Winter has officially arrived, and it's even rumoured that we're having snow this week. So it seems the right time to share my all-time favourite comfort food with you: 'zuurkoolstamppot'. Although I have to admit that I'm known to cook this on the warmest day of the year, or as we say in Dutch: "When the sparrows fall from the roof."
I believe that 'stamppot' is a traditional Dutch/German concept since it doesn't even translate in English, Spanish and French. The only thing I could find, were descriptions of what it was. So let me explain: 'stamppot' is a mash of potatoes and vegetables, usually accompanied by pieces of meat. This recipe is a potato mash with sauerkraut (zuurkoolstamppot), but we also have varieties with kale (boerenkool), carrot and onions (hutspot), and endive lettuce (andijviestamppot). But you can call any vegetable mixed with mashed potatoes a 'stamppot' so the varieties are endless.
The recipe asks for a generous amount of butter and milk, but for those of you who eat dairy-free it's quite easy to make it so. The milk can simply be replaced by a dairy-free alternative, and the butter can be replaced by the fat from the pork belly, or, when you eat vegetarian or plant-based, by a neutral tasting oil. I've tried all combinations, and I think they work quite well. Happy cooking!
- Peel 1,5kg potatoes, cut them in even-sized pieces, boil until they're cooked through, drain off, and put them aside. Don't cover with a lid, so the steam can clear off.
- While the potatoes are on, put 1kg sauerkraut in a small pan, cover with a lid, and place over medium-low heat. The sauerkraut only needs to warm up, so if it starts to bubble, lower the heat.
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat, add a tiny knob of butter, and fry the slices of pork belly.
- Mash the potatoes with 200ml whole milk, 50g butter, and 1tbsp mustard. Make it as smooth or chunky as you like. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Drain off the sauerkraut, and stir it through the mashed potatoes.
- Serve with the slices of pork belly.
* I'm aware these ingredients are not vegetarian or plant-based. In the last paragraph above the recipe I share how to subsitute them.