Saturday, February 20, 2010


I was going to say that I "cobbled" this recipe together from about a dozen from various sources, when I decided instead, in honor of the Olympic figure skaters, to say that I "choreographed" it. Why shouldn't Stamppot be a work of art! It's humble, yet nourishing ... and lends itself well to expressing creativity!

As well, I had expert advice from my friend Nathalie who is from the Netherlands. It is because of her that the bacon went in ... apparently it is important to have bacon for authenticity.

Combining greens with potatoes is a fairly common method of getting a filling, hot meal together quickly and cheaply in countries where tubers, brassicas, crucifers and cold-hardy greens are grown. The Dutch have Stamppot, the British have Bubble and Squeak, and the Scots even have Rumbledethumps. The Irish have Colcannon, and Champ, which can be made with all manner of green things.

I thought that this was a dish that threatened to be boring without some ... greater interest, so I added Yukon gold (firm) potatoes in with the CSA Russets (floury) to vary the texture, and used leeks (which I had on hand) instead of the expected onion, some garlic, and three kinds of greens--CSA spinach, CSA cabbage, and grocery store kale.

Very satisfying, very tasty! Comfort food at its finest. This is my very first attempt at Stamppot ever, and its lusciousness is the reason you should never be afraid to experiment and trust your instincts. And some expert advice always helps!

I must emphasize the extreme adaptability of this dish; use what you have, or what appeals to you. Just keep in mind the finished color, texture and taste of your Stamppot!

It can also be served with butter, or a fried egg may be placed atop each serving.

3 pounds CSA Russet potatoes
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

1/2 pound natural bacon, in 1/2-inch dice

2 cups kale, sliced and chopped small
2 cups CSA spinach, chopped small
2 cups CSA cabbage, chopped small
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced and chopped small
2 medium carrots, in 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic

8 to 10 natural sausages

Peel the potatoes. Cut the Russets into evenly-sized pieces. Cut the Yukons into slightly smaller pieces than the Russets, as they take longer to cook. Place potatoes in large pot and just cover with salted water. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are soft and appear to have the right texture for smashing.

Meanwhile, slice the sausages if desired, or leave whole. Fry until browned and done through, deglazing the pan with a splash of white wine. Transfer to a dish and set aside. In same pan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Remove bacon fat except for two tablespoons, or remove all bacon fat and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add chopped vegetables and cook, adding about 1/2 cup water and stirring occasionally, until carrots are soft but kale and spinach are still bright green.

Drain potatoes, reserving water. With a potato masher, smash potatoes into a satisfactory state, adding reserved water (or use milk) to get a good non-dry consistency. Don't mash them 'til creamy, though. Stir in the vegetables and bacon just until blended. Serve Stamppot in generous scoops with sausage alongside.

Makes about 10 generous servings.

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