Instant Pot Lamb Shanks, seared and cooked with carrots, celery, baby onions and a rich red wine sauce. These shanks with rosemary and sprigs of thyme are cooked till tender and fall-off-the-bone!
Even though we're onto summer these lamb shanks are a reminder of some of the best family comfort meals. I love the way lamb shanks cook into such tender meat with hardly any work done at all. Prepping the vegetables and adding the liquid is about all the cooking effort you do! The meat then cooks itself into this unbelievable fall off the bone meat!
Instant Pot Lamb Shanks
Let's talk for a second about the Instant Pot shall we? This miracle food maker is what I call it quite frankly, it saves time while giving you great flavor. This is my Braised Lamb Shanks In Red Wine that I cook either on the stove or in the oven and they always turn out amazing! Also soft and fall off-the bone tender yet these Instant Pot Lamb Shanks are here to say 'hello' and cook in half the time. What more could one ask for?
Instant Pot vs Dutch Oven
Two completely different ways of cooking the shanks and it's also interesting to see how they each turn out. Taste will obviously depend on the ingredients but it's not only about that it's also how the textured meat pulls together when slow cooked in the oven with the aromatics, caramelizing. Knowing that you can open the oven wearing protective oven gloves and 'check in' on your shanks. The feeling of slow cooking on a cold day and your house savoring the fragrance in the air. That's what I loved most when making my Dutch Oven version Braised Lamb Shanks In Red Wine.
Instant Pot Lamb Shanks need no introduction. Half the time, tender, flavorful and as delicious. Perhaps not as caramelized as the oven version but equally as unbelievably fantastic! You obviously can't open the instant pot to check in and see what's going on but why would you when you know it's going to come out wonderful. The old fashioned cook in me wants to open and peep but I'm always amazed when they are done.
Besides, opening the instant pot to check would mean, canceling the setting, waiting for the pressure to release and then rebuilding that pressure. That sounds like defeating the Instant Pot objective to me so it's best we leave well enough alone 🙂
1st Image Dutch Oven 2nd Image Instant Pot
How To Make These Instant Pot Lamb Shanks
A few simple steps so lets jump right in and make these shanks.
Season: Season your lamb shanks.
Sauté: Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot and once hot add the oil (it heats up instantly) add the shanks.
Sear the shanks until nicely braised and brown and not just on both sides but all around. It will take a good 10 minutes to get them brown so be patient as you rotate them. This recipe serves two and both fitted comfortably, if you're making a bigger batch you may have to sear in batches. You don't want overcrowd the instant pot or you won't get an even browning.
Cook the vegetables: When the meat is all brown and seared, remove it and set aside covered in foil.
Add the onions, carrots and celery stalks, cook for 5 to 7 minutes then add the garlic, keep cooking for another minute.
If using regular size onions, dice them. I've used baby onions, left them whole and gave the celery and carrots a rough chop. These all cook and become a grave later.
Tomato paste: Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
Red wine: Pour in the red wine to deglaze and let it cook out for about 8 minutes, this will allow the alcohol to cook out yet leave the flavor of the wine, about ¾ of the wine will cook out.
Does the type of wine make a difference? Yes. It doesn't have to be expensive to be full bodied.
Stock: Pour in the stock and a bunch of fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme tied with kitchen string, season with salt and pepper add bay leaves and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
Shanks: Return the lamb shanks and try to fit them in so that they liquid covers them. It will be a tight fit and you might tempted to add liquid but it doesn't need it.
Seal The Pressure Pot
- Get the lid on and turn the Vent to Seal.
- Set the pressure cooker to manual high pressure and set for 50 minutes.
- When the time is up, don't do anything, let the pressure release naturally, plus minus 20 minutes.
- You will hear the pin drop / the valve drops back into the lid of the pot, the pot is ready to be opened. If you happen to be standing there you'll see and hear the pin drop.
For the pot to build up that amount of pressure means that there is a lot of pressure in there so take that into consideration before opening. Natural release in this recipe for me, works best! You allow the meat to stay closed in the pot slowing down the cooking process without forcing the pressure which in turn makes the meat even more tender!
Making The Gravy
With the lamb shanks done, and the natural release cycle of the instant pot complete you can remove the shanks and set them aside. Cover in foil or something with a lid and get on with the gravy.
Mix Maizena (cornflour or flour) with water and make a paste/slurry. Set the instant pot to sauté again, the gravy will soon begin to simmer, add the slurry and stir away to avoid any lumps. It takes about a minute and the gravy is ready. It's up to you how long you simmer, it will depend how thick you want it to be.
And that's it! Cooking your instant pot lamb shanks is quick and very convenient.
Instant Pot Lamb Shanks Tips and Suggestions
This section is meant to be the most helpful in sharing with you my personal experience when making the recipes on this blog.
- Don't leave searing/browning the shanks out because this step really adds a lot of flavor.
- The stock should not go in straight after the wine! Give the wine time to cook out because as mentioned above, this step allows the wine to cook out whilst deepening the flavor. You can replace the wine with stock if you don't want to use wine. Replacing wine and stock with water is also an option but it will affect the flavor profile.
- Remember to always press the cancel / off button on the pressure cooker before changing from one setting to another.
When the shanks are done, you can allow 10 minutes for a natural release and then force release for the remaining time. What does that mean?
