3largelarge sweet potatoes, about 3 pounds, peeled and cut into four quarters each
Heat the oil and 2 teaspoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Season all sides of the roast liberally with salt and pepper. Sear each side of the roast in the pot for about 2 minutes per side.
While the roast sears, place the sweet potato quarters in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the seared roast on top of the potatoes. Reduce the heat of the pot to low and add the leeks. Saute for about 2 minutes until softened.
Add the beef stock and ¾ cup of the apple cider. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Transfer this mixture to the slow cooker. Add the minced garlic and sprigs of thyme.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours on LOW (5-6 hours on HIGH) until the beef is tender and almost falling apart. Remove the roast from the cooker and place on a cutting board. Cover with foil.
Remove the roast from the cooker and place on a cutting board. Cover with foil. Remove the potatoes from the cooker with a slotted spoon and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and maple syrup. Cover the bowl with foil to keep warm.
Pour the liquid contents of the cooker through a fine mesh strainer and into a large saucepan (alternatively, add the unstrained liquids to a saucepan and blend smooth with an immersion blender), Dissolve the cornstarch into the remaining ½ cup of apple cider with a whisk. Add to the strained juices in the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
While the gravy simmers, cream the sweet potato mixer with a hand mixer until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. Keep warm on the stovetop covered with foil. Slice the roast into 1’’ thick pieces. Keep warm until ready to serve by covering with foil. Serve the hot roast in slices on top of the creamed sweet potatoes. Spoon hot cider gravy over the top and enjoy!
Serving suggestions: I love to give several handfuls of baby spinach a quick saute in olive oil in a skillet while the gravy simmers. It’s a fast and easy side dish! Baked apples or cornbread would also be delicious!