‘Boeren-wat wat-pot?!‘ I hear you cry in despair! What’s she on about this time? I’m on about the ugliest, yet most delicious Dutch cuisine, and today, I’m gonna teach you how to make it yourself, because quite frankly, it’s the best comfort food ever, and a winter staple here in The Netherlands.
What Is Boerenkool Stamppot?
Stamppot is a cuisine from the Netherlands. In fact, it’s super simple to translate too: stamp – to stamp on something, or in this case, mash it up, and pot – as in, put it in a big one and leave it to boil for 30 minutes.
Boerenkool is a little harder to translate, and a little harder to say. Pronounce it ‘boor-en-coal‘ though and you’re practically winning. Boerenkool is simply kale, everyone’s favourite leafy vegetable that’s packed full of vitamins and minerals, and probably why Dutch people are super tall and strong (just kidding, it’s all the milk and cheese they consume).
I don’t know why I translated the words in the wrong order by the way, sorry.
When anyone asks me what this delightfully ugly dish is (I post it on Instagram at least once a week), I simply tell them that it’s ‘mashed kale and potato, with bacon lardons and a big sausage’. That’s always met with a few raised eyebrows, but you know the phrase – don’t judge a book by its cover, ok?!
Why Do the Dutch Eat Stamppot?
Stamppot isn’t contained to just the boerenkool variety, you know. In fact, there are plenty of delicious variations, including stamppot andijvie, hutspot, & even zuurkoolstamppot. As long as it includes potatoes (original or sweet) and some other form of vegetable, and it’s all mashed up, it’s a stamppot. And the Dutch are wild for it. As soon as the nights start drawing in, you’d better believe that bagged veggies specially packaged for stamppot become available.
I’m no historian, but a quick tap into Google’s search bar tells me that stamppot’s been around since the 1600’s. That’s proof enough that this is a tasty staple right? Still going strong over 400 years later? Who’d have thought it.
Traditionally eaten through the autumn and winter months, stamppot’s filling, and it’s made with all the veggies ripened for harvest – that’s why potatoes get the starring role I guess, and why other root veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and endive are thrown into the mix. This is a filling meal that’ll keep you going for the rest of the day – you’ve gotta give it a whirl. And that, my friends, (I guess), is why the Dutch love it so much.
Make your own Boerenkool Stamppot
Ready to learn how to make your very own ugly yet delicious boerenkool stamppot? I’ll tell you. It’s mind-bogglingly easy.
You Will Need
For 4 people (or 2 cheeky monkeys with big appetites!😁)
- 1 x 500g bag finely chopped kale
- 1 x 1kg bag potatoes
- 1 x packet bacon lardons / vegetarian lardons
- 1 x rookworst / vegetarian rookworst
- Milk / plant based milk – to taste, so add it with your heart
- Butter / plant based butter – again, add this with your heart and soul
- Salt & Pepper
- Yellow Mustard – for the finished product
- Clear Vinegar – for the finished product
Time to Prep & Get Cooking
You’ve got your ingredients, so let’s get going.
Firstly, fill your kettle and get it on. Then, grab your potatoes, and either peel them or don’t, this is your ugly Dutch meal. I’ve had it both ways, and with the peel, it’ll just be slightly more flavourful, and peely.
Chop your potatoes up into smaller chunks. Not so small that they turn to mush when they’re boiled – small enough to mash easily when they’re boiled.
Add the boerenkool (kale) and potatoes to a big pot, and pour the boiling water over them. Make sure all the veg is covered. Lob the lid on the pot, and set a timer for 15 minutes. It’s about to get steamy.
Unwrap the rookworst, and once your 15 minute timer has beeped, pop it into the pot with the veggies. Restart your timer at 15 minutes and leave it be.
When your timer’s at the 5 minute mark, fry the lardons in a pan, until they’re cooked to your liking. I like mine starting to get a bit crispy. Once they’re fried, drain the excess fat and pat them dry with some kitchen roll. Leave them be for a moment.
When your 15 minute timer goes off, remove the rookworst from the pot, and pop it on a plate. Then, drain the pot of water. I use a colander, because when I try to pour the water out using the pot’s lid, I end up covered in kaley steam.
Now you’ve got your potatoes and kale in the pot, and they’re ready to be stamped. Add salt & pepper, plus a little milk and butter (to your own taste) into the mix, and then stamp your vegetables to death.
Add the lardons, and mix.
Serve up your stamppot, adding an equal bit of rookworst for everyone who wants it. Add a little bit of mustard to taste, or, if you’ve got taste, pop some vinegar over the top. IT’S AMAZING. Imagine it’s fish and chips and go for it.