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)
Inspired by: Ambassade D’Auvergne’s seven-hour leg of lamb, Patricia Wells, Bistro Cooking
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric PC)
- Fat separator
Pressure Cooker 7 Hour Leg of Lamb (in 90 minutes)
- Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 8-12 1x
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.
Instant Pot Boneless Leg of Lamb
Pressure Cooker Lamb Shanks
Pressure Cooker Irish Lamb Stew
Pressure Cooker Beef Pot Roast
Instant Pot Oxtail : Easy Braise
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
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Made this today and it was awesome! Rather than get the meat off the bone, I got the bone off the lamb because it was so tender. I made garlic and parmesan roasted swede to go on the side. Also I sieved the pressure cooker juices off and thickened it with cornflour and it made a lovely gravy. Thank you for this 🙂
Amazing, so easy and tasty, my 9 year old had seconds which is unheard of. I did cubes of potato and cubes of sweet potato roasted cripsy in coconut oil in the oven and a green salad, everyone was very happy!
I have a 3.75 lb boneless, any idea of time? Still 90 mins? I have never even made leg of lamb so I am extremely nervous to mess it up since its cost so much.
Mike Vrobel says
Yes, should be the same time to cook. 1/4 pound isn't enough to change it.
I made this yesterday for Easter and man I gotta tell you it was just fabulous! My cousin and her husband love lamb and they just raved and raved about it. I let the pressure release naturally while I made the rice and veggies and it took 32 minutes...rested for a few minutes while the fat separator did its thing and sliced the meat up...man I barely needed a knife! Thank you so much for this...I will no longer make my leg of lamb in the crock pot...it's my instant pot all the way! Thank you!
Barbara #2 says
My oh My oh My..... An Easter dinner to remember. I cooked a 4lb boneless leg of lamb. Didn't realize the recipe called for a regular leg of lamb until everything was in the pot. And I followed your sample which had potatoes. I oven baked them. All I can say is that dinner is gone!! Everyone just ate it up like candy. Thank you so much for your recipe and clear directions. We will have lamb again....
Barbara Poppe says
I'm making a 4 lb boneless roast for Easter Sunday. Pretty dramatic for me the original slap a piece of meat on some toast. I see you have the picture with potatoes. Did you cook them in the Instant Pot after the meat was cooked?
You know I could sell Instant Pots and would probably get irritated at the folks who didn't take one home. Thanks for all you Instant Pot recipes. They have all been keepers.
Mike Vrobel says
I roasted the potatoes on the side. ????
Made this tonight in my stovetop Fagor Duo, with a 3lb lamb leg (bone-in). The meat turned out perfectly - fork tender and fell off the bone, but with 2 cups of liquid for 90 minutes at pressure, it ran bone dry - just a black crust of onion on the base! Kept pressure the whole time though. I'll definitely make this again, but with 3 cups of liquid.
I was dubious about this recipe but made it anyway; omg, loved it!! So delicious and easy!! My husband, who is reasonably picky, loved it too. I also was worried about the length of time in the instant pot, but it was GREAT!! Thank you SO much!!!
I forgot to mention that I used dried herbs instead of fresh (yes, it's what I had,) and it was too herby. I'm making this again this weekend with fresh herbs and am excited to see what the lamb is like.
Karen Kowalk says
The recipe directions do not mention what do do with the 1 tablespoon Kosher salt in the ingredients list.
Mike Vrobel says
Sprinkle it on the lamb roast before browning. I apologize for missing that - I'll get it fixed.
Any guesses on how long a 3lb roast will take?
Mike V says
Go with the timing as-is. The goal is fall-off-the-bone-tender lamb, so a little extra cooking time won't hurt.
Any suggestions for a boneless leg of lamb? Less time in the pc for no bone?
Mike V says
I don't know, sorry, never tried boneless leg of lamb in the PC.
Did boneless today with an Instant Pot Mini (3qt). I cut it in half (was 4.45 lb) I did not do 6 cloves of garlic but just one, split. I did 85 minutes and otherwise followed the recipe. I made gravy with the juices by simply adding Wondra flour to the juices. (eyeballed it until it was the gravy consistency)
Delish! I would do mashed potatoes or rice.
I just cooked a 7 pound boneless leg of lamb in the Instant Pot. (It was 10 pounds but the whole thing wouldn't fit so I had to cut part off.) I still set it for 90 minutes and then released the steam manually because I was out of time to wait! Most of it was very tender, but parts were a little tough. I think it probably had more to do with the quality of the lamb than the cooking method. I broiled in the oven first, rather than trying to squeeze it into the Instant Pot on saute, and I used red wine instead of white - it was delicious! I'll cut up the leftovers and use the slightly less tender part in a shepherd's pie. Yum!
I have found meats really need natural release. Sitting in that beautiful steam bath really completes the cooking for wonderful tenderness.
Could I just leave the wine out if I don't want to use alcohol or should I replace it with another liquid and if so, what is best?
Mike V says
Replace it with another liquid. Chicken stock or water.
90 Minutes isn't too long - The more you use the Instapot or any pressure cooker, the more you will run into meats that need it. I did a 5-6 pound pork butt - Kahlua Pork ( so simple - pork, pink salt, liquid smoke , banana leaves and thats it) that actually needed 90 - plus 25. But it was melt in your mouth terrific after that. Compare to 18 hours in the smoker or cooking at 215-220 in the oven its still a bargain!
That IS a hell of a long time for a pressure cooker! I've never cooked anything for longer than about 45min in mine but I've never tried a leg of lamb. I know some PC's exert a higher pressure than others, varying from 41kPa (6PSI) to more than 130kPa (18.9PSI). You wouldn't happen to know what yours is, would you?
Mike V says
Mine is an Instant Pot, which cooks at 80kPa (11.6PSI)
Just wanted you to know we made this last night and it was fabulous!!!!!!
Mike V says
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it!