Maple Smoked Bacon and Beer Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

2 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes or Garnet yams
olive oil to brush on the flesh
6 strips maple smoked bacon
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2/3 cup beer, preferably dark ale
2 tablespoons maple syrup
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, for easy clean up. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Brush flesh with a little bit of olive oil. Place flesh side down on the prepared baking sheet. Cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add bacon. Cook, turning frequently, until browned and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-toweled lined plate to drain. Cool completely. Chop finely, reserving one slice for garnish.

3. Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and set aside.

4. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add sliced onions and brown sugar; stir occasionally, until the onions caramelize and turn a deep golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Add beer and cook 2 minutes. Add maple syrup. Stir well and cook 3-4 minutes. Add roasted potatoes and bacon to skillet. Stir well. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with reserved bacon.

Recipe created by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.