This is a Lebanese-inspired recipe. Arab people eat a lot of lamb and sheep and know how to prepare it to perfection. I saw on TV how they cooked this lamb with yogurt in clay pots buried in ashes. The secret is to slow cook the meat.
In Romanian culture, the lamb is usually consumed for Easter, in soups or stews. This time we are going to propose a less traditional lamb stew: lamb stew with yogurt. For this recipe, you should marinate the lamb meat in yogurt. This Lebanese style recipe is for those who do not like the smell of lamb (sheep) because the aromatic marinade blurs the smell.
Keep in mind that marinating the meat takes 24 hours, so prepare the meat a day before baking and serving.
2 pounds lamb stew meat (preferably shoulder), cut into chunks
2 quarts water
4 tablespoons salt, divided
1 large yellow onion, diced into medium-sized cubes
2 pounds plain yogurt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted for garnish
1. Preheat the Instant Pot on the Sauté function. Place the lamb chunks in the Instant Pot; add the water and 2 tablespoons of the salt, and bring to a boil. When the impurities start to float, skim them off and discard, then add the onion. Once boiling, hit the Cancel button to stop the Sauté cycle. Select the Pressure Cook option and set to low pressure. Cover the Instant Pot and lock into place; be sure the steam release valve is closed. Set the timer to 40 minutes.
2. In a blender, add the yogurt and cornstarch, and mix on high speed until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until it comes to a simmer, then sample to make sure it doesn’t taste like cornstarch. Once the cornstarch flavor is gone, remove from the heat and set aside.
3. With a colander, strain the lamb while reserving the broth. Season with the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt and mix to integrate gently.
4. Add the cooked lamb to the yogurt sauce along with 7 ounces of the reserved stock. Bring to a simmer.
5. Serve in shallow bowl with roast pine nuts over the top.