The flavors of the southern France region of Provence sing in this hearty lamb stew with root vegetables... Instant Pot Lamb Stew Provençal is fragrant with fresh rosemary and Herbes de Provence, and ready in an hour with your pressure cooker!
When the Good Lord begins to doubt the world, he remembers that he created Provence.~~ Frédéric Mistral
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - What is "Provençal" Cuisine?
I have been drawn to France, and French cooking, since my teenage years when I was fast becoming a gourmet cook. I was not drawn to Paris and haute cuisine (though I hope to visit someday), but rather, the cuisine of the commoner and the country folk... Basque and Provençal cuisine. Instant Pot Lamb Stew Provençal brings the wonderful flavors of Provence to a simple lamb stew, and you can have this fragrant, flavorful stew on the table in an hour with the aid of a pressure-cooker.
What is "Provençal" Cuisine?
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know of my reliance on flavor profiles in creating recipes. 😉 The cuisine of Provence is defined by its landscape – gnarly olive trees on rocky slopes; rosemary, fennel, thyme and sage growing wild alongside bay laurel and juniper.
Olive oil and olives, anchovies, capers, tomatoes, and garlic – lots and lots of garlic – characterize this wonderful cuisine. Tapenade, ratatouille, Seafood Stew With Saffron-Infused Broth, and Aioli (garlic mayonnaise) are representative of the cuisine, and among my favorites to prepare and enjoy.
Pantry items to keep on hand would include good olive oil, anchovies and/or anchovy paste, capers, good canned tomatoes, whole garlic bulbs, minced garlic, dried thyme leaves, sage, and bay leaves. Keep fresh ingredients on hand when possible – rosemary, parsley, thyme, sage, bay, lemons, fennel bulb, etc.
Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs typical of the Provence region of southern France, and one always found in my well-stocked pantry. (See My Pantry Checklist).
Commercially prepared Herbes de Provence are widely available; alternatively, you can make your own. I like Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Herbes de Provence. Savory is the only ingredient that I have had trouble finding, and lavender really isn't all that common in Herbes de Provence. You can also order it online.
About the Lamb Stew
This hearty stew combines cubed lamb with root vegetables - sweet potatoes, parsnips, and new potatoes - with herbes de Provence, bay leaves (fresh if possible), and fresh rosemary. Of course a generous cup of red wine flavors the cooking liquid along with good beef stock.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
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.
- all-purpose flour
- boneless lamb - I use either lamb stew meat or boneless leg of lamb. Hate lamb? Substitute beef (or elk if you're lucky enough to have it!).
- olive oil
- shallot - Red onion is a great substitute, or use what you have on hand!
- dry red wine - I recommend using a drinkable dry red wine. It doesn't have to be high quality, but if you wouldn't drink it, don't put it in your lamb stew!
- beef broth/stock
- fresh rosemary - I love using fresh herbs, but if you need to substitute, Martha Stewart recommends a 4:1 ratio. An 8 inch sprig yields about 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, so about ½ teaspoon dried should be adequate. If your dried herbs aren't very fragrant, you'll need more. When I use fresh rosemary, I add the entire sprig, and fish it out (along with bay leaves) before serving.
- bay leaves - Again, fresh is best, but dried bay leaves are fine as well.
- Herbes de Provence - Commercially prepared Herbes de Provence are widely available; alternatively, you can make your own. I like Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Herbes de Provence. Savory is the only ingredient that I have had trouble finding, and lavender really isn't all that common in Herbes de Provence. You can also order it online.
- red pearl onions (optional) - I think these little beauties are worth the extra time, but I don't always add them. See video below.
- mushrooms - I like cremini mushrooms, but button mushrooms are fine as well.
- root vegetables - You'll need about 4 cups of cubed vegetables. New potatoes in purple, red, and white are lovely. Carrots, sweet potatoes, golden beets, butternut squash, parsnips, turnips, are all great options. Try to cut them in similar sized pieces for most even cooking! I cut large chunks. Size will affect how soft or firm they are.
- flat leaf parsley to garnish
🍲 Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, Stove Top?
In this recipe, the cubed lamb gets pressurized for 30 minutes prior to adding the vegetables. The stew then needs only 8 minutes +/- with the addition of the vegetables to bring the lamb to falling-apart-tender. Using your Instant Pot/pressure cooker, this delicious lamb stew is ready in about an hour.
While cooking under pressure cuts the time substantially, you can make it on the stove as well. I recommend about 1 ¼ hour before adding the vegetables, followed by enough cooking time to get the vegetables tender (to your preference). Otherwise, the process will be the same. When cooking a stew on the stove, I like my cast iron Dutch oven...
Shake the lamb cubes, flour, salt, and pepper in a zip bag.
Add the flour coated lamb (shake off extra) along with aromatics.
On the sauté setting, brown the lamb and aromatics.
De-glaze with wine, stir, then add broth/stock. Set IP for 30 minutes.
While lamb cooks, prep the vegetables. This is a good time to do the onions.
Do a quick pressure release, add the vegetables. Lock and cook an additional 8 minutes or so.
