When Thursday became the new Friday night – Wednesday became the new evening to catch up at home with friends. This inspired take on the traditional lamb leg is simple, delicious and worth making for your friends and family mid-week. The spices perfectly marry the lamb with sweet potato in an edible bowl of goodness.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
3 lamb leg steaks, diced into even cubes
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. cardamom ground
6 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt (to taste)
2 cups Greek yogurt
300g green olive tapenade or green pesto
2 x fennel, finely sliced (keep fronds)
1 jar preserved lemons, discard flesh and finely slice rind (optional)
1 block Greek feta
1 cup flaked almonds, toasted
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Pepper (to season)
Drizzle the sweet potatoes with oil and bake whole at 180°C for 45 minutes or until soft all the way through. Remove and set aside.
Place lamb steak cubes in a bowl along with the cinnamon, ground cardamom and a generous pinch of salt. Coat the lamb cubes well
in the spices.
Pan-fry the lamb on medium/high until golden. Split into half quantities at a time if your pan is not big enough to ensure they fry
without sautéing. Lightly dress the fennel with the olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Slice open the sweet potatoes and add the yogurt (optional). Top with the diced lamb, fennel and 1 tbsp. of the tapenade. Finish with
preserved lemon, crumbled feta, almonds, fennel fronds, parsley, and pepper (to taste).
Let your lamb steak cubes come to room temperature before cooking as this will allow them to cook more evenly.
An easy way to tell if the sweet potatoes are cooked all the way through is by piercing the side with a skewer.
If you feel like mixing it up, Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes (also known as purple yam's) can work well with this recipe.
You can top with cayenne pepper instead of regular pepper if you like spice.
When choosing spices to pair with lamb, think of what also works with your accompaniments. For example, cinnamon loves lamb and
Australians love coming together over Lamb, whether it is barbecued lamb chops with friends or a spiced lamb salad shared over lunch, Lamb is the one dish that can bring everyone to the table, no matter how diverse their background or culture.
Across the country, we're also hosting modern dinner parties, infusing new flavours and themes with the traditions of the past. Gone are the days of formal sit down dinners, with hosts spending hours in the kitchen, traded instead for informal gatherings, culinary challenges and collaborative cooking.
Former MasterChef contestant and Instagram foodie, Sara Oteri, has created three delicious Australian Lamb recipes inspired by the latest dinner party trends.
Trend: Weeknight entertaining
Weeknight entertaining is the new weekend dinner party, with Wednesday being the night of choice to catch up with friends at home. With young Australians more time poor than ever, hosts are opting for authentic and traditional food that is easy to prepare instead of a three-course meal. Sara's recipe of pull apart sweet potato with diced lamb leg and green olive tapenade is simple to create and can accommodate any dinner party size.
Trend: Collaborative cooking
Collaborative cooking is an emerging trend being embraced by millennials, eager to connect with one another over food and escape the routine and stress of every day life. By sharing in the preparation and cooking of meals together, dinner transforms into a collaborative journey to feast rather than one person stressing over the cooking. Sara's spiced lamb pita pockets with charred eggplant and fresh herbs is the perfect opportunity to create memories with friends (and like-worthy social media posts!) while enjoying a delicious meal together.
The practicalities of hosting a dinner party have changed over time, with city dwellers rarely having the space for a dining table, least one large enough for a sizeable dinner party. As kitchens also get smaller, themed -bring a dish' get-togethers have evolved – bending the rules as to how and where dinner is prepared and served. The rise in street food-inspired dishes, ethnic flavours, simplicity and -fast causal' concepts all lend themselves to dinner parties where attendees bring their own dish, adhering to a pre-assigned theme.
Often served on mismatched plates around the kitchen table, a theme makes it easier for guests to mix and match dishes, from Mexican to Indian or African inspired. Sara's recipe of Vietnamese caramel lamb rump with fluffy quinoa rice and slaw pulls from Asian flavours, and can be easily recreated by a group of friends coming together.