Originating in the 1600s, stamppot is one of the oldest Dutch recipes that remains popular today. The traditional Dutch stamppot recipes use mashed potatoes as the base, and then incorporate a vegetable (most often sauerkraut, kale, endive, spinach, and turnip greens) and sometimes a meat, making the quintessential comfort food dish. There are no real rules about what goes into a stamppot, though, so the variety is as endless as your imagination.
Stamppot originated as winter dish, perfect to fill up the potato farmers during harvest. One of the first stamppots created is the hutspot, which was born out of the Dutch's "Eighty Year's War" with Spain. The story goes that when the Spanish soldiers fled, they left behind bits of a stew that the starving Dutch welcomed and named "hutspot," meaning "mix pot."
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Due to its high vitamin C content, sauerkraut has long been viewed as a healthy food during the cold Dutch winters. Nowadays, however, zuurkoolstamppot is eaten because of its sweet-sour-salty flavor. It's also becoming trendy due to the increasing awareness of the health benefits of lacto-fermentation as is used to make sauerkraut from cabbage.
After the bacon is cooked, the sauerkraut is warmed in the bacon fat and then folded into the mashed potatoes. The mixture is topped with crispy bacon and celery leaves (called selderieblad), a common herb in the Netherlands. A traditional addition to this dish is the smoked Dutch sausage called rookworst, so feel free to place a link on top of the stamppot if you like.
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In the Netherlands, curly endive (frisée or endive lettuce) is most often used in andijviestamppot, a traditional winter stamppot. The contrast between the slightly bitter edge of the curly green leaves and the creamy richness of the potatoes is what works here. And by adding the raw endive to the potatoes while they're hot, the curly leaves wilt a little, while still keeping their shape. The crispy bacon adds just the right texture and salty flavor, making andijviestamppot the perfect dish on a cold winter day.
This simple yet delicious recipe can be enjoyed as a main course, filling lunch, or even a side dish along roasted meat or chicken. If you want a richer dish, add small cubes of young Gouda cheese. It could also be combined with meatballs, sausage, rookworst, and gravy.
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Long before kale became a food craze in the U.S., it was already a popular ingredient in the Dutch winter kitchen. Called boerenkool in Dutch, the most common use of kale is in traditional boerenkoolstamppot met rookworst—but only in the winter as kale is thought to be the best after the first frost.
In traditional boerenkoolstamppot recipes the kale is boiled, but to give the greens a bit more flavor and retain their shape they are sauteed in a little olive oil in this recipe. Then the kale is mixed into the hot mashed potatoes and topped with slices of smoked sausage.