June 21, 2012

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I love a good, traditional pot roast dinner. It's so homey and comforting, but I think of it more as a cold-weather/winter dish. It's not something I want to serve in the heat of summer. However, as it usually goes around here, necessity overrides preferences. I knew I had to use pot roast in one of my dinners this week, since I had two saved in my freezer and we're keeping a close eye on our budget. I didn't want to buy a whole lot of extra groceries either, so I was trying to think of something creative to do with this meat from stuff I had already had stashed away. My friend Michelle suggested I make stuffed, baked sweet potato halves. She had tried a really simple recipe recently with ground turkey and Mexican-inspired flavors, but thought I could probably do something similar with my roast meat. She was right! I just kinda made this dish up as I went along, and it was delicious. My family loved the twist on a traditional pot roast meal; even the kiddos gobbled it up! The biggest surprise is that our stuffed halves were not what I would consider as "heavy", but they was still filling and satisfying. Yum!

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

1 beef pot roast
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
1/2 bottle of your favorite meat marinade OR homemade marinade (I used bottled)
2 large sweet potatoes
1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup of shredded mild cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, jack, etc.)
olive oil
kosher salt (for outside of potatoes)
aluminum foil
grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Combine roast (frozen is okay) seasoned with a sprinkling of salt and pepper to taste, water, onion slices, and marinade in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. When cooking time is done, remove meat and shred with two forks reserving the liquid. Set Aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub outside of sweet potatoes under running water to remove any excess, loose dirt. Pierce potatoes several times with a sharp knife on each side. Rub a generous amount of kosher salt and some olive oil on the outside of the potatoes. Double-wrap each potato in two sheets of aluminum foil. Bake for 1-2 hour, or until potatoes are soft to the touch and cooked through the middle. (I cooked mine for an hour, and it could have used more time...the middle wasn't as soft as I would have liked it. I think the cook time really depends on how big your sweet potatoes are.)

When potatoes are done baking, unwrap and let cool enough to handle. Halve each potato and scoop out some of the fleshy insides to make room for the filling. Leave a 1/2 inch of potato around the edges and the skins in tact. Discard excess filling or save for another application. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine shredded meat, cooked onions, cheese, and kidney beans. Add 1/2 cup of cooking liquid to start with; add more if needed. The meat mixture should be saucy. Stuff each half with meat mixture. Sprinkle tops with grated Parmesan and serve.

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