Sweet Potato-Roasted Pork Au Gratin

Total Time:
8 hr 35 min
40 min
5 min
7 hr 50 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cut crosswise 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 pound barbecued pulled pork, recipe follows
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chilis, worked into a paste (about 1 large chili)
  • Tortilla chips, optional accompaniment
  • Barbecued Pulled Pork:
  • 1 boneless pork butt, about 4 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • Wet Mop Basting Sauce, recipe follows
  • Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Wet Mop Basting Sauce:
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Barbecue Sauce:
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter. Arrange one-quarter of the sweet potato slices in overlapping layers around the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and top with one-quarter of the cheese. Repeat with another layer and top with the barbecued pork and one-quarter of the cheese. Repeat for 2 more layers, ending with cheese on top.

  • In a bowl, whisk together the cream and chilis. Pour over the potatoes, pressing down gently to let the liquid seep down into the layers.

  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the potatoes are tender, the cream is absorbed, and the cheese is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve either as a snack with tortilla chips, or as a side dish.

Barbecued Pulled Pork:
  • Place the pork in a baking dish. In a bowl, combine the sugar, Essence, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Rub the seasoning evenly over the pork to coat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

  • Preheat an oven or smoker to 225 degrees F.

  • Bring the pork to room temperature and place in a roasting pan, fat side up. Slow cook in the oven, basting with the wet mop basting sauce every 45 minutes, until tender and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. (The cooking should take about 6 to 7 hours.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • With a knife and fork or two forks, pull the meat apart into small slices or chunks. Toss with the barbecue sauce, to taste.

  • Yield: 8 sandwiches

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Wet Mop Basting Sauce:
  • The night before you cook the pork, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well. Refrigerate and let the flavors blend overnight.

  • Yield: 2 1/4 cups

Barbecue Sauce:
  • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk well to dissolve the sugar. Place in a squeeze bottle and dress the pulled pork.

  • Yield: about 2 cups

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