Bundle-up bean and sweet potato stew

This picture does not do the dish justice...it was unbelievable!

Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you… Yes, I am going there…again!   It is true, tooting is an unpleasant side-effect courtesy of our brown and round friend, Mr. Bean–but I don’t need to tell YOU about that, now do I?!?!  What makes it so bad, though is what makes it soooo good–good for you anyway!  The tough outer shell is a soluble fiber (which means it absorbs water) and can really get you moving–which is one of the reasons we love it, right?  Along with water, it also sucks up the cholesterol circulating in the blood, clearing it from your system with great efficiency–even more cool, right?  PLUS these puppies are loaded with protein, iron, B vitamins, and magnesium!  So don’t you think that ONE pesky little side-effect might be worth it?!  Ok, stop whining, pop a Beano (or three) and get ready to be wowed!  This is not just healthful, it is beyond tasty!  It has been almost a week since I made this dish and my hubby can’t stop asking when I am going to make it again!  My answer:  “just as soon as the air clears, hon!”  🙂

Perfectly brown on top!

Bundle-up bean and sweet potato stew Servings 6-8

  • 2-3 heads of garlic
  • 2 large sweet, yellow onions, cut the onions in half (through the middle, not the top/bottom) and then vertically slice them into thin pieces
  • 4-6 oz pancetta or prosciutto
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 1/2 T white wine vinegar
  • 5 c sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces (~3 good sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2-1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more if you want it HOT!)
  • 1 c organic veg broth
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1-2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 16 oz cans of great northern white beans, drained
  • 2 slices of white bread, processed or 3/4 c panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 head of fresh italian parsley, for garnish or topping

Follow my recipe for roasted garlic at 375 degrees F.  Let the garlic cool, skin it, and do a rough smash on the pieces.  Set aside.  Leave the oven ON–you will be needing it soon! While the garlic is roasting, in a medium skillet cook the pancetta or prosciutto until crispy.  You may need to add just a SMALL hit of EVOO to the pan if the meat isn’t very fatty.  Remove the meat and set aside. Using the same skillet, cook the onions over medium low for 20-25 minutes–you want them very, soft and caramelized!  Again, you may need a small hit of EVOO if the pan is too dry.  Once the onions are done, take the pan off of the heat and stir in the vinegar. In a side bowl combine the bread crumbs, EVOO, and cheese.  Set aside. In a medium dutch oven (or oven-ready casserole pan) add the sweet potatoes, garlic, and herbs and mix well.  Crumble the pancetta over the top, then layer on the onions.  Do a really quick stir, leaving most of the onions sitting on top of the dish.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top.  Cover the dish and bake for about 50 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.  The breadcrumbs may have browned, if so, you are done cooking.  If not, turn the oven up to broil and cook for another couple of minutes, until the top is nice and brown. Serve with a generous portion of chopped fresh Italian parsley, some of my sweet cornbread, and a big glass of Fume Blanc or an equally yummy white wine!


One thought on “Bundle-up bean and sweet potato stew

  1. Matt

    I love sweet potatoes, and this dish looks fantastic. I’m curious to taste how the garlic and onion flavors plus the beans all blend with the sweet potatoes.

    I don’t really seem to be affected by beans in the magical fruit way…are some people immune to their effects?


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