If you want medium-rare lamb, this is not the recipe for you. We’re going completely in the other direction - lamb cooked so long that it is fall-off-the-bone tender.
(To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, we’re so far from medium-rare lamb we’re approaching it from the other side.)
Traditionally, this recipe is pitched as “Lamb so tender you can eat it with a spoon.” Now, that’s a little bit of hyperbole - a spoon? Not really. But if you’re a fan of tender braises and pot roasts, you’ll love this leg of lamb.
Now, for a pressure cooker recipe, this one takes a while. A 4 pound lamb roast is a big piece of meat, and it takes about 90 minutes at high pressure for the lamb to cook all the way through, plus a natural pressure release. And, it’s not the weight so much as the thickness. The heat has to penetrate into the center of that blocky piece of lamb.
“90 minutes!” I can hear you saying. “That’s not fast!” Well, it is if you’re starting with traditional French recipe that roasts for 7 hours in the oven. If you’re curious, I tried out different timings: at 60 minutes, it was still tough most of the way through, and at 75 minutes, it was almost tender enough, but it was not quite done in the center of the roast, near the bone. 90 minutes was perfect - tender all the way through.
(Looking for a quicker lamb recipe? Check out pressure cooker lamb shanks - the smaller pieces of lamb cook in about half the time. Or, for a different style of braised meat, try my Instant Pot Boneless Short Ribs.)
Recipe: Pressure Cooker 7 Hour Leg of Lamb (in 90 minutes)
Pressure Cooker 7 Hour Leg of Lamb (in 90 minutes) - the classic French recipe, sped up with the help of a pressure cooker.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-pound bone in leg of lamb roast (the sirloin half if possible)
- 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 cup dry white wine (dry Riesling)
- 1 cup chicken stock (or water)
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Minced parsley to garnish
- Brown the lamb: Heat the tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat (“sauté” mode on an electric PC) until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the lamb roast all over with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and the fresh ground black pepper. Sear the lamb roast, about 4 minutes a side, then move it to a bowl.
- Sauté the onion and simmer the wine: Add the onion to the pot, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer, scraping any browned bits of lamb and onion from the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes.
- Add everything to the pot: Pour in the chicken stock, then stir in the garlic, rosemary, and thyme sprigs. Add the lamb and any lamb juices in the bowl
- Pressure cook the lamb: Lock the pressure cooker lid and bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure. Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes in an electric PC, 75 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down with a natural pressure release, about 20 minutes.
- Serve: Carefully lift the lamb roast out of the cooker and transfer to a platter (I use a slotted spatula and a pair of kitchen tongs). Strain the liquid in the pot into a fat separator and let it settle for 10 minutes. Slice the lamb roast, pour some of the defatted liquid over the slices, and serve, passing the rest of the defatted liquid as a sauce. (Or serve the lamb family style, with the sauce straight out of the pot. Just pour it over the roast after you discard the herb sprigs).
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: French
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
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