On blustery nights when my teeth are chattering, there are few things that make me happier than tucking into a steaming bowl of braised lamb shanks. It’s not just because it’s rib-sticking comfort food, but also ‘cause it reminds me of my dad and our shared love for lamb dishes. I don’t, however, share his stoicism and zen-like patience, so I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy ways to prepare lamb.
Here’s a recipe that fits the bill. Thanks to my pressure cooker, I can get a hearty winter meal of lamb shanks onto the dinner table in less than an hour.
- 3 pounds lamb shanks
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon ghee, divided
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 celery staks, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 pound ripe roma tomatoes or 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup bone broth
- 1 teaspoon Red Boat Fish Sauce
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup minced Italian parsley (optional)
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker
- Silicone spatula
Grab the shanks…
…and season them with salt and pepper to taste.
Melt a tablespoon of ghee over high heat in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Sear the lamb shanks until browned on all sides (8-10 minutes). If you’re using an Instant Pot, you can sear the shanks on the “Saute” function.
While the lamb is browning, chop up your veggies.
Remove the lamb from the pot…
…and plop them on a platter.
Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of ghee to the pressure cooker. Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the pot, and season with salt and pepper.
Once the vegetables have turned translucent, add tomato paste and garlic cloves and stir for one minute.
Add the shanks back into the pot…
…along with the tomatoes.
Pour in the bone broth, fish sauce…
…and balsamic vinegar.
Before locking on the lid, grind on some fresh pepper.
Lock on the lid. (If you’re using the Instant Pot, press “Cancel/Keep Warm” button to turn off “Saute.” Press the Manual Button and set the IP to cook for 50 minutes under high pressure. The machine takes care of the rest!)
With the lid tightly sealed, bring the contents of the pot up to high pressure over high heat.
Once high pressure is reached, turn down the heat to the minimum level needed to maintain high pressure for 45 minutes. (Usually, the “low” or “simmer” settings should work – or if you’re using an electric stove, you can move the pot to a different burner set on low.)
When the braised shanks are finished cooking, let the pressure drop naturally.
Plate the shanks…
…and adjust the sauce for seasoning.
Ladle the sauce on the shanks.
If you’ve got some fresh Italian parsley, mince it up…
…and sprinkle it over the top of the braised meat.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly the pressure cooker can produce succulent, fall-off-the-bone tender lamb shanks.
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my Webby Award-Winning iPhone® and iPad® app, and in my New York Times-bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).20