This is a classic winter recipe from The Netherlands; Stamppot. A homey dish of boiled potatoes and other vegetables mashed together with milk and butter. Once served, everyone makes a hole in the top of their mash and like an erupting volcano fills it to overflowing with strong gravy .
As most of our Dutch residents grew up with this recipe, I asked them if it tasted okay the first time I made it for lunch. Yes, they all agreed, why do you ask? Well, I replied, you guys know better than me as I’ve not made it as often as you! (Maybe because mashed potatoes are a devil to clean from oryoki bowls with just a small spatula and hot water. Trust me, it’s been tried.)
On a recent visit to England I decided to take the plunge and cook it for tea while staying with my brother and sister-in-law. It was great to experience that what might be considered dead-normal fare in Holland could be fun and exciting in Lancashire. A real treat for all of us! So please enjoy a little taste of The Netherlands.
And be sure to serve it with a big (vegetarian) sausage with mustard.
1 kilo (2¼ pounds) floury potatoes
200 g (3 cups) chopped kale leaves
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
Salt to taste 120 ml (½ cup) milk, any kind unsweetened
60 -120 ml (¼ – ½ cup) reserved cooking water
- Peel the potatoes and cut into equal-sized pieces; about 4 cm (2 inch) square.
- Wash the kale, discard the tough stems and finely chop the leafy parts. (I found chopped kale in bag at a UK supermarket which made this recipe a cinch!)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil for the potatoes, and a smaller pot of salted water to the boil for the kale.
- Put the potatoes in the larger pot and return to the boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. The potatoes are ready when their sharp-looking edges start to round off and a knife point inserted into the middle of the potato slides through easily.
- Put the kale in the smaller pot and return to the boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
- Drain both the potatoes and kale, reserving some of the cooking water for the mash.
- Combine the kale with the potatoes. Add the butter or oil, milk and about 60 ml (¼ cup) of cooking water. Mash with a potato masher until there are no lumps. If needed, add a further 60 ml (¼ cup) more cooking water. Salt to taste.
- Serve with cooked runner beans, gravy, whole grain mustard, and a vegetarian sausage. (Pictured above: mashed potatoes with soy mince in mushroom gravy as I didn’t have any v. sausages.)