Stamppot Boerenkool or more familiarly called Hutspot, brings back so many fond memories of my early life in Lienden, Gelderland, in the Nederland’s Betuwe. Then a sleepy farming village surrounded by fruit orchards and family gardens that seemed to produce all sorts of produce nearly year round, even in the short days of winter shrouded in low lying fog, chilling temperatures, and ever waning winter light.
Boerenkool translates as “farmer’s cabbage” and stamppot as “stomped in the pot”, which pretty much describes this hearty Dutch winter one pot meal. This simple fare, made from what meager pickings could be gleaned from the withering winter garden, filled the house with the aroma of home, happiness, gratitude, utter contentment, and a hearty meal that was sure to nourish body and soul!
The recipe that follows is for a traditional Hutspot, but can be easily adapted, sans meats, for sharing with any vegetarians that may be gathering at your table. Simply cook the meats separately and make two casseroles.
Stamppot Boerenkool – Hutspot
- 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 small parsnips, peeled, woody spine removed, and cubed
- 2 cups 1 inch julienne of carrots
- 10 cups young kale leaves, center rib removed, and chopped
- 1 large rookworst (500 g/1 lb), or any European style sausage
- 2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup bacon or smoked ham, cut into thin strips about 1inch long
- chicken stock
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, or olive oil
- 1 whole egg’ beaten (optional for baking)
Place the potatoes and parsnips in a large pot with lid and add enough stock to just cover. Place the carrots and kale on top, and finally, the rookworst on top of all.
Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
While the vegetables are simmering you can go ahead and braise the bacon (or ham) and onions. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. No need to add any fat. If using ham add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. When the bacon fat has melted, add the onions and lower the heat and cover with a lid. Stir occasionally, braising for about fifteen minutes or until the onions soften, are translucent, and caramelized.
Final Preparations and serving:
Remove the rookworst, divide into portions, and cover to keep warm.
Coarsely mash the potatoes, parsnips, kale, and carrots together in the pot with a masher, mixing in stock until the mixture has a moist soft consistency. Stir in the bacon and onions, vinegar, butter (or olive oil), salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Mix together until well combined. Adjust seasonings as needed.
The hutspot can be served straight out of the pot along with the rookworst placed on each plate served.
baked off in the oven as follows: Preheat oven to 350F/180C
Transfer the mixture to a buttered casserole dish and spread evenly. Drizzle a few tablespoons of stock over the surface and around the edges. Let rest for a few minutes and then brush the surface with the beaten egg wash. Place the rookworst over the surface and gently press them lightly into the surface. Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and serve!