Simple, yet flavorful, Irish stew that is made from just a few ingredients. The pressure cooker makes this stew incredibly quick and easy.
Lamb and Salmon are two of my least favorite things to eat; however, this Irish stew changed my mind about lamb! It's delicious and the flavors developed in the broth are unbelievable.
All done with just a few ingredients and salt and pepper! The bonus is it's quick to make, but certainly doesn't taste like it! This stew has all of the flavors of a slow-cooked Irish stew, but done in about 45 minutes.
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Confession time. I'm Irish, a very strong 25% Irish, but I don't like lamb that much. A traditional Irish Stew is made with lamb, actually mutton (an older sheep), and I was determined to keep this recipe traditional, so it must have mutton or lamb.
While I can't find mutton here where I live, I did find lamb. And I'm happy to say that this recipe has forever changed my mind about lamb. It's that good!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it freezes fine. Let it cool all the way before freezing and store in an airtight freezer container or bag. It will keep for 3-6 months in the freezer.
Traditionally, mutton (an older sheep) is used in Irish Stew. While many American versions call for beef, that wouldn't really be considered an Irish stew, which is a simple meal of mutton, potatoes, and root vegetables simmered on the stove.
Mutton is very hard to find (impossible where I live), so lamb is being used instead. Lamb is meat from a sheep that is less than 1 year old. Hogget is meat from a sheep that is 1-2 years old. Mutton is usually meat from sheep that are around 3 years old.
Yes, you can double the stew if your pressure cooker is 6 qts or larger. Any size smaller than that I would stick to the recipe as written.
When doubling pressure cooker recipes, keep in mind that the time to pressure will be greater since the volume is increased. In this recipe, I would decrease the second pressure cook time to 1-2 minutes for a double batch so you don't overcook the vegetables.
Ingredients & Substitutions
I used lamb chops in this recipe and they worked perfectly. Try to find the least expensive chops you can. I found lamb loin chops at ALDI for around $8.00 a pound, which was the least expensive lamb I found near me.
I really suggest using lamb in this recipe and, specifically, lamb chops. While you can use other parts of the lamb or even meat from an older sheep, your stock might be fattier and need to be chilled to remove the excess fat.
The older the sheep, the stronger the flavor of the meat and it tends to take on a gamy flavor. I'm not a fan of gamy tasting meat, but that is certainly a personal preference.
While you can substitute beef for the lamb (and many American versions do this), I wouldn't. If you really want to use beef, make a beef stew. Here is a delicious and easy recipe: Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
If you want to make a traditional Irish Stew, stick with lamb. All of the ingredients and spices in this recipe work perfectly with lamb and I'm not sure you will be as happy using beef.
If you must use beef, then a chuck roast will work fine. Cut it up into about 1½-2" cubes, season it with salt and pepper, sear it and continue on with the recipe as written. I would also use beef stock instead of water since you won't have the bone for flavor.
If you are using lamb, stick with using water in this recipe for the best outcome or use a vegetable stock. Beef stock or chicken stock will impart their own flavor and change the overall flavor of the stew.
If you are using beef, use beef stock.
I use two different kinds of potatoes in this recipe for the best texture. The Russets are used to thicken the stew and the golden potatoes are used as chunks in the stew because they hold their shape better when pressure cooking.
You can use whatever kind of potatoes you like and I'm sure it will be fine. You can even omit the potatoes if you want to lower the carb count. A good substitution would be cubed rutabaga.
Carrots, Celery, Onion, & Leeks
You can use all of these vegetables or any combination you like. Feel free to omit or add in any kind of vegetables you like.
Traditionally, an Irish stew is made with carrots, onions, potatoes, and any other root vegetable on hand. So, use what you have and omit what you don't. That's what stews are for!
Salt & Pepper
The only seasonings in this stew are salt and pepper. All of the flavor comes from the lamb and vegetables and it is simply amazing.
You can certainly add in a bay leaf or whatever seasonings you like, but I think you'll find it doesn't need it!
This stew is a little on the peppery side, so if you aren't a fan of pepper, definitely reduce the amount or omit it altogether.
Can I Make Irish Stew Without a Pressure Cooker?
Of course! It will take a bit longer, but you certainly can. Here are my suggestions for a few different methods of cooking.
Season and sear the lamb chops and add to the slow cooker. Add in the water and the finely chopped or shredded vegetables with a little salt and pepper. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
Remove the lamb and strain the vegetables from the broth. Purée the strained vegetables with the remaining cup of broth and add back into the stew.
