Braised Lamb with Warm Spices

Braised Lamb With Spices

This is the first thing I made in the pressure cooker. Try it and you will see why I was hooked.


You have the choice of making this dish with:

2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder + lamb broth


2 pounds lamb shoulder + 1 pound lamb bones

Trim the lamb shoulder and cut it into 2-inch cubes or have your butcher do this for you. I think lamb from the United States is superior to New Zealand lamb.

Make sure you use a pound of meaty bones if you don’t have stock.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbl olive oil

2 cups onion, thinly sliced

2 cups carrots, cut into chunks

1 oz garlic or 3 large cloves, minced

½ oz or 2 tbl fresh ginger, minced

½ tsp cinnamon

1 star anise

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked hot paprika

1 bay leaf

1 ½ cups skinned and puréed tomatoes or

14-oz can of plum tomatoes plus their juice

1 qt lamb broth + water (if necessary) to cover


Season the cubed lamb with salt and pepper. Brown the meat (and the bones, if using) in olive oil in a sauté pan or in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Remove the lamb from the pan.

In the rendered fat at the bottom of the pan, brown the onion and carrot, then add the minced ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant and golden brown. Add the cinnamon, cumin, star anise and hot paprika. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry and starts to scorch.

Add the lamb back into the pan, the tomatoes and enough broth or water to not quite cover the lamb.

Lock the lid in to place and using high heat, bring up the cooker to full pressure. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and taste for tenderness and also adjust the seasonings. Simmer a little longer if necessary. This is great the next day after flavors have had a chance to meld, and you can easily remove the congealed fat on top.


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