This one-pot lamb shoulder with tomatoes, olives and anchovies is cooked low and slow until the lamb falls apart at the touch of a fork. Shred the lamb and mix with the delicious tomato-based sauce before serving.
I have been so enamoured with my Instant Pot, that I have maxed out on pressure cooker recipes lately. I still use it almost daily, sometimes twice daily in fact, so the stream of IP recipes isn’t going to stop anytime soon. I think I have convinced several readers to invest in one; if you haven’t yet, you really should, and no, they are not paying me to say this 😉
A few days ago, I ordered a small lamb shoulder intending to cook it in my Instant Pot… But when the meat arrived, it was way too big to fit into my 6L pressure cooker and so I decided to make this lamb stew in my oven instead. So old-fashioned! I have to say that cooking lamb in the oven on a low setting yields wonderful results.
I recently made a 7 hour leg of lamb for Easter – it took most of the day, but it was delightfully tender and delicious. That recipe was the inspiration behind this one-pot slow cooked lamb shoulder with tomatoes, olives and anchovies. I cooked this at a slightly higher temperature for half the time, with very similar results.
The tomato sauce is unbelievably rich, with Greek black Kalamata olives and a generous amount of anchovy paste. I shredded the lamb at mixed it in with the sauce and served it over giant couscous – deelish!
By the way, this stew can easily be converted for the slow cooker or the Instant Pot. In the slow cooker you can follow the recipe pretty much as it is, cooking for 9 1/2 hours on the low setting. In the pressure cooker however you have to either cut the meat into chunks or use diced lamb instead. Check the recipe notes for alternative methods.
If you are a big fan of anchovies – and I am – you can use anchovy fillets instead of anchovy paste. If you are not perhaps you would prefer this slow cooker lamb kleftiko recipe instead. Or you could replace the anchovy paste with Worcestershire sauce.
You can make this recipe with red or white wine – I use whatever I have handy. I actually prefer white wine to red given a choice, possibly because you can find decent white wine that’s not terribly pricy. If you would rather not use any wine, or would rather drink it than use it in a recipe, you can replace the liquid with vegetable stock.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1.8 kg | 4lb bone-in lamb shoulder
- 2 onions finely diced
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- handful black olives
- 1 tbsp anchovy paste
- 400 g | 14oz tinned chopped tomatoes
- 350 ml | 1 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sugar or honey
- 2 tsp dried thyme or thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- pinch red chilli flakes
- salt and pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F).
- Heat the oil in a large (lidded) ovenproof casserole dish.
- Season the lamb with plenty of salt and pepper. Brown the lamb for 3-4 minutes per side until nicely coloured. Transfer to plate and set aside.
- Add the onions and a little more oil if the pan is too dry. Cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, pepper and anchovy paste and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, sugar, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the lamb and cover casserole. Cook in the oven for 2 hours.
- Remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the lamb to a platter and shred using two forks. Discard any fat and the bones.
- Remove the bay leaves from the sauce. Mix the shredded lamb with the sauce and check the seasoning.
- Serve over couscous or potatoes.
Since both the olives and anchovy paste can be quite salty, I haven't added any extra salt to the sauce. Taste and season once cooking is done.
Cook in a 4.5L slow cooker: follow the recipe cooking for 9 hours on low setting. Cook the sauce for a further 30 minutes with the lid off if it needs thickening.
Cook in a 6L pressure cooker: use diced lamb and 1 cup wine. Sauté the meat in the pressure cooker. Transfer to a plate and continue with the recipe, cooking for 20 mins on high pressure. Allow for a 10 minute NPR and then release remaining pressure manually.
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