Oven roasted sweet potato ragu is a very easy to make delicious holiday dish that is perfect any time of the year. Some of the ingredients that are used to create this dish are 4 to 5 medium size sweet potatoes that are peeled and diced into small pieces that are about 1 inch square, tereso sausage that has been crumbled and sautéed, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar. You will also need a 1/4 cup of dark molasses with 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract added. A small amount of butter, salt, pepper and some oil. That is essentially all that it takes for this is a very easy recipe.
Cooking is often more fun when it does not require an all day commitment, so there are some steps that are good for saving time for this recipe. The key is to remember that the sweet potatoes are a two step process. The 1st step is that the sweet potatoes must be boiled until they are soft and tender. This will prevent them from requiring all day in the heat of your oven to finish cooking. Take the cubes of sweet potato and place them into a pot of very cold water. It is important that the water start off cold. Slowly bring the water up to a boil. The boil should continue until the sweet potatoes are soft on the outside but still firm on the inside. It is highly recommended that the cold water be flavored with sugar and salt. Once the sweet potatoes have softened, remove them from the water, drain them completely and set them aside into a casserole dish. Allow them a good 15 minutes to slowly cool down.
While the potatoes are cooling you can use this time to sear your sausage in a hot pan. Searing will brown all sides of the meat to lock in the flavor. Chop or crumble the cooked meat up into small pieces. Be sure that you have all of your ingredients assembled. This is where the glaze will be made. The glaze brings out the rich and decadent flavor of the dish. Using a pre-warmed sauté pan, add the molasses and vanilla extract combination to the pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Allow this to come to a boil and then reduce the heat back to just above a simmer. At this stage, add about 1/4 teaspoon of butter. A few dashes of salt and pepper, enough to taste. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. This will create a favorable sheen texture in combination with the butter. The molasses will begin to thicken as the moisture content is slowly boiled off. This concentrates and intensifies the flavor. Be careful not to burn the sauce. It is recommended that you strive to attain a mix of medium thick syrup to a really thick syrup with a nice amber color.
This is known as a reduction.
Rapidly increasing appearance of bubbles that rise across the entire surface and not solely around the outside edges of the sauce, will indicate that the sauce is ready. Another good indicator that the sauce is done is to use a spoon and allow some of the sauce to drip off of the spoon back into the pan. Using clean spoon, gently scrape across the back of the spoon that was dipped into the sauce. If the line that forms from the scraping does not quickly fill back in with sauce, then you know the sauce is ready. Turn off the heat and bring the sauce pan over to the casserole dish of sweet potatoes. This is when you will sprinkle onto the top of the dish the crumbled tereso sausage. Spoon layers of the sauté over top of this. It will bake down into the bottom of the dish. If desired a small amount of bourbon can be added directly to the dish before placing into the oven. It is recommended to top the dish with a sprinkle of fresh green herbs before placing into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook up to 18 minutes.