Sweet potato and lamb tagine

Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with sweet potatoes.

This warming sweet potato and lamb tagine is perfect for outdoor entertaining when autumn rolls around. I’ll be swaddling myself in rugs, taking the whole dish outside and ladling the tagine into bowls to be eaten around the bonfire. We might also toast a few marshmallows for pudding.

Sweet potato and lamb tagine (serves 4)

30ml sunflower oil
500g diced lamb
1 red onion
1tspn cumin seeds
1tspn harissa (or more if you like it spicy)
1tspn garam masala
1tspn turmeric
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 preserved lemon,
finely diced
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1tbspn tomato purée
300g Jerusalem couscous
(also known as giant,
Israeli or pearl couscous)
600ml boiling water
Fresh coriander

Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. Heat a third of the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish, then cook the lamb gently, until just browned (in batches if necessary). Set aside on a plate.

Halve the red onion and slice it into thin strips. Splash a little more oil into the casserole dish and fry the onion in it over a medium heat until soft, before adding the cumin seeds, harissa, garam masala, turmeric and crushed garlic. Mix well and fry for a few minutes, then add the preserved lemon, cubed sweet potato and tomato purée.

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Give everything a good stir, return the lamb to the casserole dish and pour enough boiling water to almost cover everything over it. Cook in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

Fry the Jerusalem couscous in a little oil for a few minutes, then pour in the boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes, by which point, the water should be fully absorbed. If the couscous isn’t cooked, pour a little more water over it and continue to simmer until it’s ready.

Remove the tagine from the oven, scatter with fresh coriander and serve with the couscous.

More ways with sweet potatoes

Pheasant goujons with sweet potato wedges

Pheasant goujons with sweet potato wedges

Pheasant goujons with sweet-potato wedges (left)
Take four pheasant breasts and cut each into three long strips. Dip the strips, one at a time, into seasoned plain flour, then seasoned beaten egg and, finally, seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Transfer the crumbed goujons to a clean plate, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them (they’ll keep for up to a day). Peel four sweet potatoes and slice into wedges. Arrange in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, scatter sea salt over them and roast in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Fry the pheasant goujons in butter and a splash of oil until golden and cooked through, then serve with the wedges and crème fraîche that you’ve stirred lemon juice, cumin seeds and seasoning through.

Roasted hasselback sweet potatoes
Peel four sweet potatoes and slice straight down into them at 3mm intervals all the way along, stopping just short of cutting completely through them. Drizzle them with olive oil, scatter them with sea salt and herbs (rosemary is lovely), then bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked through. The potatoes will fan out slightly, like an accordion, as they cook.