Sunday 19 December 2004

Untraditional Hutspot

This dish has a history that goes back to 1574 when the Spanish left an old version of it behind when they gave up besieging the city of Leiden. Potatoes and possibly carrots weren't known in Europe as edible at the time and were added to the recipe later.
The way most Dutch people now eat it is as a mash of potatoes, carrots, onions and rib of beef. Personally I don't like the rib of beef and have made this dish for years without it. Last week I experimented a bit more with it and came up with a version that is even tastier.

It's perfect winter comfort food, although I eat it all year round. It would be easy to make a vegetarian version of this by removing the sausage and using vegetable stock.

2 to 3 litres chicken stock * (because of availability I used a mixture of about 20% vegetable stock and 80% chicken stock)
1 kg carrots (the big chunky ones you get in winter would be best)
600 g potato (one big baking potato)
500 g red sweet potato *
300 g can of borlotti beans (or brown beans if you can get them)
400 g of onions and/or shallots
2 leeks
2 garlic cloves
teaspoon of dried chopped dill *
half teaspoon of 'Provencal herbs' *
low fat smoked sausage (optional. I think low fat smoked sausage tastes better than the full fat kind)
freshly ground pepper

* I didn't actually measure these ingredients, this is just a guess

Serves four, apart from the sausage which only serves two. If you are making it for two, make it for four, it's perfect for reheating.

Bring the stock to a boil in a large pan and add the not too finely chopped onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and the dill, Provencal herbs and some salt to a large pan.
Chop the potato, sweet potato and carrots into equal pieces (carrots a bit smaller than the potatoes) and add them to pan,
Bring back to boil.
If adding the smoked sausage, remove it from all packaging and lay it on top of the vegetables in the pan (on the package it will probably say something like 'boil for 15 minutes in packaging', just ignore that).
Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes and the carrots are cooked.
Add the beans (drained) and keep it going for a bit longer to heat the beans.

Remove the sausage.
Drain (catching the liquid).
Mash (add a slight amount of the liquid or milk to make a fairly smooth mash).
Season with the pepper and possibly some salt.

Serve with the sausage.

Originally posted at

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