Sweet Potato, Kale, and Country Ham Hash with Maple Red-Eye Gravy

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

My love for lean, salty, country ham is true and unyielding. Slap a piece in between either side of a hot-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuit, and that love is something else entirely. This hash plays on salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy, and it's packed with veggies. If you can't find country ham in your grocery store, a pound of chopped bacon would probably work nicely here.

Mary Catherine Tee

Food52 Review: WHO: Mary Catherine Tee is a Mainer, a blogger, and no stranger to our contest circuit.
WHAT: A salty-sweet-earthy-eggy one-pan go-to brunch main—with a full cup of coffee cooked right into it.
HOW: Brown country ham in a skillet, then cook a mix of vegetables in the ham fat, maple syrup, and coffee. Finish it up with a couple of eggs cooked right on top.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This hash has many dimensions (crispy, soft, salty, sweet)—and the coffee and maple tie the whole thing together. Since it all comes together in one big pan, you have to do fewer dishes post-brunch on Saturday morning. If you can't find country ham, substituting bacon works perfectly.
The Editors

Serves: 4


  • 10 ounces country ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 leek, chopped (white part only)
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head of kale, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup black coffee, divided
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham to the skillet, stirring occasionally, until browned on both sides. Remove and place in a bowl.
  2. Do not skim ham fat because this is necessary for flavor. Add butter to the skillet.
  3. Add chopped leek and stir until covered in butter. Throw in the cubed sweet potatoes, stir to coat with butter, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of the black coffee and let simmer for 7 more minutes, or until potatoes are almost done. You'll want there to be a little crunch left in the potatoes because there's a little more cooking time yet to come.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, mix remaining coffee and maple syrup in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Add kale and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook until kale has just wilted, about 4 minutes. Add ham to skillet.
  6. Pour coffee and maple mixture over everything, stirring to coat.
  7. Make 4 to 6 wells in the hash and drop an egg in each. Cover with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
  8. Once eggs are cooked, add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

More Great Recipes:
American|Coffee|Egg|Ham|Kale|Leek|Maple Syrup|Meat|Potato|Sweet Potato/Yam|Vegetable|Pork

Reviews (9) Questions (0)

9 Reviews

Heidi S. March 25, 2016
I have found most people have never heard of Red-eyed gravy. We have always served it over a soak a opened biscuit and then cover with Apple Butter. This provides a sweet and salty contrast. I look forward to trying your recipe.
Author Comment
Mary C. March 26, 2016
You're speaking my language--biscuits, apple butter, and red-eye gravy! I hope you enjoy this recipe!<br />
Annie S. February 26, 2016
Loved this! I tested it for the contest and I love it for supper. Congratulations !
Author Comment
Mary C. February 26, 2016
Annie, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it! Thank you for your support!
LE B. February 2, 2016
wow, now THIS is a thought that never crossed my culinary mind-- cooking sweet potatoes in coffee! you are a bold girl, mc. Must try this !
lilroseglow January 4, 2016
Came back from Christmas with a package of ham and had to try this. Yum! This was so SO good. I increased quantities for my family of four (two teenagers), and we were still fighting over scraping the pan clean. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
Author Comment
Mary C. February 21, 2016
I'm so happy you and your family enjoyed this. It's hard to beat any recipe with country ham in it!
lilroseglow October 13, 2015
Can't wait to try this! It will have to wait until after my next trip home to the BlueRidge where I can pick up a package of good country ham.
Author Comment
Mary C. October 18, 2015
I hope you enjoy it! And please, blow a kiss to the Blue Ridge for me...those hills are my favorite place on earth!