Dutch Rucola Stamppot and Meatballs

You probably don't hear much about Dutch food. The Dutch are known for their painters (Rembrandt, van Gogh, Vermeer), tulips and our windmills, but not so much for out cuisine. While Dutch food can be very delicious. We Dutch people either mash our food, boil our food, or deep-fry our food. Our cuisine is simple, hearty, and rustic, which describes most of my favourite dishes. 
A very popular dish that we eat is  stamppot. On a cold, gray winter day, Dutch stamppot with gravy and a meatball is a bowl of comfort and delight. For those who don't know, stamppot is where we combine mashed potatoes with mashed vegetables. My personal favourite is an apple and sauerkraut stamppot, but batavian endive is really good as well. Unfortunately, Batavian endive is something very dutch and is hard to find in England, but an alternative is curly leaf cabbage. 

Today I will show you a different kind of stamppot, using rucola salad. I came with this idea when I forgot to buy the curly leave cabbage, but I had rucola at home. Best idea ever. The rucola gives a lot of flavour, since it's a bit peppery, while curly leave cabbage barely has any flavour.
This recipe is super easy and fail-proof. You only use three different spices, nutmeg, pepper and salt, and you will need some bacon, milk and butter that will make this stamppot traditional and yummy.

A stamppot is either served with a traditional smoked sausage, or a classic dutch meatball. This blogpost will teach you the classic meatball, the way my grandma used to do it. This meatball can be used for multiple Dutch dishes and is oh so delicious. I guarantee you that Swedish meatballs are nothing compared to a juicy, Dutch meatball. 

Dutch Rucola Stamppot and Meatballs


Grandma's Dutch meatballs
- 500gr minced beef
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 (red) Onion, diced
- Fresh parsley, chopped up
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1tbs kicap
- 1tbs tomatopuree
- 2 tbs of Butter

Stamppot
- 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used oat milk, but whole milk is traditional)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt
- 2 tbs butter
- 250gr diced bacon
- 1 (red) onion, diced
- 140gr rucola 

Method

Meatballs
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium to high heat, add the butter and let it brown. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients apart from butter into a big bowl (minced beef, egg, salt and pepper, onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, kicap and tomatopurree). Knead everything together, divide the mixture into 5 parts and make a total of 5 balls.
  2. When the skillet is hot and the butter browned, you can add the meatballs into the pan. Cook the meatballs until they are nicely browned around. When completely browned, add a cup of hot water and cover the skillet. Let the meatballs steam for 20-25 minutes.         

Rucola Stamppot                                                
  1. Put the potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large pot. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tinder, 10-15 minutes. Scoop out a cup of potato cooking-water and set aside. Drain potatoes and return them to the pot. Add butter, milk, salt to taste, pepper and nutmeg. Mash potatoes with a potato-masher. For creamier potatoes add the potato cooking water, a little at a time, stirring, until you get the desired texture.
  2. In a medium skillet, add the bacon and onion. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until fat dissolves a bit and bacon starts to get golden. Set aside when the bacon is the desired colour. 
  3. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the mashed potatoes and add the rucola. Mash until thoroughly combined. Divide the rocula-potato mash between 2 or 3 bowls. Serve with the meatball and maybe a little bit of extra gravy. Enjoy!

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