If you’ve never cooked lamb shoulder or leg of lamb in an Instant Pot, now is the time to try it. You can get the most tender, fall-of-the-bone lamb meat in just under 2 hours, instead of slow cooking it in the oven for 4-6 hours. Cooked in a Moroccan broth with dates, cinnamon and ginger, this lamb stew will keep you asking for seconds.
You can use a leg of lamb or lamb shoulder meat in this recipe. In fact, you can use any cheap cuts of meat that normally require long cooking times. The flavors will pair well with both red and white meat.
If you can’t find dried dates, you can use other dried fruit such as apricots or figs. The dried fruit is what gives this stew a little sweetness, which is a typical flavor profile of Moroccan tagines.
The leg of lamb is cooked whole in the hearty broth and then shredded into smaller pieces and stirred through before serving. You will be amazed just how tender it is after less than 2 hours of cooking.
The dates and garlic soften during the cooking process, incorporating into the sauce, which is a balance of sweet and savoury notes. The stew has a lovely, earthy tone with just a touch of spiciness. It goes perfectly over cooked rice or couscous, or just a side of vegetables.
- About 2 lb / 850-900 g leg of lamb (bone in or out)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 4 slices of fresh ginger root (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder)
- 6–7 dried dates
- 7–8 medium garlic cloves (peeled, left whole)
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
- 1 cup water
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar (lemon juice is also fine)
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour/arrowroot flour/corn flour (for thickening)
- Rice or couscous to serve with
- Rub the leg of lamb (or shoulder) with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander seed and turmeric powders. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté function key (it should say High, 30 mins).
- Add the coconut oil and once hot add the lamb. Fry for 2-3 minutes on top and bottom, then turn on its sides and add the onions and ginger around the lamb. Cook for 1 minute on each of the sides, and stir the onions and ginger a couple of times.
- Remove the lamb and add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Stir through and bring to a boil. At this stage, press Keep Warm/Cancel and return the lamb back to the pot, nestling it in the broth.
- Place and lock the lid, make sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual (High Pressure) and set to 80 minutes. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going. Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then use the quick release to let off the rest of the steam.
- Remove the lamb carefully to a cutting board. Press the Sauté function key and let the broth bubble away for 10 minutes, stirring it a few times. This will reduce the liquid slightly. In the meantime, cut the lamb meat away from the bone and shred it into bite-size pieces.
- Add the lamb meat back to the broth. Dissolve the starch of choice in a few tablespoons of water or the broth (I used tapioca flour as I wanted to keep this gluten-free), whisking it with a fork, and add into the pot. Stir through the broth, which will thicken it and make it nice and glossy. Turn the pressure cooker off and serve with rice or couscous.