On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I was introduced to the quintessential Dutch staple - Stamppot (to the right of the chickens in the photo). It’s mashed potato with additions such as spinach or carrots. Dutch Colcannon, if you will. Usually eaten with meatballs, you’ll never find this in a restaurant, apparently, but it was for sale in this deli.
My friend Freek informs me that the average daily Dutch diet is bread and cheese for breakfast, bread and cheese for lunch, and stamppot for dinner. Every day. He points out that this is down to a Protestant austerity in the culture, where eating is considered a necessity, not a pleasure. A stark contrast from, say, the Italians…
Freek sent me this absolutely delectable sounding recipe for a truly posh stamppot. No quantities are given but this sort of dish is not rocket science. Thanks Freek!
Stamppot with quince and sauerkraut
Quinces are peeled and studded with three or four cloves each and boiled in two glasses of white wine with a tablespoon of apple butter and grated nutmeg and cinnamon and sugar until tender.
Cut them in small pieces of the size of dice and saute them in
butter until golden brown.
Boil one kilo of peeled floury potatoes in water with salt until ready.
Boil an equal amount of sauerkraut with three cloves.
Remove the cloves and mash the potatoes and the saurkraut carefully.
Add butter or milk and taste to see if it needs more salt. Gently mix the pieces of quince in the stamppot and add fresh walnuts from the present year. Serve immediately.
Variations: The walnuts may be replaced by almonds or cooked bacon from which the gravy is poured into a hole in the stamppot. The quinces can be replaced by raisins or other fruit. The filtered liquid from cooking the quinces can be used in a dessert, for example on baked bananas. Stamppot is often eaten with smoked sausage. After eating stamppot, a small jenever helps to digest.