Holiday Feast Recipe: Scalloped sweet potatoes from The Grove’s Ben Heaton
England-born chef Ben Heaton opened The Grove on Dundas West last spring, instantly elevating the standard of British food in Toronto. He zings his casserole with Keen’s mustard and sharp Lancashire cheese. Don’t even think about putting marshmallows on top.
Ben Heaton’s Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp mustard powder, preferably Keen’s
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp each ground mace, ground nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups Lancashire cheese, finely grated
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup whipping cream
1. Set a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Add sliced onions and mustard. Cook, stirring often, for 50 to 60 minutes until caramelized.
2. When onions are almost done, preheat oven to 350° F. Peel potatoes. Using a mandoline or food processor with a slicing blade, slice into thin rounds. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Arrange a layer of sweet potatoes in the bottom. Sprinkle some spices overtop. Top with of caramelized onions and ¾ cup of Lancashire cheese. Continue layering twice more but reserving ½ cup of remaining cheese for crust. Pour broth and cream over layered ingredients. Using your hands, press down to evenly distribute liquid. Cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour until potatoes are very tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
3. Remove foil. Raise oven to 450° F. Sprinkle reserved ½ cup cheese evenly over potatoes. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Cover with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Perfectly good Lancashire cheese is available at chain grocery stores, but for an exceptionally nutty, artisanal version, hit the Cheese Boutique in Swansea. 45 Ripley Ave., 416-762-6292.
FOR RICH FIXINGS
Rocca Delle MacÌe Tenuta Sant’Alfonso 2009 Chianti Classico
$22 | Tuscany | 91 points
Mid-weight, savoury sangiovese stands up to all the heavy sides, but it’s often overlooked because it’s Italian (and turkey dinner is not). Made from the sangiovese grosso clone, this sturdy red exudes currant, raspberry, cedar and herb aromas. Vintages. LCBO 942094
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