nspired by the Ethiopian dish, tibs, this instant pot lamb stew blends ease with rich flavors of berbere spice, onions, and garlic. This hearty stew is perfect over Morrocan Cauliflower rice if you are eating low carb or keto, or injera or rice if carbs are a regular part of your diet. This dish can be easily made paleo by using ghee instead of butter.
Best Ethiopian Lamb Stew – Low Carb, Paleo
For Christmas, one of students gave me the wonderful gift of a book: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. The gift of a good story is precious, especially to a teacher and lover of literature. His thoughtful gesture gave me hours of adventure and imagination.
Adeyemi’s novel, marketed as a fantasy, quickly hit the New York Times Best Seller list. She creates a world and magic system that is unique, refreshing, and entirely new. There really is no African inspired fantasy on the market, and if something does exist, it has gone unnoticed.
Adeyemi challenges the reader to a plot line where the central conflict is centered around hatred and oppression, all based on the ruling class’s inability to see past prejudice. Magic users are persecuted and repressed openly, with genocide as a strategy of control. It’s a highly topical book given the tumultuous times in which we live, and absolutely worth a read.
This recipe was inspired by Zélie and her adventures. Adeyemi creates such a rich world that I wanted desperately to breathe life into a potential cuisine for the heroine. While I’m no expert on African cooking nor the varied nuances of regional cusine, I love Ethiopian food. My husband and I venture into Chicago to enjoy it whenever we can. We always order an enormous platter of Doro Wat, tibs, lentils, and other amazing dishes. I’ve had a lamb stew before, and this was my inspiration to create a similar experience at home.
My only frame of reference really is my own taste buds and a passion for trying to do Adeyemi’s world-building justice. Instant Pot Ethiopian Lamb Stew is dedicated to Zélie, and all the other heroes who fight because we are more alike than different and everyone deserves love, kindness, and security to live to the fullest.
Instant Pot Ethiopian Lamb Stew Tips & Tricks
Ethiopian cusine is marked by the use of something called niter kibbeh, a seasoned clarified butter. If you want an even more authentic experience, it is something that can be bought or made. I’ve tried to replicate a similar flavor within the recipe itself, using butter, garlic, and ginger.
Carmelizing the onions adds deep flavor to the dish, but this can easily burn in an instant pot if you don’t add enough fat. Make sure to salt the onions about 10 minutes in to the process to help with releasing the natural sugars. You want that gorgeous brown. Don’t stop early.
Adjust the heat of this dish if you desire. My recipe is not spicy but could be kicked up if you like that.
Instant Pot Ethiopian Lamb
A quicker version of lamb tibs, this Instant Pot recipe cuts down the long cooking process while still maintaining the alluring spices of African cuisine.
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 tbsp grass-fed butter
- 2 lbs boneless lamb leg stew meat
- 1/2 cup red pepper (diced)
- 1 tbsp ginger (grated)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 16 oz fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tbsp berbere seasoning
- 1/3 cup beef stock
Season lamb meat liberally with salt. Set aside.
Thinly slice onions. Heat 2 tbsp butter in Instant Pot using saute function (low heat setting). Add onions and begin to sweat. Caramelizing onions will take approximately 30 minutes and will burn if easily. After 10 minutes, add a dash of salt. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Once onions are brown and soft, remove from metal insert and set aside.
Heat remaining tablespoon of butter on normal heat saute function. Add pepper, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes; do not let garlic burn. Add lamb and brown slightly just to render off some of the fat.
Add tomatoes, paprika, berbere, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper. Return onions to the pot and add beef stock.
Set on high pressure for 45 minutes. Let pressure fall naturally for at least 10 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside Morrocan Cauliflower Rice, or some kind of bread or rice in which to mop up that glorious sauce.