In a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat, combine the oats, pecans, salt and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly, until the pecans are fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract and cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring constantly to make sure everything is evenly coated and doesn’t burn. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the granola to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to cool.
Make the mashed sweet potatoes:
Meanwhile, place the cubed sweet potatoes into a large pot and add just enough cold water to submerge them by about 1-2 inches. Cover and place the pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove the cover and turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the sweet potatoes, uncovered, until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a small paring knife, about 20-25 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes and then immediately add them back to the still hot pot, which will help to evaporate off any excess water.
Add the milk, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper to the sweet potatoes, and Then use a hand mixer to mash the sweet potatoes and fully incorporate the ingredients. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
In a medium-large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it’s almost completely melted, start whisking the butter constantly, cooking it until it foams and starts to turn brown and smell nutty, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Add about three-quarters of the browned butter to the mashed sweet potatoes, making sure to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet, and stir to combine. Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to a serving dish. Top with the oat-pecan granola and drizzle with the remaining browned butter. Serve immediately.