🎥 Pearl Onions Video
I highly recommend taking the time to include the pearl onions! To that end, I have included this video...
🍷 Pairing Suggestions
Pair this hearty, rich stew with a medium-bodied red wine such as Cotes du Rhone and a crusty loaf of sourdough... It's a hearty, filling meal in a bowl!
- Kick it up a notch with some freshly chopped herbs - parsley, rosemary, thyme, marjoram - would be appropriate!
- Please note: The stew is pressurized for 30 minutes with the lamb before the vegetables are added. The vegetables require only (a maximum) of 10 minutes under pressure. Do a quick pressure release both times, or you may get mushy vegetables!
- My veggies were mushy. Help! This is a bit of a dance as people cut different sizes, have different equipment, and have different preferences. I use large chunks as this is a rustic stew. If I do a quick pressure release, 8 minutes is about right for our family, for fibrous vegetables like potatoes, turnips, and butternut squash. I have to mention, though, my husband gripes if root vegetables are at all firm. I used to suggest 10 minutes, but a reader said her vegetables were overcooked. When I wrote the recipe, I was using a Pressure Cooker XL, and I'm beginning to realize the differences between brands and appliances.
- Unsure on pressure time for your specific vegetables? This Instant Pot Vegetables 101 may be helpful.
- Electric pressure cookers get extremely hot on the bottom. If you have too much thickener or flour, you may get a "burn" warning. All is not lost. You can open the lid, give it a good stir, and return to pressure.
- If you want to thicken your stew, make a slurry of a tablespoon or two flour and ¼ cup broth or water. Add to the pot on sauté, bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened.
- A good rule of thumb is to not cook with expensive wine or wine you wouldn't want to drink!
- Fresh pearl onions are worth a bit of extra effort - if you can find them. Blanch them, snip the root end, then pop them out of their skins from the stem end. You can substitute frozen pearl onions, or substitute with an additional cup of vegetables.
- If time is an issue, I sometimes use a stove top pressure-cooker on an induction cook top (it comes to pressure more quickly). I have to be way more careful than I did when I had the instant heat control of my gas range. I do pressurize the cooker on high, but the minute it is pressurized, I turn it from "9" to "3". This seems to work pretty well.
Substitute beef (or elk if you're lucky enough to have it!).
Carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, golden beets, butternut squash, parsnips, turnips, are all great options. Choose your favorites!
We think so. We'll enjoy it for lunch up to 5 days, and freeze it for up to 3 months for another meal.
If you're still nervous about trying an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, please try to overcome your fear! The modern pressure cooker is not your mother's pressure cooker. 😀
Instant Pot Lamb Stew Provençal
- ¾ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- a few grinds of pepper
- 1 pound lamb - cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot - finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced (about 2-3 cloves)
- 1 cup dry red wine - (see notes)
- 4 cups beef broth/stock
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary - 6 to 8 inches long
- 2 leaves bay - fresh if possible
- 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
- 1 cup red pearl onions - optional (see notes)
- 2 cups mushrooms - quartered (see notes)
- 4 cups root vegetables - cubed (see notes)
- several grinds sea salt and pepper to taste
- flat leaf parsley to garnish
- Add the flour, salt, and pepper to a quart zip bag. Add the cubed lamb, and zip the top. Shake until pieces are coated.
- Add olive oil to pressure cooker on medium high heat (manual or sauté mode). Add lamb cubes (shake off excess flour), shallot, and garlic. Stir until lamb cubes are browning nicely.
- Pour red wine and broth/stock into the IP/pressure cooker. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, and Herbes de Provence. Stir to combine.
- Set the Instant Pot to 30 minutes high pressure.
- While lamb cooks, prep your vegetables. If using fresh pearl onions, blanch quickly, snip the root end, and pop the onion out of its skin.
- Do a quick pressure release, open, then add vegetables. Seal and lock the cooker, and return to high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Do a quick pressure release. When ready to serve, open the lid, and check seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Ladle stew into bowls, and garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley. Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!
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.
How many servings is this recipe. The nutritional info doesn’t include this
Hi Judy! Actually, the recipe card shows "4 servings" in the upper left corner. When I include macronutrient information, I enter the ingredients into MyFitnessPal.com to come up with an approximation only. In this case, I used 4 servings. I hope this helps!
Sophie Heath says
So delicious! I loved this stew!! A new family favorite!
Applause! I'm so glad you love it. It's a favorite cool weather recipe at Andersen casa... Thanks for taking time to let me know Sophie!
I don’t have a pressure cooker but do have a cast iron pot. Can I make this recipe and just cook it longer?
You certainly can! You'll need 1 1/2 hours to get the lamb cubes tender, and then another 20-30 minutes to get the vegetables tender... Good luck!
Honestly this was outstanding! Amazing depth of flavor and seasoning was spot on. I had a larger piece of lamb so upped all the veggies too by 50%. Lessons learned - don't cut the lamb too small or it gets lost, I'd say 1"x1" cubes at a minimum. For my preference I think the 10 minute second cooking could be a bit shorter, maybe 8 or 9 if you like a bit firmer vegetables (I used carrots, butternut squash, and baby white and red potatoes). Plus I'd add frozen peas at the end next time. These are minor tweaks to a delicious recipe that I will definitely make again.
