Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin

Recipe Source

Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin

https://food52.com/recipes/5267-sweet-potato-and-pancetta-gratin

Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin

Oct 21, 2016 | Fall, Recipes, Winter

Even though we have been experiencing another burst of summer weather, I feel like we are truly in fall.  Fall, to me, means winter squash, sweet potatoes, soup, and casserole type recipes with a healthy serving of pork thrown in; I am southern born and bred after all…;-)  In Tennessee, it has been a wee bit cooler than Georgia and South Carolina, so I actually made this last Sunday and served it with some stuffed pork chops.  It checks off a lot of my fall hit list; sweet potatoes, pork, goes in the oven, plus takes a known recipe and kind of turns it on its ear.  It was not a disappointment and heats up quite well for leftovers.  This recipe calls for pancetta, an Italian style rolled bacon that Savannah River Farms does a lovely rendition of, but you could also use regular bacon instead.  I do think the muffin tin cooking idea is quite ingenious, but I made it in a rectangular casserole dish (as you would a regular gratin,) since it was just the two of us, but did increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes in each step, until it was brown on top and bubbly.  Whichever method of cooking you decide to employ, I know this will be a big hit in your house like it was in mine.

Ingredients

  • 2medium sweet potatoes (1 pound)
  • 4ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 4ounces pancetta, diced small (1 cup)
  • 3/4cup heavy cream
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/8teaspoon white pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Peel the sweet potato and slice into 1/8-inch thick rounds. 
  3. Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. 
  4. Put one slice of the sweet potato into each cup. 
  5. Top each with about a teaspoon of the shredded gruyere and diced pancetta; sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper.
  6. Repeat twice, overlapping small sweet potato slices if necessary to make a layer and use all slices. 
  7. Add any leftover cheese and pancetta on top. 
  8. Spoon a tablespoon of heavy cream on top of each cup.
  9. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover pan loosely with the foil, sprayed side down.
  10. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender. 
  11. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin and serve as a side dish to your favorite main course.

Far from a “sweet” sweet potato dish, these individual gratins get a big punch of flavor from the many layers of diced pancetta and Gruyere. Using a muffin tin allows for easy portioning, and if you choose your sweet potatoes carefully, the slices will fit perfectly into each compartment, which yields more polished personal gratins (if you care about that sort of thing; take note, Type A’s!). Since this dish relies only on a few ingredients, the quality of each matters greatly. The more intense the Gruyere, the deeper the dish goes into savory territory. We say: bring it on!