Instant Pot Lamb Shoulder Chops. Pressure cooker lamb chops, with flavors from the south of France.
On my trip to France, I was the strange American, going into a bistro right when they opened for dinner. I was jet lagged, and they were close to my hotel…and basically empty. No self-respecting Parisian would eat dinner so early. I got the leg of lamb steak, and “un quart” - a quarter carafe of wine. The lamb, while full of flavor, was a little tough. Did I care? No. I was sitting in a cute bistro in Paris, sipping a glass of wine. How could I be upset?
I wanted to take my own crack at lamb steaks, in the pressure cooker. I switched to lamb shoulder chops. Like pork shoulder chops and beef chuck steak, hard-working lamb shoulder meat is better in the pressure cooker. (Or long, slow cooking in the oven. But you know me, I’m pulling out the pressure cooker.)
- Olive Oil
- Lamb shoulder chops
- Fine Sea Salt
- Herbes de Provence
- Red wine
- Chicken broth
- Diced tomatoes
See recipe card for quantities.
- Lamb shoulder chops come in two types - blade chops and arm chops. Both work in this recipe. If you’re desperate, you can substitute lamb leg chops or sirloin chops, and they’ll be fine, but shoulder chops work better in the pressure cooker. Please don’t cook lamb loin chops or rack of lamb in a pressure cooker; it will come out overcooked and sad.
- If you don’t eat lamb, but like the rest of the recipe, substitute beef chuck steaks, cut ½-inch to ¾-inch thick, for the lamb.
- I’m going for a South of France flavor here, so my aromatics are onion, garlic, and a big hit of Herbes de Provence, the French dried herb blend. You can substitute minced fresh rosemary for the Herbes if you want.
- My wine preference for this recipe is a Cote-Du-Rhone blend, a fruity, peppery mix of grapes from the southeast of France. But, any dry red wine will do, so use what you have on hand, or what you want to drink up later.
This recipe can be scaled up or down, but don’t change the amount of cooking liquid. You need 1 ½ cups of liquid in the pot, no matter how many chops you want to cook. To scale the recipe down, halve all the ingredients except for the beer and chicken broth, and it will fit into a 3-quart pressure cooker. You can double the recipe in an 8-quart pressure cooker.
How long to cook lamb shoulder chops in Instant Pot?
Pressure cook ¾-inch thick lamb shoulder chops for 15 minutes at High Pressure with a Natural Release in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker. If you get thinner chops, go for 12 minutes at High Pressure. If you get 1-inch thick, pressure cook for 20 minutes, and 2-inch thick will take 30 minutes.
💡Tips and Tricks
- Why do I brown the meat on only one side? Browning adds a lot of flavor to the recipe. Browning the meat itself adds flavor to the chops, and the layer of caramelized brown bits left in the pot (“fond” in French) dissolve into the liquid, adding depth and body. That said, I only brown the lamb on one side, unlike traditional recipes. It takes too long to brown the meat on all sides - I do not have the patience, and it the browned bits start to burn after the second or third batch. Browning one side gives me the best balance of flavor and speed.
- Can I skip the browning step? Well, yes, you can, but as I said above, you’re going to lose some of the flavor. I consider it an essential step, but if it’s the difference between making the recipe and not having time to make the recipe, go ahead and skip it.
Instant Pot Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops. Pressure cooker lamb chops, with flavors from the south of France.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds lamb shoulder chops, cut ¾-inch thick (I got 4 chops)
- 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade broth, or use store-bought low sodium chicken broth)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (if using homemade broth)
- 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
- Brown the lamb shoulder chops in batches: Set an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker to Sauté mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat in a stovetop PC.) Add the tablespoon of oil and heat until shimmering. While the oil is heating, sprinkle the lamb chops evenly with 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt. Once the oil is heated, brown the lamb chops on one side, in batches, until golden brown, about 3 minutes each. (My lamb chops were large enough that I had to do them one at a time). Move the browned chops into a rimmed platter, and repeat until all the chops are browned on one side.
- Sauté the aromatics, simmer the wine: Add the onions and garlic to the pot, and sprinkle with the Herbes de Provence and ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt. Sauté, occasionally stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot with a flat-edged wooden spoon, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 minute to boil off some of the alcohol. While the wine is simmering, scrape the bottom of the pot one last time to make sure nothing is sticking.
- Add the liquid, browned lamb, and carrots to the pot: Stir the chicken broth, ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt (if using homemade broth), and can of diced tomatoes into the pot. Stack the lamb chops in the pot in a loose pile, then scatter the carrots on top of the chops.
- Pressure cook for 15 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric PC, or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 more minutes. (If you get impatient you can quick release the remaining pressure after 15 minutes of natural release.)
Transfer to a platter, defat the sauce, serve: Unlock the pressure cooker lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam. Gently scoop out the lamb chops and carrots - they will be fall apart tender - and transfer to a serving platter. Scoop out the tomatoes and onions with a slotted spoon and add them to the tomatoes. Pour the liquid in the pot into a fat separator, let it settle, then pour a little of the defatted sauce over the platter of lamb chops. Serve, passing the rest of the defatted sauce at the table. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: Instant Pot Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops, Pressure Cooker Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops
These chops can be made a day ahead, refrigerated, and reheated - if anything, it tastes better this way, thanks to a day of letting the flavors mingle. It also lets the fat float to the top and solidify, so you can scrape it off with a spoon.
To store for later, portion into 2-cup containers, add the sauce, and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. (This recipe freezes beautifully.)
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