This year, for Saint Patrick’s day, I decided to get fancy. Instead of my usual corned beef and cabbage, I wanted to make a traditional Irish lamb stew.
Traditional may be pushing it a bit, since I did want to cook it in my pressure cooker.
Unfortunately…my headnote is going to be a lot quicker than usual. I cooked this recipe a week before St. Patrick’s day, so I would have pictures for the blog. It was fabulous – lamb shoulder chops have so much flavor that they carry this relatively simple stew. (Adding some Guinness helps as well. Brilliant!)
I wrote up the instructions, picked out the good pictures, and went to bed. The next morning, I threw my back out. Ow ow owie ow. It’s three days later, and I can finally sit upright for a few minutes…thanks to all the interesting medicines the ER doctor gave me.
*In other words – If this doesn’t make any sense, I apologize. It’s the meds talking.
Looking for a quick stew for St. Patrick’s day? Grab some lamb shoulder chops and fire up the pressure cooker.
*Don’t have a pressure cooker? No problem. See the Notes section for instructions on cooking with a standard dutch oven.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Guinness and Barley
Inspired By: Lorna Sass Cooking Under Pressure
- Pressure cooker, at least 6 quarts (I love my giant Kuhn Rikon 12-quart pressure cooker, which is probably overkill for this recipe)
Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Guinness and Barley recipe. A hearty lamb stew for a cold day.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds lamb shoulder round bone chops, trimmed of fat and bone, cut into 1″ pieces (Buy the thickest chops available; 3/4 inch or thicker is best)
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced thin
- 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup Guinness (or other dark beer, or water)
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups water (or homemade chicken broth, if you have it)
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch lengths (thicker is better)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons minced parsley
- Brown the lamb: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the lamb evenly with the salt and pepper. Once the oil is shimmering, add half the lamb and cook for 3 minutes, until browned. Flip the lamb and brown the second side for another 3 minutes. Remove the browned lamb to a bowl. Add the remaining lamb to the pot, brown for 3 minutes on one side, flip and brown for 3 minutes on the other side. Add to the bowl with the rest of the lamb.
- Saute the aromatics: Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the pressure cooker, reduce the heat to medium, and heat the oil for 1 minute (or until just shimmering). Add the onions and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the onions are browned, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the 1/4 cup flour and stir until the flour no longer looks dry, about 1 minute. Add the Guinness and carefully scrape all of the browned flour from the bottom of the pressure cooker.
- Pressure cook the stew: Stir the pearled barley, thyme, and bay leaf into the stew, then stir in the 2 cups of water. Add the lamb, including any juices in the bowl. Add the carrots and 1 tablespoon kosher salt, then stir until everything is well mixed. Carefully scrape the bottom of the cooker one last time, to make sure nothing burns. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes in an electric PC or 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes.
- Serve: Remove the lid from the pressure cooker and taste the stew to see if it needs any more salt and pepper. Serve, sprinkling with a little of the chopped parsley.
- No pressure cooker? No worries. Use a heavy bottomed dutch oven with a lid, and increase the amount of water to 4 cups. Follow the instructions right up until “lock the lid”. Then, instead of pressure cooking, bring the pot to a boil, and cover with the lid. Move the pot to a preheated 350*F oven and bake for 2 to 2.5 hours, until the lamb is tender. Continue with the serving step.
- Add a packet of potatoes to the stew: Wrap a couple of pounds of diced, salted and peppered potatoes in aluminum foil, and float them on top of the stew right before you lock down the lid.
- Serve with mashed potatoes. To make this dish more traditional, stir sliced green onions into the mashed potatoes and call it Champ.
- I use lamb shoulder chops because, without special ordering, I can’t find lamb shoulder roasts in my area. Round bone shoulder chops are easier to trim into boneless cubes; seek them out if you can. Also, I like the round bones because they have the marrow in them. I add the round bones to the pot with everything else, then fish them out at the end, and scrape the ; this lets the marrow in the bones melt and join the stew.
- The recipe calls for one cup of Guinness. I always buy pint cans with the carbonation capsule. Why? Because I can drink the rest.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Lorna Sass Cooking Under Pressure (20th Anniversary Edition)
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