see notes)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • flat leaf parsley - chopped, to garnish

Instructions

  • In a zip bag, combine the lamb and the flour. Shake to combine thoroughly. Shake off the excess. I typically dump the contents of the zip bag into a bowl and use a spider to shake off the excess.
  • If you’re using an electric pressure cooker, select "sauté." If using a stove top model, heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add the olive oil, and when it is hot, add the cubed meat. Brown the meat, then add the onion and garlic. Stir an additional few minutes until they begin to soften. Scrape the bottom of the pot to keep any flour from sticking to the bottom.
  • Add the thyme, bay, beer and broth or stock. Again, scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen browned bits and flour.
  • Lock the lid, and cook 30 minutes (electric and stove top). While the meat cooks, prep the vegetables
  • Allow the cooker to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release of the remaining pressure.
  • Open, and add the root vegetables. Lock and set for 8 minutes (or 8 minutes on the stove).
  • Do a quick release. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with flat leaf parsley if desired.

Notes

We prefer lamb, but beef is a delicious option as well. I’ve used bone-in and boneless, and always go back to boneless to keep it simple.
As I mentioned in the post, I use a combination of root vegetables including potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, and parsnips. Use your favorites.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal): 485 calories; 30 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates; 18 g fat.

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 18g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com
2017 photo of the lamb stew in a white bowl on a wood background.
Original 2017 photo…

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8 Comments

  1. You know when you go to the grocery store and there’s a great deal on something that you just CAN’T pass up? Do you also know how you put things in your freezer to use later, then forget about them? Well, I found a couple individually packaged, decent quality, rib-eye steaks that had spent far too much time in the tundra of my freezer. they likely wouldn’t be great to eat as steaks anymore. So… what to do?
    Well, I made a couple substitutions/ad-libs. I cubed the two aforementioned ruined rib-eyes. I went to the grocery store and picked up two carrots, a Yukon gold potato, and a parsnip (which ended up being more vegetable than the recipe called for, but I cooked it anyway). It was cold outside, so I grabbed one of my go-to beer choices, Santa Fe Brewing Company’s State Pen Porter, because that’s what I wanted to drink.
    This stew was the best thing I could have made that night, and cost me $9 and less effort than getting the car warmed for work that morning.

  2. You know when you go to the grocery store and there’s a great deal on something that you just CAN’T pass up? Do you also know how you put things in your freezer to use later, then forget about them? Well, I found a couple individually packaged, decent quality, rib-eye steaks that had spent far too much time in the tundra of my freezer. they likely wouldn’t be great to eat as steaks anymore. So… what to do?
    Well, I made a couple substitutions/ad-libs. I cubed the two aforementioned ruined rib-eyes. I went to the grocery store and picked up two carrots, a Yukon gold potato, and a parsnip (which ended up being more vegetable than the recipe called for, but I cooked it anyway). It was cold outside, so I grabbed one of my go-to beer choices, Santa Fe Brewing Company’s State Pen Porter, because that’s what I wanted to drink.
    This stew was the best thing I could have made that night, and cost me $9 and less effort than getting the car warmed for work that morning.

    1. That is so cool! Way to save freezer food! I get so frustrated with the stuff that ends up freezer burned in the bottom… Great choice, and thanks for writing Devin!