- 1 pound smoky bacon
- Coarse black pepper
- 1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup
- 5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2-2 cups chicken stock
- 1 stick butter, cut into pieces
- 3 cups yellow cheddar cheese, loosely packed
- 3 tablespoons thyme, chopped
- Nutmeg, to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
Arrange the bacon on a slotted broiler pan or on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Season with black pepper and bake until crisp, 15-17 minutes. Remove from the oven and raise the heat to 450ºF. Baste the bacon liberally with maple syrup and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to glaze and further crisp the coating.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Salt the water and cook until tender; drain and return to the hot pot. Mash with just enough stock to make the potatoes fairly smooth, then stir in the butter, cheese and thyme. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Top with lots of chopped maple bacon and serve.
Tip: To hold the mashed sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes and keep warm, cover the pot after the potatoes have been mashed. Add an inch of water to a large pot, bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to low and place the covered pot into the water. Check the water level occasionally until ready to serve. The water bath will keep the potatoes perfect without drying them out.