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Instant Pot Lamb Shanks

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Instant Pot lamb shanks are an easy and scrumptious meal made in no time! These lamb shanks are fall-off-the-bone tender and served with a rich and flavorful gravy made from the cooking juices.

We load up the Instant Pot with the perfect blend of spices and aromatics to create this easy lamb shanks dinner that tastes simply exquisite.

If you like this recipe you will like our lamb osso buco or our Greek lamb shanks and our roasted leg of lamb.

Instant Pot lamb shank on a bed of mashed potatoes.

Yes, the Instant Pot is fabulous for quick cooking and can easily reduce the prep time for many recipes (like our Instant Pot black rice or Instant Pot buttermilk ranch mashed potatoes).

But don’t underestimate the Instant Pot- it can make meals that are just as impressive as they are convenient. In fact, this lamb shanks recipe is so superb, you’d never even guess it was made entirely in the Instant Pot!

Instant Pot lamb shanks are:

  • simple to prepare
  • meaty and savory
  • a hearty and wholesome meal the whole family will love!

Ingredients for Instant Pot lamb shanks

These lamb shanks are first seasoned with a dry rub then cooked in a beef broth infused with white wine, onion, garlic and diced tomatoes.

The braising-like mixture keeps the lamb shanks incredibly flavorful and not a drop is wasted; the remaining pan juices are easily turned into a super rich and savory gravy for serving.

For this easy lamb shanks recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Spices for the rub: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, cumin powder, smoky paprika, salt, pepper
  • Lamb shanks: This recipe works for two large lamb shanks or up to four smaller shanks. Just make sure they fit in the pot before you begin.
  • Olive oil: or any cooking oil
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, thinly sliced
  • Whole lemon. We are using the entire lemon. The juice gets added to the braising liquid then the rest of the lemon is tossed in as an aromatic while the lamb cooks. When it is finished cooking you will toss the chunks of lemon out.
  • White wine. The wine really adds great flavor to the lamb and all the alcohol gets cooked out. If you don’t want to cook with wine then just increase the broth.
  • Beef broth, or use chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Diced tomatoes (canned), don’t drain the juices, you will add all of it to the pot.
  • Aromatics: dried bay leaves, rosemary sprigs
  • Cornstarch and water to thicken the gravy.

Check out all of our other lamb recipes here!

ingredients needed for Instant Pot lamb shanks.

How to make lamb shanks in the Instant Pot

First, prepare the lamb shanks with the dry rub and a quick sear in the Instant Pot. Here’s a look at the process (but for all of the details, scroll to the bottom of the page to see the full printable recipe):

  1. Make the dry rub: Combine the spice mixture in a small dish to make the rub. Generously sprinkle the spice mixture onto the lamb shanks and rub it into the meat.
  2. Sear the lamb shanks: With the Instant Pot on sauté mode, heat the olive oil then sear the lamb shanks one at a time on all sides. Set aside for later. Add the onion to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic, cooking for 30 seconds, then add the lemon juice, wine, and beef broth.
  3. Pressure cook the lamb: Place the lamb shanks back to the pot and add the canned tomatoes, bay leaves, rosemary, and squeezed lemon halves (the lemon enhances the aromatics). Place the lid on the pot and seal the valve. Cook on high for 20 minutes per pound (ours were 2-1/2 pounds each so we cooked them 50 minutes total).
  4. Release pressure from the Instant Pot: After the cooking time, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for 15 minutes then manually release the rest of the pressure. Remove the lamb shanks and set them on a plate.
  5. Make the gravy: With the Instant Pot on sauté, bring the cooking liquid to a boil. In a small dish, combine the cornstarch and water, then whisk it into the boiling liquid and cook for about 2 minutes. Strain the gravy and then serve with the Instant Pot lamb shanks.

Do lamb shanks need to be submerged?

