Updated: Nov 23, 2020
by Clodagh McKenna from Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen (Kyle Books)
Photography by Dora Kazmierak
This one-pot dinner is packed with the aromatic flavours of Morocco – sweet cinnamon, fragrant turmeric (which also gives great colour and texture), and earthy cumin. The raisins get plumped and filled with the juices of the casserole, but you can also use sultanas, dates or dried apricots. I love to serve this casserole with a cooling raita – yogurt mixed together with fresh mint and grated cucumber.
4 tablespoons olive oil
800g (1lb 12oz) lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces
1 onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sweet potatoes, weighing about 800g (1lb 12oz), peeled and chopped into 5cm (2in) pieces
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
400g (14oz) can cherry tomatoes
500ml (18fl oz) hot chicken stock
150g (5½oz) raisins
100g (3½oz) whole almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Place an ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Tip the lamb pieces into the casserole, season with salt and pepper and cook the lamb for 4–5 minutes until browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Return the casserole to the heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and stir in the onion, garlic and sweet potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the ground cumin, turmeric and cinnamon stick and cook for a further 3 minutes to intensify the flavours.
Add the tomatoes, stock, raisins, almonds and browned lamb, stir, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
Just before you serve, stir in the chopped flat-leaf parsley. Serve with a cooling mint and cucumber raita, if you wish.
Nigel says, “for a veggie version just remove the lamb, use veggie stock & I would add a couple of other veg, such as carrots & parsnips, which would work well alongside the sweet potato, as would white cabbage”.