This hearty stew, with tender, succulent meat and chunks of sweet potato, is sure to stick to your ribs.
Leave the meat out for approximately 10-15 minutes if removing directly from the refrigerator. This will help ensure even cooking. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat the oil over high heat in a 6-8 quart stockpot until almost smoking. Add the cubes of meat, making sure not to crowd the pan. Do not move the meat for several minutes in order to allow a crust to form.
With a pair of tongs, turn each piece of meat over to brown the other side. Allow to cook for several minutes, and then remove the meat to a bowl and reserve.
To the fat in the pot, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow to sweat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally.
Add the meat back into the pot along with any accumulated juices. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaf and thyme and simmer gently for about 1 hour.
Add the sweet potatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cook for another 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.