Since lamb shanks are a fattier cut of meat, they do not need to be completely submerged with liquid like a leaner cut. The lamb will naturally release a lot of moisture as it cooks.

Instant Pot lamb shank being shredded with forks.

What to serve with Instant Pot lamb shanks

These Instant Pot lamb shanks go great with a variety of sides like mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, or creamy polenta.

Here are a few sides that pair wonderfully with our lamb shanks recipe:

Whatever you choose to serve with these Instant Pot lamb shanks will be a hit, especially if it’s something that can be topped with that delicious gravy!

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SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Instant Pot Hot Fudge Cake: A cross between a pudding cake and hot fudge, this intense chocolate cake is made entirely in the Instant Pot! It creates its own hot fudge as it cooks, which means a scoop of ice cream is a must!
  • Instant Pot Pork Fried Rice: This classic take-out favorite is super easy to make at home, and using the Instant Pot means you don’t have to use day-old rice.
  • Pan Seared Lamb Chops: Juicy and tender with an intense garlic marinade, you will savor every bite of these delicious, pan-seared lamb chops!

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A lamb shank on a bed of mashed potatoes with gravy on top.

Instant Pot Lamb Shanks

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Lamb shanks become 'fall-off-the-bone" tender in very little time in the Instant Pot. The rich cooking liquid turns into a delicious gravy that makes this a meal fit for royalty.

Use a whole lemon in this recipe. The juice will be added to the cooking liquid and the squeezed lemon halves will get tossed in and used as an aromatic to enhance the flavors.

Ingredients

For the rub

  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the lamb shanks

  • 2 to 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (14 to 15 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs rosemary

To thicken the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

Prepare the lamb shanks:

  1. In a small dish, combine the spice mixture for the rub. Sprinkle the lamb shanks generously with the spice mixture and rub it into the shanks. 
  2. Turn the Instant Pot to saute mode and heat the olive oil in the inner pot. Add the lamb shanks, one at a time and sear them on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 
  3. Add the onion to the pot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice (save the squeezed lemon to add to the pot), wine, and beef broth. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any cooked-on bits of food. 
  4. Return the lamb shanks back to the pot and add the canned tomatoes (with the juices) along with the bay leaves, rosemary, and squeezed lemon halves. 

Pressure cook the lamb

  1. Put the lid on the pot and make sure the valve is in the sealed position. 
  2. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound. Our lamb shanks were quite large at 2-1/2 pounds each so they needed 50 minutes. Base the cooking time off of the largest lamb shank. 
  3. Let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for 15 minutes then manually release the rest of the pressure. 
  4. Remove the lamb shanks and set them aside on a plate. Remove and discard the lemon halves.

Make the gravy:

  1. Set the Instant Pot on saute function and bring the cooking liquid to a boil. 
  2. In a small dish, combine the cornstarch and water. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the boiling liquid and cook, while whisking, for 2 minutes. 
  3. Place a food strainer over a bowl and pour the gravy into the strainer. Push the gravy through the strainer with a silicone spatula. 
  4. Serve the lamb with mashed potatoes, rice, noodles, or creamy polenta topped with gravy. 

Notes

  • We used two large lamb shanks in the video but we have been able to fit up to 4 smaller lamb shanks into the pot as well. Try to use lamb shanks that are similar in size and base the cooking time off of your largest lamb shank. 
  • The cooking time does not change if you have several lamb shanks, it is only affected by the weight. 


For high altitude cooking times:

  • Over 2000 feet = 21 minutes / pound
  • Over 3000 feet = 22 minutes/ pound
  • Over 4000 feet = 23 minutes/ pound
  • Over 5000 feet = 24 minutes/ pound
  • Over 6000 feet = 25 minutes/ pound
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3035mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Friday 12th of March 2021

It looks fork tender and flavourful! So good! angiesrecipes http://angiesrecipes.blogspot.com

Dahn Boquist

Friday 12th of March 2021

thanks Angie

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