Braise Sweet Potatoes In Milk For A Tender, Silky Result

Despite their sweet earthiness and delectable nutty flavor, sweet potatoes are too often regarded merely as the more nutritious alternative to "regular" potatoes or that thing under the marshmallows at Thanksgiving that's actually pretty good. Versatile in their own right, sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, just like other potatoes. Though they're beloved for their crisp texture when roasted, you can braise sweet potatoes in milk to enjoy a silkier side of the root vegetable.

While braising isn't the most popular method for cooking sweet potatoes, the technique makes them more delicate, softening them in a way that allows the potatoes to melt in your mouth. They will still soften when being braised in broth or wine — a more familiar choice for braising liquid — but using milk will make your potatoes especially tender to the touch because the fats from the dairy will keep too much of the starch in your potatoes from sticking together. Plus, the sugars in milk are a great way to add more flavor.

Don't let the technique scare you — braising meat can be a long process, but sweet potatoes are ready to go in a matter of minutes. After peeling and slicing them, quickly brown them in olive oil. Pour in the milk next (whole milk works best, thanks to its higher fat content), add aromatics, and cover the pot once it starts to simmer. When it curdles and reduces around 10-15 minutes in, the sweet potatoes are ready to serve.

Serving your milk-braised sweet potatoes

As the perfect robust side, milk-braised sweet potatoes taste incredible with other rich recipes. Pair them with flavorful dishes like balsamic-glazed pork tenderloin and roasted apples. Savory pork under a honeyed glaze of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar makes a good match to the milk-laden sweet potatoes. With roasted apples providing a touch of tartness, round out your plate with another veggie, such as garlic lemon Brussels sprouts.

For the ultimate cozy meal, serve the sweet potatoes with cinnamon apple cider beef stew. Hearty and heady, the mix of spicy cinnamon, sweet apple cider, and silky potatoes is absolutely ambrosial. Add the potatoes to the pile of tender beef and chewy barley, or place them atop a salad of olive oil-massaged kale, crispy red onions, and tangy goat cheese.

Since milk-braised sweet potatoes are also sweet and sticky enough to be regarded as dessert, you could also sneak bites of them in between eating smoky chicken chili. A warming, spicy bowl of chili features savory herbs and a hint of cinnamon and rich dark chocolate, bringing out the sweeter side of chicken — a perfect complement to your creamy sweet potatoes.