I wanted a more complex potato side dish for a special steak dinner I was making for our anniversary. I came across the concept of “punched” potatoes traditional to Portugal. While standard potatoes are usually used, I tried it with sweet potatoes and loved the results. The caramelized onions along with the robust comte cheese topped on twice cooked potatoes (boiled then baked) made for an unforgettable combination that almost outshines the steak. It’s more effort for sure, but a great option for special occasions.



  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook until tender, around 20-30 minutes. Drain and allow to cool 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 430F.

  2. Lilghtly smash them with your fist or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Place them in an ovenproof dish then drizzle with avocado oil and gently turn them to coat. Sprinkle with the garlic overtop and add the bay leaf to the centre. Season with salt and black pepper and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25-30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, warm extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over low heat then add the onions and season with salt and white pepper. Cook gently until very soft and translucent, about 20 minutes.

  4. Increase the heat and allow the onions caramelize and turn golden brown, stirring to stop them from sticking, about 5 minutes more. Add a splash of white wine vinegar.

  5. Take the potatoes out of the oven and scatter the onions overtop then the cheese. Return the dish to the oven and cook until golden brown and bubbling, 5-10 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little extra cracked black pepper, and serve immediately.

Did you make this carb-up Portuguese punched sweet potatoes recipe? If so, please let me know how it turned out in the comments. Or if you share pics of your creations on Instagram, please tag me so I can see them. Enjoy! :)