Making St. Patrick's Day dinner nightshade-free, one sweet potato recipe at a time.
We are definitely a meat-and-potatoes kind of family. Growing up, it was always a rotation of chicken with mashed potatoes, meatloaf with roasted potatoes, or shepherd's pie. It hit me pretty hard when I learned about my restrictions to nightshades, but I learned pretty quickly how to use other root vegetables as a replacement.
When it comes to potato recipes, I typically use yuca, Japanese sweet potatoes, or the classic original sweet potatoes. For this recipe in particular, I choose regular sweet potatoes to create a nice sweet to the savory flavors of the onion, bacon, and chives.
This recipe comes in handy for St. Patrick's Day dinner. It makes for a sensational upgrade to the boiled potatoes and sour cream we would typically have as a side. The pie recipe also became a hit with my family and is now a tradition for me to make every year.
But why bacon?
Besides the typical answer of "why not bacon?", bacon was the chosen meat for this recipe to honor the history of Irish heritage.
Bacon was the original meat of St. Patrick's Day. Before Irish immigrants came to America, they would have bacon and cabbage to celebrate the day, since beef was too expensive in Ireland. When they migrated to America, they would discover that bacon was now the expensive meat, therefore switching to the affordable corning process of beef instead.
Now, let's get into the recipe!
The pie is filled with sweet potatoes, bacon, onions, dill, and chives, inside a homemade gluten-free pie crust that is crispy and buttery (without using any butter). The layers of sweet potatoes are baked with dairy-free milk, so they soften into silky goodness.
Want to make this recipe vegetarian? Omit the bacon and just saute the onions in oil.
Are there options other than sweet potatoes? if you can have white potatoes, you can choose to use those. If you need to keep this recipe nightshade-free, try Japanese sweet potatoes. They have a closer resemblance to regular potatoes.
Instead of dairy-free milk, you can change that ingredient to use heavy cream instead.
Due to the size of our pie dish, we doubled up on the pie crust recipe.
This Irish Sweet Potato Pie makes an irresistible side dish for St. Patrick's Day!
Irish Sweet Potato Pie
7 slices Applegate Uncured Sunday Bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1/2 cup almond milk, or dairy-free milk of choice
Chive, for garnish
Start by following the recipe and instructions for the pie crust.
Place the rolled-out pie crust into an 8-inch round pan or pie dish and crimp the edges. Place in the fridge until ready to fill.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Heat a large skillet over a medium-high flame. Once heated, add in the bacon and cook until crispy, but make sure not to overcook, since it will be going in the oven with the pie.
Remove the bacon from the pan, but leave the grease. Add in the oil and wait for it to heat up before adding in the onions. Cook until transparent.
Add the potato slices and dill into the same skillet with the onions and season generously with sea salt. Gently toss to coat the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are beginning to soften, but not cooked all the way. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool. At this point, you can toss back in the bacon and gently stir until evenly distributed through the potatoes.
Take the pie dish out of the fridge and spoon the potato mixture into the crust.
Once the potatoes are in the crust, pour in the milk then carefully place the pie into the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, the milk is gone, and the crust is golden.
Rest for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped chives for garnish before serving.