Bourbon-Mashed Sweet PotatoesSeptember 10, 2012
A bottle of bourbon goes a long way in the kitchen. It adds flavor when glazed over savory meat dishes like bourbon baked ham, and in desserts like bourbon pecan pie. And because bourbon’s flavors are so varied and versatile, the spirit works equally well in vegetable dishes. Sweet potatoes, for instance, are a classic match with ingredients like nuts, cinnamon, raisins, honey and molasses. Bourbon itself is often laced with those same flavors, so it makes sense that bourbon goes well with sweet potatoes, too. In this dish, sweet potatoes are baked until sweet, then mashed with warmed bourbon, brown sugar, butter, and cream, then sprinkled with pecans. It’s a simple but hearty side, brimming with warm Southern flavor.
Bourbon-Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pecans
serves 4 to 6
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 oz. bourbon
3 tbs. dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup pecan pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the sweet potatoes directly on the middle rack of the oven, and roast until completely cooked through and soft in the center when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until reduced slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Peel the sweet potatoes and discard the skins. Pass the sweet potato flesh through a potato ricer into a bowl (or just mash them if you don’t have a ricer). Add the bourbon and brown sugar mixture, stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toast the pecan pieces in a medium skillet over medium heat just until aromatic and light brown in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. To serve, sprinkle the pecans over the mashed sweet potatoes.