Return the lamb and 3 cups of the broth to the crock pot. Add in the larger vegetables and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the vegetables are cooked the way you like them.
Remove the meat from the lamb bones and return the meat to the stew. Stir in the pureed vegetables and warm through.
*The only reason why I would add the puréed vegetables at the end is so the larger cut vegetables cook faster in the thinner broth.
In a large stock pot, heat the oil. Season and sear the lamb chops. Add 6 cups of water and the finely chopped vegetables, chopped parsley, salt & pepper. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the broth has developed a nice flavor.
Remove the lamb chops and strain the vegetables from the stock. Purée the cooked vegetables with 1 cup of the stock and set aside.
Add the remaining stock back into the pot, along with the lamb chops. Add in the larger vegetables and remaining seasonings.
Simmer for another hour or until the lamb is tender and the vegetables are cooked the way you like them. Stir in the puréed vegetables and warm through.
Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. Top with fresh parsley.
Season and sear the lamb chops in a hot skillet or in a dutch oven on the stove. Deglaze with 4 cups of water. Add in the finely chopped vegetables and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375℉/190℃ uncovered for 1 hour. Remove the lamb chops and strain the vegetables from the broth and set aside. Measure the total amount of liquid you have left and set aside 1 cup.
Add the remaining liquid, plus enough extra water to equal 4 cups. Add the larger vegetables to the pot along with the lamb chops on the bone. Bake at 375℉/190℃, covered, for 1-2 hours or until the lamb is tender and the vegetables are cooked the way you like them.
Purée the finely diced vegetables with the 1 cup of reserved liquid. Add to the stew and stir to combine. Season to taste and warm through.
How to make Irish Stew in a Pressure Cooker
There is a little prep to this recipe and this is the order that I do it in.
- Take the lamb out 30 minutes before cooking. This will allow it to warm slightly and you will get a better sear. The sear is important for flavor, the browning is called the Maillard reaction and really makes a difference.
- Finely chop or grate the celery, onion and carrots (only use ½ grated) for the stew.
- Mix the salt and pepper in a small bowl
- You can also cut up the carrots and onion into larger chunks for the stew, but don't cut the potatoes (or shred them) too soon or they will turn brown. You also don't want to soak them because you don't want to remove the starch.
Sear the Lamb
In the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker or your Instant Pot, turn the sear/sauté on high and add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Mix the 1 Tbsp of fine grind sea salt with ½ Tablespoon of black pepper (use less if you don't want your stew a little peppery). This seasoning will be used several times in the recipe, so you will only use 1-2 teaspoons at a time.
Season the lamb on each side with the salt and pepper mix. Only use enough to sprinkle on each side. Reserve the remaining seasoning for later.
When the oil is hot, sear the lamb on one side for 3-5 minutes or until nicely brown. Flip and sear the other side for about 3 minutes.
Add the Vegetables
Once the lamb has been flipped, you can add in the shredded or finely chopped celery, carrots, onions. Peel and cube or grate the Russet potatoes. Stir a few times to lightly brown the vegetables and season with 1-1½ teaspoons of the salt & pepper mixture.
Deglaze the Pot
Whenever you sear or sauté in the inner pot and are going under pressure, it's very important to deglaze the pot with liquid and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any brown bits (fond) that are on the bottom.
Even the smallest amount of food stuck to the bottom can trigger the water or burn notice when going under pressure.
In this recipe, we are using 4 cups of water. Pour the water into the pot and use a utensil that is safe for the type of pot you are using and scrape along the bottom of the pot.
Chop the parsley (if using) and reserve the top green leaves for garnish. Add in about 1 cup of the leaves and stems.
Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. This time is based on using lamb chops, if you are using a larger piece of lamb, you will need to increase the time accordingly.
When the PC time is up, you can either let the pot natural release for 10 minutes or do an immediate release. The lamb will be submerged in liquid, so an immediate release will not dry it out, but I do give the pot a little stir to cool it down before removing the lamb when I do an immediate release.
Remove the lamb and set it on a plate. Don't worry if some of the vegetables are on the lamb, it won't matter at the end.
Straining the Broth
If you want a thinner stew, or want to thicken with a cornstarch slurry or a roux, you can skip this step and leave the small vegetables in the stew or you can strain and discard the vegetables.
Personally, I think this step adds a ton of flavor and thickens the stew perfectly and I recommend taking the time to do it.
