turkey and sweet potato hash with red wine glaze

October 6, 2010

Is it Thanksgiving yet?!

This dish is inspired by a recipe in the new The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman. I want to get my hands on that book with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Okay, I need it. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while, knows about my love for Mark Bittman. His philosophy on conscious eating is a great introduction to the subject and How to Cook Everything is one of the most used, dog-eared, and stained books on our shelf. Enough said.

The Food Matters Cookbook looks to have many a delight in it, like lemony zucchini risotto and curried chickpeas and cauliflower with chicken. Be still my heart! But more than offering up great recipes, Bittman is building on the philosophy he expounded in his other book, Food Matters (not a cook book!), his guide to ethical eating.

This new book offers more than 500 healthy recipes that focus on eating less meat (not excluding it entirely), and provides easy recipes that allow anyone to follow a sustainable diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (pulses, to my English readers). According to the book’s spiel it also includes five basic principles for sane eating that are easy to implement and understand as well as a helpful pantry section and handy charts for substituting produce and seafood by season. Once it’s in my hands, maybe I’ll offer a more detailed review. Yes?

Potatoes and turkey feel so good to hunker down to at this time of year. In England it doesn’t feel quite right to start thinking about turkey until December, but here we have the glory of Thanksgiving to look forward to. I won’t be in the country this Christmas (more on that another time) so Thanksgiving will be demanding all of my turkey-attention. I know we’re still a ways off – am I the only one already thinking about it?! I blame this recipe. Or maybe it’s just the changing leaves. Either way, I’ll definitely be bookmarking this one for an alternative thanksgiving spread.

Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash with Red Wine Glaze

adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook

Serves 4


  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 boneless, skinless turkey thigh (about 1 pound), chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into cubes
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Salt and black pepper


1. Put the wine, garlic, and thyme in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then adjust the heat so that it bubbles gently. Cook until the wine is reduced to a syrup, 15 to 20 minutes. Have a glass while you’re at it, won’t you? You know I did…

2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375F . Put the sweet potato cubes in a roasting pan, drizzle with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 40 minutes.

3. Whilst the sweet potato is roasting, heat some olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion for a few minutes. Add the turkey and saute until cooked through and browned, about 10-15 minutes (the longer you let this meat simmer away, the softer it gets). Season with salt and pepper.

4. Roughly chop the potatoes and onion. Toss everything with the red wine syrup serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with parsley or fresh thyme, if you like.

The red wine syrup makes this dish rich and full-flavoured, but there’s nothing complicated going on here. That’s one of my favourite things about Mark Bittman. He comes up with simple, healthy recipes that use great, fresh ingredients, and taste complex.

A note or two on the recipe: I could only get skinless, off the bone turkey thighs where the original recipe called for on-the-bone thigh – not necessarily a bad thing but I’d love to try Bittman’s original suggestion of roasting on the bone turkey in a pan with all the vegetables and then letting the meat fall off. Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it?

For more Mark Bittman inspiration, check out the following:

> cherry blondies

> breakfast spice muffins

> mushroom risotto

> arepas with cheese and corn

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