Beautifully tender, fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks are possible in a fraction of the time thanks to an electric pressure cooker!
This Instant Pot Braised Lamb Shanks with Tomato recipe takes just a few ingredients and minimal effort. Serve it over mashed potatoes or polenta for a perfect comfort food dinner.
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Today is Valentine’s Day and I.am.not.ready.
Not that we had any big plans for today, but the last few weeks have been eventful, to say the least.
I was out in California for a conference (and it was AWESOME!!), and had some unexpected travel hiccups on my way home.
Let’s just say that now I can check “spend Super Bowl Sunday on a cot at O’Hare airport” off of my bucket list of things I never knew I’d get to experience. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have caught some of that fun in my IG story.
After recovering from the jet lag and trying to get back into the swing of things, I wound up in the emergency room for a severe allergic reaction that had me one step away from anaphylaxis.
As someone with no known allergies, this was terrifying, and I’m still fairly worked up about it. I’m pretty sure I know what caused it, but I need to see an allergist to get some solid answers so I can hopefully avoid ever being in that situation again.
Then, to top it off, my kiddo got sent home from school yesterday for conjunctivitis. Ugh.
So with the bevy of doctor visits, Benadryl, steroids, and worrying, Valentine’s Day hasn’t really been on my radar.
But I couldn’t NOT share this recipe in time for you to make it for your Valentine! And, in fact, if I can make it to the grocery store this afternoon, I may just make it again!
Lamb shanks are definitely a labor of love. To get that gorgeously melting off the bone meat takes time. And it’s so worth it!
But what if you’re short on time? Or, say, you’d just like this whole process to take a lot less of it?
It’s time to break out the electric pressure cooker. I love my Instant Pot – I’ve been using it a LOT lately. In fact, I served these lamb shanks over the Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes that I had made a few days earlier.
I’m not saying that this should justify me getting a second one, but I am saying I’d definitely use them both!
While this is a perfect meal for 2, I decided to buy 4 lamb shanks so we could have leftovers, and wrote the recipe to serve 4. Dishes like this hold up so well in the fridge, that it’s perfect to eat again later in the week. And I’m all about utilizing leftovers!
The sauciness from the crushed tomatoes makes this dish great to serve with something to soak it up. Aside from mashed potatoes, it would be fantastic over polenta, or even shredded and tossed with some pasta.
I served our leftovers alongside some macaroni and cheese that I made in the Instant Pot (recipe coming soon!), and it was great together, too.
Depending on the size of your Instant Pot, you’ll need to sear your lamb in batches. I did mine 2 at a time to make sure they got enough contact with the heated pot to brown all over.
After you have them seared, you pop a few more ingredients into the pot, cover it, and leave it alone for an hour.
If for some reason your meat isn’t tender enough, you can always close the lid again and cook it for another 10-15 minutes.
When I’ve done lamb like this on the stovetop, I’ve reduced the sauce at the end, which can be nice. I didn’t bother here, but if you want a thicker sauce, you can certainly remove the lamb and tent it with foil to keep it warm while you reduce the sauce.
Just set your Instant Pot to Sauté and be sure to stir it so the sauce doesn’t burn onto the bottom of the pot.
One of my husband’s favorite parts of lamb (or beef) shank is the marrow. This cooking method allows the marrow to get nice and gelatinous, so it’s perfect for marrow lovers.
This recipe is guaranteed to be a big hit for your next romantic dinner. It’s a great way to have a comforting meal that has that cooked all day flavor in a fraction of the time.
What are your favorite romantic recipes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!
Looking for more ways to use lamb? Check out some of our favorite recipes:
- Skillet Lasagna with Lamb, Ricotta + Mint
- Persian Malbec Lamb Burgers with Mast-o-Khiar and Pomegranate Tomato Jam
- Pan-Seared Lamb Chops Over Roasted Spaghetti Squash w Pomegranate + Aged Balsamic
- Grazin’ TriBeCa’s Lamb Burger
- Tajine Spiced Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint
- Lamb Fajitas
Want more Instant Pot recipes? Here are some of our favorites:
- Instant Pot Herbed Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Beef Goulash
- Instant Pot “Baked” Beans
- Waffle Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict
- Instant Pot Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
- Chicken Quesadillas with Chipotle Ranch Dip
Beautifully tender, fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks are possible in a fraction of the time thanks to an electric pressure cooker! This Instant Pot Braised Lamb Shanks with Tomato recipe takes just a few ingredients and minimal effort. Serve it over mashed potatoes or polenta for a perfect comfort food dinner.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 lamb shanks (around 1 pound each)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté and adjust to “More” and add oil.
- Pat lamb shanks dry and season with salt and pepper. Once the Instant Pot is hot, add lamb and cook until browned all over, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from pot and place on a plate. (You’ll likely need to do 2 at a time, adding more oil in between if needed, so you don’t crowd the pot).
- Add garlic to pan and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine and cook 2 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomatoes, basil and oregano; cook 2 minutes.
- Return lamb to pot, place the lid on and seal. Little sauce on top. Cook high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 min before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
- Serve lamb over polenta or mashed potatoes, sprinkling fresh parsley over top if desired.
If desired, you can remove the lamb shanks from the Instant Pot after cooking, and use the Sauté function to reduce the sauce for a few minutes to get a thicker sauce. Be sure to stir so the sauce doesn’t burn!
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.
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