This here is the perfect meal to put you in the mood for fall. Its heartiness and slight sweetness give it a surprising richness. It is rustic, which here is an endearing quality. It makes you want to curl up in front of the fire, or go play in a pile of leaves. And it is easy to make. Need I say more?!
I got all of the ingredients for this in my last CSA basket of the season. So it was easy for me to throw together. I know the combination of spices sounds odd, but I promise they work brilliantly together. When I found this recipe, I knew it would be perfect. I stumbled across it looking for some more variety in my sweet potato recipes. Don't get me wrong, I love my spicy roast sweet potatoes, but thats about all I ever make with them.
Another bonus... this is very easy to turn into a vegetarian meal. Just leave out the bacon, and voila, a filling vegetarian dinner (or breakfast, or lunch). Leave the bacon in, and this'll blow away even the pickiest eater. I would even entertain with this. I love entertaining with rustic dishes because it surprises people, and makes people feel a little more at home. You can easily make this for 2 or 10 people.
So, without further ado, I give you...
Autumn Sweet Potato Hash
barely adapted from food+words
4 strips bacon or pancetta (optional)
1 medium sweet potato
1 large apple (I would use honeycrisp or pink lady, something sweet, tart, and firm)
1 medium sweet onion
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t cumin
3-4 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper
butter or olive oil
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Roughly chop bacon or pancetta and add to the hot pan. Cook bacon until crisp, then scoop out bacon onto a paper towel and set aside. Pour the fat into a small bowl, leaving about 1 T in the pan.
Chop onion, sweet potato, and apple into a small dice (about 1/4") and place into three separate bowls. Add cinnamon and cumin to the diced apple. Strip thyme leaves from stems and add to the sweet potato. Season the onions, apples, and sweet potatoes with salt and pepper.
Put onion in the skillet and cook until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add seasoned apple into the skillet and stir to combine. Add more of the rendered fat if needed. Cook until onion is translucent and apple begins to soften and brown around the edges, about another 5 minutes.
Remove onion and apple, and set aside. Add more rendered fat to the skillet, and toss in the sweet potatoes. Stir and arrange into a single layer. Let sit 2 minutes without touching. Stir and arrange into a single layer again, and let cook another 2 minutes. Occasionally stir the sweet potatoes for another 5-6 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and browned.
Add onions, apples, and bacon back to the pan, and stir everything together. Let heat through, then serve topped with fried or poached eggs. I use the leftover bacon fat to cook the eggs for extra flavor.