When I first told Nick I wanted to shoot this dish for the blog he straight up laughed in my face. ‘You don’t even like it’. He was right. But I had a plan. ‘What if we make a better, tastier version’. Nick, who is always up for a challenge, looked at me and said ‘Challenge accepted’.
It took us a whole day in the kitchen, but I think we did it.
As soon as it gets cold, Dutch people huddle together and cook winter classics such as Boerenkool stamppot (kale with mashed potatoes, bacon and smoked sausage), Hutspot (Carrots and onions with mashed potatoes, bacon and smoked sausage), Zuurkool stamppot (sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and you guessed it: bacon and smoked sausage) and of course Andijvie stamppot (endive with mashed potatoes, bacon and sausage). As you can tell, the Dutch kitchen is quite boring and I’ve never really liked it. But there is something about local cuisine. It should be preserved as it is part of our heritage.
We proudly present: Endive with mashed potatoes, the tasty version.
An original Nick & Angie recipe
For the hotchpot
400 grams of Endive, cut in small strips
1.5 kg of potatoes
a gulp of milk
a large piece of butter
red wine vinegar
For the leak
4 tablespoons of mustard
a large piece of butter
For the caramelised onions
10 medium-sized onions
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
For the poached egg
regular white vinegar
The cooking of the food
We’re going to start with the caramelised onions since they take the longest. Cut the onions in rings or half rings. Put a heavy pan (I used a big, cast iron pot) on the lowest heat on one of your medium-sized burners. Melt the butter, but don’t let it brown. Put in the onions. Stir regularly. Caramelising onions can take up to an hour. If they’re nice and brown, deglaze them with a few lugs of balsamic vinegar. You can alternatively use red wine vinegar.
Put the oven on 180°C. While the oven is heating up, peel your potatoes. Cut them in pieces of equal size. Put on some water and as soon as it’s boiling, throw in the potatoes. Parboil for about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain them in a colander and leave them for about 3 minutes.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and toss the potatoes on the tray. Spread them out evenly. Pick your weapon of choice and crush the potatoes. Don’t completely mash them, you want them to break into pieces, not purée. Mix about 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a handful of roughly torn sage in a bowl, toss it, and spread it over the potatoes. Put some pieces of garlic between the potatoes. No need to peel the garlic. Slice some butter into small cubes and put it on the potatoes. Place the tray in the oven for about 40-45 minutes.
In the meanwhile, fill up your kitchen sink with ice-cold water. Cut your endive in small strips and put it in your sink. Let the endive sit in your sink for 15 minutes to half an hour, giving the sand and dirt time to sink to the bottom. Take it out without disturbing the dirt, put it in a colander and put it aside to drain.
Don’t forget to stir your onions. If they aren’t getting any darker, you can put the heat a bit higher.
Take your leaks, wash them and cut them into fairly big pieces. One leak should become 4 or 5 pieces. Put a skillet on medium heat and heat up some butter until browned. Put in your leaks. Place some cubes of butter and all the mustard on top of the leaks and cover the skillet. Let it stew for about 10 minutes. No need to turn or stir, just leave them be.
When the potatoes are finished, put them in a big pot. Get out your masher or ricer and mash them. Add milk and butter until it becomes a smoothish mixture. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Don’t forget to taste! Mashed potatoes usually need a lot more salt than you think. Now add in the endive bit by bit and mix up. Make sure to keep a good potato:endive ratio. Too much endive and it becomes a weirdly starchy salad, too much potato and it’s too soggy.
Fill half of a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Break an egg in a little bowl, making sure the yolk stays intact. Add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the boiling water. Make sure the water boils lightly and stir it to form a little whirlpool. Carefully pour the egg into the water while it still swirls slowly. Let it softly simmer for about 3 minutes and take it out with a skimmer. Let the excess water leak off on a piece of paper towel. Serve while still hot.
Put the hotchpot on a plate, put a poached egg on top and add caramelised onions and leaks. Enjoy a Dutch classic!