We’re not sure how we got so lucky, but for the last few weeks we’ve had an honest to goodness barbecue legend in our midst cooking up ‘cue on the back lot of Hollywood’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! set. Adam Perry Lang is the man behind New York’s Daisy May BBQ and the pitmaster bible, Serious Barbecue, which is being re-issued next month. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, fans of slow-cooked meat can grab a take-out lunch of Lang’s signature barbecued beef short rib, pulled pork shoulder, beef brisket, and more. (Caution: returning to work with a belly full of pecan wood-smoked goodies is not advised.) As any grilling guru knows, sides are not to be overlooked, and we asked Lang to share a recipe for one of his favorites: mashed sweet potatoes with banana and brown sugar. “I know what you’re thinking: Bananas?” says Lang. “But everyone loves them.” Pop by through September 5 to sample the goods for yourself.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Banana and Brown Sugar
By Adam Perry Lang, Serious Barbecue
8 sweet potatoes or large yams, each about 10 ounces
About 3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus additional as needed
1 banana, with a 2-inch slit cut into the peel
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper, plus additional as needed
1. Wash each of the potatoes, well, poke holes into them with a fork, rub each with about 1 teaspoon of salt, and wrap with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
2. Place directly on hot coals and cook for about 20 minutes, or cook in a 350ºF barbecue for about 50 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a pairing knife. At the same time, cook the banana in the peel until blackened, about 15 minutes.
3. Carefully take the potatoes out of the foil and scoop the flesh out from the skin into a large bowl. Cover with foil. Scoop the flesh out of the banana into a separate bowl. Increase the temperature to high.
4. Place a small roasting pan or deep baking dish with high sides that can take the direct flame (a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with a 15-cup capacity is ideal) over the heat and let heat up for 5 minutes.
5. Add the butter and let melt. Add the cream, cinnamon stick, brown sugar, potatoes, banana, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and banana, and stir to combine.
6. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed.
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