It means do nothing for 10 minutes after the cooking time then turn the seal to force the pressure out. My preferred and suggested way is to do nothing after the cooking time until the instant pot has naturally released all the pressure. Roughly 20 minutes to complete and if you compare it to the slow cook in the oven its still faster!
You will hear the Instant Pot beep when it's done, leave it. It will continue it's own natural release, plus minus 20 minutes. Then you will hear a long beep and the release is complete. If you happen to be next to it you will see the pin drop and hear the 'click' sound, its done.
This instant pot lamb shanks are not only tender and so delicious they're extremely easy to make. This allows you to substitute it to your taste.
Add more vegetables: In this recipe I added baby onions whole uncut and not chopped. Loved them in the sauce because nothing gives you that long caramelized flavor effect in food like slow cooking onions! You can also add baby potatoes with the onions.
Worcestershire sauce: Add a couple drops before closing the pot for a umami flavor.
In this shanks recipe I added some jam and currants because I think I saw this on Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay not sure. Oh gosh it could've been Nigella I watch so many cooking shows 🙂 Was it good? Yes, we loved it and used it more than once during the winter months when all I was making was comfort food.
How To Serve These Instant Pot Lamb Shanks
Can you think of a better way to serve these than with fluffy mashed potato? Ofcourse there are many ways but potatoes are a great pairing. Mashed, roasted, air-fryed.
Storage or Leftovers
So good! Store any leftover shank meat in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. I highly doubt that you will have leftovers but in the case that you do, you can always add the meat to a Creamy Beef Ragu And Pasta or a Cottage Pie.
To Cut The Fat Off Or Not?
Fat and bones are a good amount of flavor and I'm not talking about an obscene amount of fat. If you're making beef short rib perhaps then you might have to think about cutting off some fat. The images below show the entirety of the fat there was in these shanks, nothing to cut off.
Tried My Instant Pot Lamb Shanks Recipe?
Please feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your dish and share it on Instagram tag me @anosmickitchen and use the hashtag #anosmickitchen Happy cooking😀
Instant Pot Lamb Shanks
- 2 lamb shanks (approximately 750 grams each)
- 3 tbsps olive oil (enough to cover the base of the pot)
- salt and pepper
- 4 baby onions, whole (or dice one large onion)
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalk, cut into pieces
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 oxtail beef cube (see notes below)
- fresh rosemary and thyme (tie with kitchen string)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp Maizena /cornstarch
- 3 tbsps water
- Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot and add the olive oil. Once hot add the lamb shanks and brown them all around. This will take about 10 minutes for a good sear and you can rotate them intermittently. Otherwise you can do this step in a pot or frying pan. Once the shanks are seared set then aside and start cooking the vegetables.
- With the shanks set aside and the Instant Pot still set on sauté, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for roughly 5 to 7 minutes then add the garlic, cook for a further minute and add the tomato paste.
- Add the red wine to deglaze the pot while scraping the bottom and mix. Let it cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the wine has reduced by at least ¾.
- Add the stock, fresh herbs, bay leaves, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Return the lamb shanks and fit them in so the liquid covers them (submerged). It might just reach the top but not cover them, that's okay. Close the instant pot.
- Press cancel to cancel the sauté setting. Make sure the vent is turned to SEAL and then set the Pressure Cooker to Manuel, high pressure 50 minutes. Done.
- When the timer on the cooker goes off to say it's done and the cooking cycle is complete Don't Do Anything. Allow a natural pressure release. This takes about 20 minutes. You will hear the pin drop / the valve drops back into the lid of the pot, the pot is ready to be opened. If you happen to be standing there you'll see and hear the pin drop.
- Remove the meat and set aside, cover in aluminum foil to keep warm.Set the pressure cooker to sauté so the remaining sauce can simmer.
- Mix the maizena / cornstarch with the water and make a slurry, pour it into the simmering sauce and give it a good stir to dilute the slurry into the sauce without lumps. Let it simmer, a few more whisks or stirring until you have the thickness you want in the gravy.
- Pour the gravy over the lamb shanks when serving and serve with mashed potato, a side of greens or your preferred sides and (optional) garnish with fresh thyme.
Tag @anosmickitchen on Instagram and hashtag it with #anosmickitchen Lamb Shanks: There is not one set of rules for making lamb shanks, here is a completely different version of my Dutch-oven shanks. You can also marinade the shanks overnight in some olive oil, rosemary, and garlic and follow the recipe the next day to cook. Beef cube: Pour about ¼ cup of water into a cup with the beef cube and mix it/let it dissolve, then pour it into the Instant Pot. Searing: Don't leave the searing the shanks out because this step really adds flavor. Adding the stock and wine: The stock should not go in straight after the wine! Give the wine time to cook out because as mentioned above, (in the post) this step allows the wine to cook out whilst deepening the flavor of the wine. You can also use just stock if you don't want to use wine, then you don't have to wait for the 10 minutes cooking out time. Instant Pot Settings: Remember to always press the cancel / off button on the pressure cooker before changing from one setting to another.
You may also like;
- Braised Lamb Shanks In Red Wine
- Slow Roast Leg of Lamb (bone-in)
- Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder With Potatoes
- How To Make The Best Roast Potatoes
- Mashed Potato and Peas
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