Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Total Time
1 Hour 24 Mins
4 servings

Sweet potatoes provide a nice foil for the full-flavored lamb, tangy olives, and earthy spices. You can also bake the entire mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish. Assemble up to a day ahead, cover, refrigerate, and bake just before serving.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Sprinkle lamb evenly with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add lamb to pan, and sauté for 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove lamb from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste, and sauté 30 seconds, stirring frequently.

Step 3

Add chicken broth and 1/2 cup water to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return lamb to pan. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, olives, raisins, honey, ground red pepper, and ground turmeric. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in peas.

Step 4

Cook potato in a large saucepan of boiling water 10 minutes or until tender; drain. Cool for 5 minutes. Place potato in a bowl. Sprinkle potato with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 3/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Beat potato with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add egg, and beat until combined. Spoon the lamb mixture into 4 (10-ounce) ramekins; spread potato mixture evenly over lamb mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

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Ratings & Reviews

JustSomeGuy's Review

May 20, 2011
I recommend a few alterations/substitution: Scrap the sweet potato with cinnamon for a "russet" and keep it closer to a traditional Shepherd's Pie: Something about the competing flavor of the topping was a bit off. Next, dump the honey: why make a savory dish sweetish? If you have a store with any form of olive bar, scrap the bulk martini olives for pitted kalamata - in bulk a cheaper and much more flavorful choice. And lastly, I'm not 100% sure the effort in transforming a bone-in lamb shoulder was superior to any other lamb stew meat as you're looking here for a the lamb meat as a flavor and enough rendered fat to substitute for any other sautéing oil. Otherwise, a wonderful and filling dish that reheated very well.

MonoConnie's Review

April 02, 2011
We loved this recipe! We're not green olive fans so I added some carrots and sweet red peppers instead. I couldn't find lamb shoulder so I cut up two lamb leg steaks. The lamb was very tender and flavorful so I'd recommend this as an alternative to shoulder. I liked the spice but you could put in a little less cayenne if you like a milder sauce. I'll make this again.

ChefAmandaLynn's Review

April 01, 2011
I could not find cubed lamb meat anywhere, even at my favorite Mediterranean market so I used ground lamb. I just skipped the simmering step. I also left out the raisins as I am not a fan of them. My husband loved the uniqueness flavors and presentation of this dish.

msmix1's Review

March 07, 2011
I thought that this recipe was delicious and something different.I made them in the individual ramekins which was nice for serving. Followed the recipe exactly and the came out great.

Nancy0's Review

February 22, 2011
This was very good but a little spicy. I followed the recipe but did not cook the lamb in the sauce as the lamb I used was already cooked so I mixed it in right before putting it in the oven.