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Springtime Irish Stew

Traditional Irish stew gets a spring-green update with leeks, herbs and peas. It usually takes 90 minutes for the meat to become tender and flavorful, but the pressure cooker does it in a jiffy. You can substitute bone-in lamb for even more flavor. The directions below are designed for a stovetop pressure cooker; if you are using an electric pressure cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. boneless lamb stew (shoulder) meat, cut into 2-inch
      chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, cleaned, white portion diced
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dried dill weed

Directions:

Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and season lightly all over with salt and pepper. In a stovetop pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Working in batches, brown the meat, turning with tongs. Transfer to a plate. Add the butter and leeks to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the bouquet garni and broth, then return the meat and juices to the pot.

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the steam release naturally. When the pressure valve drops, remove the lid, tilting it away from your face to allow residual steam to escape. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into quarters. Peel the carrots and cut them into chunks about 2 inches long and 1 inch thick.

After removing the lid, discard the bouquet garni. Put the potatoes in the pot and scatter the carrots on top. Season lightly with salt (do not stir). Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick-release the steam. When the pressure valve drops, remove the lid, tilting it away from your face.

Stir the peas, vinegar and dill into the pot. Place over medium heat and simmer until the peas are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from The Pressure Cooker Cookbook, by Tori Ritchie (Weldon Owen, 2012).