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Stamppot is a traditional dish in Dutch cuisine that is often served in the cold winter months. Although its exact ingredients may widely vary depending on the particular cook, it often consists of cooked root vegetables, primarily potatoes, but may also include other root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, carrots, or celery root, which are mashed together. To make the dish more filling, it is also often paired with meat. These meat pairings may include smoked bacon; rookworst, which is a Dutch style of smoked sausage; or strips of sautéed pork fat known as lardon.
The exact history behind the creation of stamppot is not conclusively known. One widely held belief is that the dish came about as the result of scraps of potatoes being left behind in the Netherlands by Spanish soldiers in the sixteenth century during the Eighty Year’s War. Prior to the sixteenth century, potatoes, the main ingredient in the dish, were not thought to have been present in the Netherlands.
Stamppot is often prepared by first boiling the potatoes in water until they are heated through and have a soft, pliable texture. If other root vegetables are being used in the dish, they can be either boiled along with the potatoes or in a separate pot. Once all of the root vegetables are cooked through and softened, they are mashed together with a potato masher, wooden spoon, or other flat-bottomed utensil, until they are combined in the desired texture. If meat is being used in the dish, it is generally cooked in a separate pan and then added to the mashed vegetables.
Although the traditional stamppot recipe tends to be prepared mainly with potatoes and other root vegetables, there are common variations to the ingredients. Some versions of the dish may replace the root vegetables with boiled greens instead. Greens that are often substituted in the dish include cabbage, kale, endive, spinach, or sauerkraut. Other ingredients may also be added to make the dish more flavorful or give it a creamier texture, such as milk, butter, broth, or applesauce.