The clue is in the name with Sweet Potatoes… As much as I enjoy their soft texture and sweet flavour, I don’t cook with them that often at home. Mostly because they’re a bit too soft and a bit too sweet for most of my recipes.
Thanksgiving tradition in the USA embraces these qualities and runs with it. Indeed, most recipes see them made even sweeter and even softer with the addition of sugar, marshmallows and butter. I’ve tried this approach and whilst it’s perfectly acceptable in small doses I’m not a convert.
I think that the better solution is to bring some strong savoury flavours into play and to balance the sweetness instead. Hence this recipe for my almost oxymoronically named Savoury Sweet Potato Mash. The bulk of the savoury flavour comes from a lot of alliums – onions, garlic and chives – and a generous dose of bacon.
The resulting mash retains the smooth, creamy texture that you’d expect, but with a lot more going on in the way of flavour. Oh and crispy bacon bits… Who’s going to complain about those?
Savoury Sweet Potato Mash with Bacon
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 rashers Streaky Bacon cut into chunks
- 1 small Onion peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- 600 g Sweet Potatoes peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 tbsp Crème fraîche
- 1 tbsp Chives chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry for 5-10 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove the bacon from the pan and allow to drain on some kitchen towel to soak up the excess fat.
- Add the onions to the same pan, then cook for 15-20 minutes until softened and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a further minute or two until fragrant. Remove the onions from the pan and put to one side to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, place the sweet potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until tender. When cooked, drain well and return to the pan, with a loose fitting lid to allow any excess steam to escape.
- Whilst the sweet potatoes are cooking, press the onion mixture through a sieve to create a purée, then stir in the crème fraîche.
- Mash the sweet potatoes whilst they’re still warm. When you have a smooth texture stir through the onion and crème fraîche mixture, followed by the cooked bacon and chopped chives. When well mixed serve immediately.