Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage (recipe)

Sweet Potatoes are a super food, and while I generally associate them with fall and winter cooking, they are good year round. They are great roasted and tossed with pomegranate syrup, mashed with lots of butter and salt as a side dish, made into soup, and sweet potato pie.

Every year, I am invited to attend a Generic Christmas Party with a group of women who were friends with my mom, who died a long time ago now. I am invited not as a replacement for my mom, because that could never happen, but because these women were such a part of my life growing up and reconnecting with them once a year is important to all of us. The event is potluck-ish in nature, with a couple folks bringing appetizers and wine, another on salad and dessert, and someone on the entrée. You also have to bring a gift for the annual gift exchange.

This year, after many years in the appetizer category, I was finally asked to bring the entrée, and boy, I took this seriously. Scoured the internet, looked at lots of food blogs, read every food magazine in the house, and went through stacks of cookbooks. Finally found the perfect, one-dish meal I was looking for, and because the recipe was so well received (granted, unlike my kids, these ladies are effusive in their praise of my cooking!), I thought I would share it here today. Also, the dish features Sweet Potatoes and Lamb, my new favorite flavor combination.

Since sweet potatoes are such a great food, ONE, a non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization, co-founded by Bono, that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, has taken up the sweet potato and created a call to action. ONE wants to raise public awareness and pressure political leaders to support smart policies to effect positive change, and this post is part of a world-wide blogger fest to get the word out. Nutrition is the hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world and the sweet potato is serving as the mascot for ONE! Packed with nutrition and blessed with the ability to grow in many places, the sweet potato is literally saving lives. Join in the cause today and sign the petition to reduce chronic malnutrition for 25 millions kids by the year 2016.

Sweet Potato, Lamb and Sausage Stew

A make-ahead recipe from the Victory Garden Cookbook


  • 4-5 cups peeled and seeded ripe tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 medium onions (or 5-6 leeks, washed and sliced)
  • 6 Italian sausages
  • 4 lb whole small lamb shanks
  • 3 TBS oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground finger
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup beef stock or water
  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices/pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)(means I forgot it!)
  1. Chop tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks, or use drained and seeded canned tomatoes. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop carrot and celery; combine.
  3. Chop onions and set aside.
  4. Prick sausage, cover with water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes to release fat, then drain and pat dry.
  5. Heat oil in large overproof casserole, brown lamb on all sides and remove. In same pan, lightly brown sausages on all sides. Remove sausages and drain fat from casserole, leaving just a small film of oil. Add carrot and celery, cook 3-4 minutes, then add onions and cook 3 minutes until wilted. Return lamb and sausage to casserole, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook 15 minutes.
  6. Uncover casserole and stir in tomatoes, stock, pepper, turmeric, ginger, and cumin. Cover and cook over low heat for 2 hours, adding additional liquid if needed.
  7. When the shanks are very tender and the meat is falling off the bone, remove shanks and sausage to bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove lamb meat from bones and cut sausages into 2-3 pieces each.
  8. Add sweet potatoes to the casserole and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. When sweet potatoes are finished, add back in the lamb and sausage and cook until heated through.
  9. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s) 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © 2012 Good Fud Media.
Recipe by Gudrun Enger.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Other bloggers participating in the ONE Sweet Potato campaign:

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos from This Week for Dinner
Truffle Sweet Potato Frites from Savory Sweet Life
Sweet Potato & Chicken Sausage Stew from Chefdruck
Honey Sweet Potato Biscuits from Food for My Family
Sweet Potato Burgers from Cutie Booty Cakes
What’s Gaby Cooking and Sweet Potato Day
Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake from Barbara Bakes
Bourbon and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes from Boston Mamas
Documama and Sweet Potato Day
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding from Eat the Love
Sweet Potato Love To Help End World Hunger from Love That Max
Celebrating Sweet Potato Day with Mom Trends
Sweet Potato Chili from Righteous Bacon
Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Picky Eaters from Rookie Moms
Sweet Potatoes and Global Health from Third Eye Mom
Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Kielbasa ONE Skillet Bake from Tickled Red
Sweet, Dude, Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash from Helen Jane
Oh My Sweet Potato Apple Bake from Bowl Licker
Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin from Non-Reactive Pan
Sweet Potato Fries from When You Wake Up a Mother (also found on Million Moms Challenge)

Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Crust (recipe)


This recipe is so outstanding it deserves a separate post to ensure the recipe sticks around. The combination of ground lamb and sweet potato is spectacular, and this is the kind of dish that is perfect on a cold Sunday, or rainy weekday. I actually made the stew the night before and roasted the sweet potatoes, and then the next night, assembled the dish, baked and broiled. The recipe below is based upon the recipe of the same name on the Australian Lamb website. I updated the instructions and added my own modifications to the ingredients.

Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Crust

Comforting lamb stew; one-pot wonder


  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup cubed pancetta (can also use bacon)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 15oz can Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 TBS Italian Herb spice (Penzey’s)
  • 2 turnips, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 4 mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 2 1/2 cups sweet potato, steamed or boiled and mashed (about 3-4 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 4 TBS butter, softened
  1. In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat, and brown lamb, breaking up with spoon. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a dish and set aside. Drain remaining fat and wipe dutch oven with paper towel.
  2. Back over medium heat, add in the pancetta, onions, celery and carrots, and cook slowly until vegetables are soft and onions translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add in tomatoes, Italian Herbs, turnips, mushrooms (if using), and stock, as well as browned lamb. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. At this point, the dish can be cooled to room temperature, and refrigerated overnight.
  4. While the stew is working, scrub sweet potatoes, prick with a fork all over, and roast at 375F on a baking sheet for about 40 minutes, until a fork can easily pierce the potato. Remove from oven, allow to cool until you can comfortably handle, then peel and put into mixing bowl. Add butter and whip with handmixer until well pureed and light.
  5. Preheat oven (or increase oven heat) to 425F. Drop heaping spoonfuls of sweet potato mash over the top of the stew, and use the back of the spoon to spread the mashed sweet potatoes to cover the stew completely. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly, then turn the broiler on and crisp up the sweet potato crust. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © 2012 Good Fud Media.
Recipe by Gudrun Enger.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

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