Potato bake is nostalgic for pretty much every South African right? From braais to Sunday lunches, the traditional potato bake was ever present in my childhood home. But even a classic could do with an update very now and then.
My bacon sweet potato bake with jalapenos is a much-loved classic all dressed up. Sweet potato, bacon, and jalapenos make an undeniably irresistible combination of sweet, salty, and spicy that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.
It’s perfect as a side dish for about four to six people, but on a gloomy day – like the one I cooked this on – a tray of this could easily be devoured by a cosy cuddled number of two.
Forget the immeasurable calories, this bacon sweet potato bake is food for the soul.
How to make sweet potato bake
SERVES 2 – 6
- 200g bacon finely chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- Dash white wine
- 2 large sweet potatoes cut into thin slices
- 250ml cream
- 250ml buttermilk
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbs chopped pickled jalapenos
- Handful grated parmesan
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. In a large oven proof pan fry bacon until cooked and just crisping. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Saute onions in bacon fat until tender and throw in garlic and thyme frying until fragrant.
4. Add bacon back to the pan, pour in wine and deglaze pan. Remove bacon mixture from pan and set aside until needed.
5. Cook sweet potato slices in a separate large pot filled with salted boiling water until al dente, drain.
6. Lay potato slices in a single layer in pan used for bacon, season gently with salt and pepper, pour over a little cream and buttermilk, top with a little bacon, jalapenos, and cheese and repeat layers until ingredients have all been used, reserving a handful of cheese.
7. Finish with a layer of bacon, top with remainder of cream and buttermilk, cover, and place in oven for 30 minutes.
8. Check for tenderness, uncover and return to oven for another 20 minutes for liquid to slightly reduce.
9. Once cream has reduced satisfactorily and potatoes are soft, turn oven to grill, top potato bake with reserved cheddar and parmesan, and return to oven for 15 – 20 minutes until top is caramelised and crispy.