Let’s Talk Recipes - Spicy Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

24th September 2020 | General

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Jacqueline McIntosh - "This is my go-to meal when I’m feeling under the weather. When I am cold, miserable and bunged up, this comfort food will always make me feel better. The combination of spicy and fiery with the more traditional cosy and comforting is enough to warm me up from the inside out."



  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 900gm (2lb) minced lamb
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 large red pepper
  • deseeded & chopped
  • 100gm (3 ½ oz) pumpkin, peeled,
  • deseeded & cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli or
  • 1 regular red chilli,
  • deseeded & chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300ml (10fl oz) lamb stock or water
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 6 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp soft, dark brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lime


  • 1 kg (2lb 4oz) sweet potatoes
  • 35gm (1¼ oz) butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander,
  • for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a casserole and brown the lamb - don’t let it sweat. Transfer the browned lamb to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Remove all but 2 tbsp oil from the pan. Cook the onion, pepper and pumpkin until the pumpkin and onions are golden all over and the onions are soft. Add the garlic, chilli and spices and cook for a further minute. Put the lamb back into the pan, then add the stock or water, orange zest and juice, tomato purée and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 45 mins to one hour, partially covered. Stir occasionally. The liquid should reduce to a good, thick mixture (if it becomes too dry, add more stock or water). Stir in the lime juice and check the seasoning.
  4. While the lamb is still cooking, make the sweet-potato topping. Bake the sweet potatoes in their skins, set on a metal baking-sheet, in an oven preheated to 190°C . They will take about 40 mins to become tender, depending on size. When they’re soft, slit them down the middle and scoop the flesh into a bowl.
  5. Heat half the butter in a pan and cook the spices in for about one minute. Mash this into the potato, adding salt and pepper.
  6. Put the lamb into a pie dish and spread the sweet potato on top. Dot with the rest of the butter.
  7. Cook in the oven for 20 mins or until the pie is golden and the lamb is just beginning to bubble up around the edges.
  8. Ready to serve.



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