With a few basic ingredients and some art appreciation, you can make a culinary classic, Pommes Anna. This version replaces the traditional potato with a sweet potato. Add some cinnamon and nutmeg and you’re in the wheelhouse of holiday side dishes. Sharpen up your chef knife or bust out your mandoline and watch this video to see how it’s done…
The traditional Pommes Annalooks like this:
Pommes Anna are taught during the potato cookery courses at most culinary schools, but are seldom seen in homes and restaurants now days. I believe the reason for this, other than not knowing about them, is that they take time to prepare. However, with a mandoline and a couple of jocks, we see how easy this dish comes together.
Ideally, we would slice the potatos thinner, but wanted to show how this works if you don’t have a mandoline and are forced to cut these by hand. The consistency of slice thickness is more important that how thick the slices actually turn out. I just wouldn’t go any thicker than we did.
In the video, we had something come up that forced us to leave the kitchen prematurely. I turned the oven down to 300° so that the dish would finish cooking, but if we had let them cook at a higher temperature the whole time, they would achieved some caramelization and looked a bit more like the above picture.
Anyways, I think you get the picture. Get out there and give this one a shot. This is fun to do with your kids or as a family this Christmas. It makes for a beautiful presentation, which is key because we all know that the first bite is with the eyes…
The Elf On The Shelf goes home with Santa tonight, so don’t forget to leave them milk and cookies for their journey.
I recommend leaving them a plate of Ham and Sweet Potatoes Anna as well…
A Very Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours!
Sweet Potatoes Anna
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, as uniformly round as possible
- 4 ounces grass-fed butter
- Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
- Freshly ground cinnamon, to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Peel all sweet potatoes and slice into disks that are 1/8” thick.
- Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet, coating bottom and all sides. Remove pan from heat, pour the butter into a bowl and set aside.
- Place one disk in the center of the skillet. Shingle disks in a circular pattern around the center disk. Continue this process in on constant spiral or 3-4 separate circles with each one being larger than the previous (like in the video).
- Once the entire bottom of the pan is filled with disks shingled in a circular pattern, lightly drizzle some melted butter over the top of the layer. Then, sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the butter keeping in mind that you will do this for each layer, so “lightly” is your mindset here.
- Continue the above process with as many layers as necessary to use all of your disks or fill the pan.
- Once you’ve completed the shingling/seasoning process, place a layer of aluminum foil over the top of the pan. Place a second cast iron pan over the aluminum foil to provide a weight that will compress the potatoes together as they cook.
- Bake in a 400°F oven until a knife easily inserts through the potatoes, approximately 45-60 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and take the second pan and foil off of the top. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Then, place a sheet pan, serving dish or cutting board over the top of the pan and in one swift motion, holding the sheet pan tightly to the skillet, invert both so that the potatoes flip upside down onto the sheet pan.
- Set the flipped unit on the counter and gently lift the skillet from the sheet pan. You will now see your beautiful-spiraled-shingle-pattern face up.
- Take a moment and revel in your awesome artwork, then, cut into slices of desired size (6 pi radians is recommended…)
- This can be served immediately, served at room temperature, reheated in the oven, stored in the fridge for up to 6 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.
- However you choose to serve it, I hope you share it with your friends. Bon Appetit!
“Keep It Paleo!”