Strain the vegetables from the broth using a colander or fine sieve strainer. I used a measuring cup/colander over a larger measuring cup (You'll need one greater than 4 cups).
You should have about 4 cups of liquid. Add 3 back into the inner pot (no need to wash the pot) and reserve 1 cup and the strained vegetables for later.
Add the lamb back into the pot. I keep the bones on, but you can remove the meat at this time if you want. I figure the PC time, even though it's short, will extract more flavor from the bones.
Add in the larger cut carrots, onions, and cut the gold potatoes in chunks. I do this right before adding into the Irish stew so they don't get brown. Cut the leek, using about 1-2 cups of the green tops and the white bottoms and add to the pot. Add the remaining seasoning or you can wait until the stew is done if you want to season to taste.
Put the pressure cooker lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. When the time is up, immediately release the pressure.
Check your vegetables and make sure they are done to your liking. If you want them softer, use the sear/sauté on high for a few minutes.
Remove the lamb and pull the meat off of the bone.
Puréeing the Vegetables
I usually do this during the second PC time.
You can either use an immersion blender or a regular blender to blend and purée the vegetables in the 1 cup of broth.
Add the purée back into the pot after the second PC time and stir.
Add the meat back into the stew and stir to warm through. You can either add the remaining parsley leaves (about ½ cup) and stir them into the stew now or garnish each bowl with a few leaves.
Ladle out a big bowl!
Serve & Enjoy!
Traditional Irish Stew Recipe
- Electric Pressure Cooker
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1½ lbs lamb chops with bone
- 1 Tbsp fine grind sea salt
- ½ Tbsp black pepper
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 lb carrots divided in recipe
- 2 onions divided in recipe
- 8 ounces Russet potatoes
- 4 cups water
- ½ Leek
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
- Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let sit on counter for about 30 minutes. Grate or finely chop the celery stalk, 1 onion and 8 ounces of the carrots. Use the smaller carrots for this and the larger diameter ones for the larger chunks that go into the stew after the first PC time. You can also prep the other vegetables at this time, but I leave the peeling and chopping of the potatoes until just before adding them so they don't start to brown. You want the starch in the potatoes, so don't soak in water.
- Mix the salt and pepper in a small bowl. This spice blend will be used several times throughout the recipe.
- Turn the sear/sauté on high and add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over both sides of the lamb, you will use about ⅓ of the spice blend. When the oil is hot, sear the lamb on one side for 3-5 minutes or until nicely brown. Flip and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes. Once the lamb is flipped, add in the finely chopped or grated celery, 1 onion, 8 ounces carrots. Peel and grate or finely dice the Russet potatoes. Season with about 1 tsp of the salt & pepper mix. Give everything a good stir. I like to let the vegetables brown just slightly. Add in about 1 cup of parsley. I keep the top leaves for garnish and use stems and leaves for this part.
- Deglaze the pot with 4 cups of water, making sure to scrape the bottom to release anything that may be stuck on the bottom. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes and when the time is up immediately release the pressure.
- Stir the pot to let it cool down a bit to avoid drying out the lamb. Remove the lamb chops and set them on a plate.
- Strain the vegetables from the broth. You should have about 4 cups of broth. Add 3 back into the pot and reserve 1 cup along with the finely chopped vegetables for later.
- Add in the lamb ( I leave it on the bone), carrots cut into large chunks about 1½" pieces, onion and Yukon gold potatoes also cut into large chunks about 1½" pieces. Slice the green end and the white end of the leek into ¼" slices. I use about 1-1½ cups total. Add the leeks to the pot. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook for 3 minutes with an immediate release.
- While the stew is pressure cooking, purée the 1 cup of stock with the finely chopped vegetables using a blender or an immersion blender until smooth.
- Remove the lamb chops and set on a cutting board. Check the vegetables in the stew and make sure they are done to your liking. If you want them softer, turn on sear/sauté for a few minutes.
- Pour the puréed vegetables back into the pot, remove the lamb from the bone and add the meat back into the pot. Stir to combine. Add about ½ cup of parsley leaves to the stew or add a few to each bowl.
- Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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Flying solo this Easter, so I whipped up the full recipe of this. It was delicious! I backed off the pepper after you said it was peppery, but in hindsight I should've stuck to the original amount. Would've been fine for me. I didn't get the full bone-in lamb (at $30/pound, nope) but the little lamb loin chops with a bit of bone in them worked just fine and came out tender as can be. Another great recipe!
I just had some from the freezer that I reheated and it was just as good a year later! I'm glad you enjoyed it!