You've made my day Ken! Thanks for taking the time to write in... I love the idea of adding peas myself!
My family has a gluten free diet. I tried pillsbury gluten free flour been on med heat and it made a mess- not sure if it was the type of flour, the amount of flour, too much meat ( i doubled the recipe), or not enough heat. I transferred meat to my cast iron pan to try to get it browned and got parts browned but it mostly made a mess there too...meanwhile the meat kept cooking and cooking -ugh! going to add veg finish cooking and pray its edible.
could i do the browning with just s&p- hold the flour next time?
Hi Melissa! I'm sorry you had trouble with the stew! When I make it, the lamb is just lightly coated with flour and I shake off any excess. Too much flour will definitely affect browning. I haven't tried gluten free flour on this recipe, but have on others, and I don't think that would be a problem. If you double the meat, it would be best to brown in 2 batches. That would be the first thing I would try... The flavor of the stew will be the same if you omit the flour. It's purpose is just to slightly thicken. I hope it was edible after all that!
pretty sure i'm in love now....i use corn starch instead of flour...Yay!
I'm so happy you love it CJ! Corn starch almost always works instead of flour, so good call. Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for taking time to comment!
This is an incredibly tasty dish, and it's surprising how quickly you can get it on the table by using a pressure cooker/InstantPot.
And the lamb gets so tender... This is one of my favorite pressure cooker dishes!
Looks great and I have some Pinn Oak lamb stew meat in the freezer waiting. What happens if I double the recipe or just double the meat?
Hi Liz! It should be no problem to double the lamb or double the recipe if your pressure-cooker is large enough. Pressure cookers cannot be over-filled. Most electric models have a fill line. 3/4 full is about as full as you can go. Good luck!
Thanks. A total of 40 minutes under pressure sounds like too much for the lamb, but I’m a novice at this.
I'm looking for falling apart tender, which is why I cook this stew in two stages (adding the vegetables after the lamb has 30 minutes). You can probably reduce the cook time somewhat, and still get a good result, but this is the way I do stew - my Irish Stew recipe is done the same way. Good luck!
This is one of my favorite pressure-cooker recipes.
Mine too! I love the nuance provided by the herbes de Provence, and the earthy vegetables with tender lamb!
Kept strictly to recipe. Result disappointing. Too much liquid, both lamb an vegetables over cooked.
It tasted ok but could not have served it to guests.
Will make again but with serious tweeks.
I am really sorry you didn't enjoy the stew Robin. Did you cook under pressure in 2 stages (30 minutes for lamb and only 10 for vegetables)? In both cases, I recommend a "quick pressure release." When I wrote this recipe, I was using a Pressure Cooker XL, and before that, a stove top pressure cooker. Perhaps I need to make it again in one of my Instant Pots? I would love to hear back from you... I guess it will be easy enough to decrease the liquid, but our family likes a lot of broth/stock. Again, I apologize for your disappointment. I hope you'll give it another go... it has typically been a reader favorite.
Just hand me a fork and a spoon so I can get started. The flavors and richness of this stew are mouthwatering. I would most certainly want a loaf of French bread to make sure I got every drop. Lovely stew!
Thanks MJ! We had a loaf of crusty sourdough, and it is good to the last drop!
This looks wonderful! What a beautiful and delicious dish for a cold winter night! Can't wait to try this!
I hope you do try it Sarah! It is perfect for a winter night, and really comes together quickly in a pressure-cooker... Thanks for stopping by!
Debi at Life Currents says
I would love to get a pressure cooker. I also think those new Insta-pots are cool. This stew looks fabulous, nice and warming!
You should get one or the other for sure! I love that I can use either my slow cooker or my pressure cooker for so many of the same recipes! Thanks Debi 🙂
I've never used a pressure cooker! But this recipe might convince me on the other side I like to take some time and this recipe sounds like much fun to take your time for 🙂 Nice flavor combinations! I like the french cuisine too!
You really should consider investing in a pressure cooker - especially in the winter months when "slow cooked" recipes like stews are so appropriate! The provencal flavors really work well with the lamb, mushrooms, and wine. Thanks Simon!
I'm in love with my pressure cooker and have this on my pinned list to make soon! It looks amazing!
I hope you do give it a try Michele! Provencal flavors and lamb go so well together 🙂
Boastful Food says
There are only a few lamb dishes I'll try and this definitely looks like one of them! Beautiful flavors and colors!
Lamb seems to be a bit polarizing - either you like it or you don't 🙂 Give it a try, and maybe you'll discover you do! Thanks Raquel!
Bam's Kitchen says
How perfect is this savory stew. The first time I really started using herbes de Provence was after my trip to Southern France. I brought home a suitcase full of it. Love this herb mixture. I bet your stew is super tender and delicious.
Thanks Bobby! I wish my first experience with herbes de Provence was in southern France! It is on our "bucket list!"