Dish of Sweet Potato Mash with a spoon

Smoked Sweet Potato Mash With Hickory Syrup – Thankful It’s Thanksgiving! Series

  • strat-e-gy (noun) – planning of war

A steadfast strategy is required for success whether it’s generals on the battlefield, businessmen on Wall Street, or cooks carefully coordinating use of the oven on Thanksgiving Day to get all the dishes cooked and served. With the Thankful It’s Thanksgiving series, we have sought to provide the plans to move much of the preparation to the outdoor grill. Likewise, Smoked Sweet Potato Mash with Hickory Syrup is a wonderful dish resonating with complex flavors because it is prepared on the grill rather than the stovetop.

The plan begins with apple wood, cherry wood, or pecan wood chips that are pre-soaked for an hour to smoke the sweet potatoes, adding depth of flavor not available with traditional preparation. The sweet potatoes are first boiled, then smoked for 20 minutes, mashed, and combined with hickory syrup, heavy cream, butter, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Hickory syrup is used to infuse a sweet and spicy taste, but traditional maple syrup can be used as well. So fire up the grill, bring some of the cooking outside, and be Thankful it’s Thanksgiving!

Serves 6-8

Smoked Sweet Potato Mash With Hickory Syrup Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (2 large) sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/3 cup hickory syrup (may substitute maple syrup)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • grilling tray
  • 1 cup of apple wood, cherry wood, or pecan chips, soaked in water for an hour

Smoked Sweet Potato Mash With Hickory Syrup Directions

  1. Prepare the charcoal grill for indirect heat: Light the coals. For a very hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 1 or 2 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.
  2. Rinse the peeled potatoes, quarter them and place them in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are just soft enough to pierce with a fork. Drain.
  3. When the fire is hot, drain the wood chips and scatter them on the charcoal.
  4. If using a gas grill, place the chips in a smoker box or an aluminum-foil pouch poked with a fork on top to allow smoke to escape. Place the pouch or box on the briquettes or lava rocks. Preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium (350 degrees).
  5. Place the drained potatoes in the grilling tray. Position the tray on the far side of the grate, away from the fire. Close the lid on the grill; smoke the potatoes for 20 minutes.
  6. Return the potatoes to the large (empty) pot. Use a fork or potato masher to mash them, then add the syrup, cream, butter, salt, cayenne pepper (to taste) and black pepper. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, until warmed through, stirring as needed, then use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until fairly smooth.
  7. Serve warm.

Taken from

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