This Instant Pot lamb stew is a beautiful blend of sweet, savory and citrus flavors. Pair it with a light salad and some crusty bread and you have an easy and impressive meal for any night of the week.
What is in a Ras El Hanout spice blend?
One of the ingredients in the Instant Pot lamb stew is Ras El Hanout, a spice blend found mainly in recipes from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. There is no ‘correct’ mix of spices that make up Ras El Hanout – each company, shop or family has their own special blend. Generally, the mix involves at least a dozen different spices, including
- chili peppers
- coriander seed
If you are unable to find Ras El Hanout locally, it is available for purchase online. Or, you can be adventurous and make your own spice blend!
Instant Pot Lamb Stew Cooking Tips
You may have questions about making this lamb stew Instant Pot recipe. Hopefully, the tips below will be helpful to you.
Do I need to brown lamb before pressure cooking it?
It may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but browning meat greatly affects the texture of the meat as well as the taste of the Instant Pot lamb stew.
The browning process causes what’s known as a “Maillard reaction”. Essentially, it’s a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars. It gives browned food its distinctive look (that beautiful brown crust) and flavor. Browning also helps to keep the lamb’s juices inside of the meat as it cooks.
Is it necessary to deglaze an Instant Pot after browning meat?
After sautéing or browning any ingredient in an Instant Pot, it is VERY important to deglaze the inner pot. Deglazing ensures that all of the caramelized and brown flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot are incorporated into the lamb stew. More importantly, deglazing helps prevent the dreaded “burn” notice from appearing during pressure cooking.
Deglazing an Instant Pot is very easy to do!
- Add a thin liquid (this recipe calls for water, but other recipes may use wine or broth) to the inner pot.
- Using a silicone or wooden spatula, scrape away ALL of the food and brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the inner pot.
- Be sure there is absolutely nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot before continuing with the rest of the Instant Pot lamb stew recipe.
How long can you keep leftover Instant Pot lamb stew?
If you have any leftover stew, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you don’t think you’ll finish the leftovers within that time, then it’s best to freeze them.
Divide the lamb stew into single-servings or family-sized portions and place them into airtight, freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. The stew can be kept in the freezer for up to four months.
What goes well with lamb stew?
In general, a stew is a hearty meal all on its own. Therefore, they don’t require any heavy side dishes.
Two great sides to consider serving with Instant Pot lamb stew are my Middle Eastern Farro Salad or Turmeric Carrot Salad.
Also, a hearty loaf of bread goes very well with lamb stew, especially one like Apple Yeast Bread.
Instant Pot Lamb Stew
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs lamb cubes
- sea salt
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4-1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 8 dates
- 8 dried apricots
- 2 Tbsp slivered almonds
- 1/2-1 Tbsp honey - optional
- 1 tsp ras el hanout
- parsley or cilantro
- almond slivers
- Preheat your Instant Pot by pressing the saute button and wait until the display says "hot".
- Add butter and olive oil and then brown your lamb cubes in batches. Do not overcrowd or the lamb will start boiling in its own juices instead of brown. Brown the lamb in at least 4 batches, better 6 batches. Brown for about 2 minutes on each side or until nice and brown. Pay attention to your display as the saute function tends to shut off after 30 minutes. Slightly season lamb cubes when browning with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
- With the saute button still on, add chopped onion, garlic, ginger paste, cinnamon, and coriander and stir fry until the onion is soft.
- Add water to deglaze the bottom of the Instant Pot. Do a really really thorough job to avoid the burn warning down the line. Remove aaaall the burnt bits and pieces stuck to the bottom (see video).
- Return browned lamb cubes into the instant pot, give it a good stir, put on the lid, seal it, and set to 25 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the pressure cooking time is over, do not touch the valve, don't do anything at all. Let pressure release naturally. This can take anywhere from 15-25 minutes.
- Once the safety pin dropped all on its own it is safe to open the pot.
- Add zest of 1 orange, dates, apricots, almon slivers, honey, ras el hanout, stir well and then press the saute button again to bring everything to a boil and then let it simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the sauce thicken a little by letting some of the water evaporate.
- Serve in a bowl, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro and chopped almond slivers and enjoy!
Tammy Taft says
If you don’t like dried fruits what could you use as a substitute?
Lorena Grater says
You can simply leave it out but I highly recommend trying it as is. I’m not a huge fan of dried fruit myself but in this recipe it tastes amazing.
I don’t have an instant pot & althugh I do have a crockpot, I prefer a slow cook in a Dutch oven. Is it possible to prepare this dish in that form or not really??
Lorena Grater says
Absolutely! You can make it in a dutch oven on the stove. Just follow the same instructions, get to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and cover and simmer for about 2 hours.
Made for the first time, and I loved it!
Sprinkled toasted almonds over the top instead of stirring them in. Will definitely be making this again.
I tried this recipe today and it was delicious!
Great dish. Didn’t have dates so used prunes instead and also cut out the honey as I didn’t want it getting too sweet.
The recipe sounds delicous!
But I am a student. I was wondering if the lamb could be replaced with a cheaper piece of meat?
Stewing beef will work perfectly well, as well.
Zing Jao says
Wow this looks great. Can I use a slow cooker instead of an instant pot?
Yes! Just make sure to use rather the 1/2 cup water and also brown your meat and onions etc in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker. 8 hours on low or 4 on high should do the trick. Add the dried fruit about mid-way.
What cut of lamb would I look for for this dish. Don’t think I have ever seen it cubed and am going to be on the lookout for the best st thing to buy so I can try this.
Jack Charles Poulter says
It depends where you live and whether there any butcher shops near you.
Generally speaking, lamb shoulder is likely the less expensive cut and can be cut into cubes before cooking. Some butcher shops that have fresh lamb available can provide stewing lamb.
What Jack already said. Shoulder or leg will both be great and shoulder cheaper than leg. Basically what you can do is ask your butcher for whatever you’re looking for. Leaner or fattier lamb cubes. The fattier it is, the more tender it becomes. You can always use a fat separator to filter the sauce in the end if you like. I don’t mind the fat content because I eat this stew on a bed of kale which balances it out nicely.
I love lamb and I love Ras El Hanout, I haven’t made this yet but plan on it as soon as it gets a little cooler.
I am thinking I might add 3 or 4 sliced carrots from the garden to balance the fruit.
Look out for Tuesday’s recipe :D I’ll show a serving suggestion that you’ll like.