Stamppot met Boerenkool: A tasty simplicity of the Dutch cuisine 

Kim Krehl Kim Krehl

Dutch cuisine does not enjoy worldwide recognition and popularity, but it does have some specialties to offer that are worth knowing. In addition to numerous fried specialties, such as the famous Dutch fritjes (french fries) or kibbelings (fish snacks), hardly anyone can resist poffertjes (pancakes) with icing sugar or sweet pudding dishes. The Netherlands is, of course, also famous for its many cheese specialties and their freshly caught matjes (fish). But for now, I would like to draw attention to one particularly popular dish among young and old Dutch:  the so-called Stamppot.

In the often-rainy land of canals and cyclists, hearty stews are an essential component of the national cuisine. The basis of every Stramppot is mashed potatoes, which are similar in consistency to the more well-known mashed potatoes. In addition, various vegetables, such as boerenkool (kale) and traditionally rookworst, a smoked ring sausage, are part of the stew.

The Origin of Stamppot

During the Eighty Years’ War, the Netherlands was full of Spanish soldiers. The Spaniards brought the cuisine of the warm south: paella, tortilla de patatas, but also stew. The stew consisted of carrots, parsnips, onions, and meat and was eaten a lot in the Spanish army base. One says when the dikes near Leiden were breached in 1574, and the Spaniards suddenly withdrew, the hungry Dutch plunder their camp in search of food. There they found a pan with a vegetable slurry that would soon be known as a stew.

Even though it is probably nearly impossible to find a restaurant in Barcelona, that serves stamppot, Barcelona’s residents do not have to forego this tasty dish. Because the preparation of this dish could not be easier, even for absolute cooking beginners.

How to prepare Stamppot

  • ½ kg of potatoes, peeled, washed and quartered
  • ½ kg of curled kale, (Boerenkool) (dark green, washed, very finely chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • butter or margarine
  • pepper and salt
  • 1 sausage, (rook sausage, smoked sausage, alternatively large and thick goat sausages)

Instructions for preparation

If necessary, remove the hard parts from the kale. Put the kale in a saucepan, add water and a little salt, let it boil for about 15 – 20 min. Until it is evenly cooked. Put the potatoes in a saucepan, add water and a little salt and cook. Heat the rookworst (smoked sausage) in a saucepan with hot water but do not let them boil. Drain the water from the cabbage and potatoes. Steam the potato / let it dry a little. Mash the potato and make a nice puree with butter/margarine, salt, pepper, and milk. Add the cabbage and mix it very well. Place in a bowl and place the sausages on top and serve.

Tip 1: Prepare the stamppot as described, chill, and serve the next day. The taste is much better then.

Tip 2: In addition to the smoked sausage (thick bockwurst) in slices, you can add a gravy. It is also tasty to add apple sauce and enjoy the dish with a hearty cold beer.