“I’m newer to using my Instant Pot and to cooking in general.. I also have never cooked with lamb before – and I found this recipe incredibly easy to follow! ~Kari
What’s the difference between Irish stew and beef stew?
The only real difference between Irish stew and beef stew is the meat used. Irish stew is made with lamb or mutton, while beef stew is made with beef. Irish stew is the national dish of Ireland and they take it very seriously, but it’s really a simple peasant dish made with lamb and root vegetables, two staples of the countryside for generations. The givens are potatoes, onions, and parsley, but my version is slightly more plant based, with lots of extra veggies. Irish stew was traditionally cooked over an open fire, but I’m here to tell you that the Instant Pot has got this!
Ingredients you’ll need for my Irish stew
- lamb, usually from the shoulder, cut in chunks
- beer or ale, I used Guinness
- beef broth
- Worcestershire sauce (the secret weapon)
- fresh thyme
I love to use leeks in my stew, along with peppery turnips and sweet parsnips in addition to the traditional carrots and potatoes. (Lots of potatoes!) Worcestershire sauce enriches the beef and Guinness broth that forms the backbone of this stew.
The Instant Pot cooks Irish stew in a fraction of the time
Traditionally the secret to a great stew is a long, slow simmering on the stove top or in a low oven. Over time the meat becomes fork tender and the flavors develop. The high pressure in the Instant Pot accomplishes this same effect so much quicker, it’s a no brainer.
It does this by using pressure and steam to cook food at a higher temperature than boiling water alone. Here’s how it works:
- Increased pressure: When you seal the Instant Pot lid, it creates a sealed environment where steam builds up and creates pressure inside the pot. This pressure allows the temperature inside the pot to rise above the boiling point of water (212°F/100°C), which means that food can cook faster than it would in a regular pot.
The beauty of the Instant Pot is that you can brown the meat right in the pot, which makes it super convenient and cuts way down on mess and clean up.
Do as the Irish do and smash some of the potatoes as you eat to sop up the rich broth! And since this is a complete meal in itself, you don’t need much to go along with it….
Irish recipes to go along with your Irish stew ~
- Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread
- 3-Ingredient Biscuits
- Brown Soda Bread with Homemade Butter
- Buttered Rutabagas
- Creamed Brussels Sprouts
- Leek and Potato Soup
- Irish Colcannon
- Irish Coffee Cheesecake Squares
- Irish Apple Cake
Instant Pot Irish Stew
- 1 1/2 lb lamb, cut in bite sized pieces (you can also use beef)
- 3 Tbsp flour
- salt and pepper
- 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup of beer or ale, Guinness is perfect
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 leeks, sliced and well rinsed. Trim the tough green end and discard.
- 2 or 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
- 2 turnips, peeled and diced
- 3 or 4 small or 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 red skinned potatoes, peeled, halved and thickly sliced
- a bundle of fresh thyme or rosemary
- 1/4 head green cabbage, very thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp soft unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- Toss the meat with the flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper to coat.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute and add 1 Tablespoon of the oil. When the pot is hot, brown the meat on all sides, working in batches so you don’t crowd the pot. Add the rest of the oil as necessary.
- Remove the lamb and set aside.
- Add the Guinness to the pot and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.
- Press cancel. Add the meat back into the pan along with the stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and veggies. Add the bundle of rosemary or thyme.
- Close the lid, lock, and set the vent to the seal position. Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. When the machine beeps, let the pressure release naturally, this may take 15 – 20 minutes.
- Add the cabbage to the stew and stir well. It will wilt in the heat of the stew.
- Meanwhile make a paste of the butter and flour, and when the stew is done, blend it in, stirring well, to thicken the broth slightly. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve with lots of chopped parsley. This is the most important step in the recipe ~ take the time to taste and adjust, it makes all the difference.
No Instant Pot? No problem!
- Use a large stew pot and go through step 6 on the stove top, then pop your stew, covered, into a 325F oven for 3 hours.
- Then proceed with steps 7 & 8 in the recipe.