Tag: dutch

Hutspot – Dutch Mash with Meatballs

While I was born and raised in the Netherlands, coming from an immigrant background I largely grew up on Indonesian food. Stamppot wasn’t something I had often, and it remains something that’s kind of exotic to me.

European nasi goreng

Stamppot, literally mash or stomp pot, is basically a European nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice). I.e. a carb (potatoes) combined with (root) vegetables and sometimes meat from what you can imagine may have been leftovers from the days before. While a lot of Dutch people like to think stamppot is unique to the Netherlands, the UK has bubble and squeak for example and babies have baby food, which are pretty much the same thing.

Hutspot in a white plate with a blue rim, surrounded by a pool of gravy with a meatball in the middle and a potato masher in the shape of the Netherlands

What the Fuck is Stamppot and when do I eat it?

Stamppot comes in many varieties, more so now that people are trying to incorporate the flavors of the Dutch immigrant community into their national dish. But the most traditional and well-known versions are:

  • Hutspot, with potatoes, carrots and onions
  • Boerenkool, with potatoes and kale
  • Zuurkool, with potatoes and sauerkraut
  • Andijviestamppot, with potatoes and endive (the green kind, not chicory)

Every family has their own stamppot recipes and traditions, though generally you can’t go wrong with adding some fried bacon bits to any of the above. Most stamppots, as any food mash, will be had with a side of gravy and either meatballs or slowly cooked beef, like klapstuk or ‘draadjesvlees’, a mild Dutch daging semur, if we’re going to keep this comparison to Indonesian food going.

I’ll be perfectly honest and say I rarely eat any of the above because they are just too mushy for me and the only thing I’d really like to get a handle on is making gravy, because gravy is god.

Of the above my favorite stamppot is andijviestamppot with cheese and bacon, because cheese and bacon. I won’t see me near boerenkool or zuurkool unless it’s by brute force, but I do eat hutspot once a year. As is the custom in the city that I live in.

Because it’s quite heavy and stodgy, hutspot is typical winter fare. We have it for dinner with some kind of meat and gravy to make a complete dinner.

Leidens Ontzet: Hutspot for Days

During the 80 year war with Spain, Leiden was under siege by the Spanish. Legend has it that, after the liberation of the city, a small boy, starving from the siege, ventured beyond the city limits and found a pot of hutspot (then comprised of parsnips, carrots and onions) that could feed the entire city.

As unrealistic as this scenario isis, the pot is still on display at the Lakenhal and Leiden and its inhabitants still celebrate it’s old found independence every year by getting extremely drunk on October 2nd and then getting up early (not all of us) for herring and white bread the next day. There’s a fun fair and a parade. With markets and stages with local bands performing throughout the city.

And there is hutspot. Most Leidenaren (as the local inhabitants are called) won’t even eat hutspot much of the rest of the year and if you do you may get yelled it. I have joined this custom. But more so because my Dutch cooking is quite poor and I don’t really like it anyway. I go see my friend’s mom at Leids Ontzet however, and she’s a mean cook. So that’s how that happens.

An overhead shot of a white enamel plate with a blue trim, filled with a carrot and potato mash with two key shaped carved out and filled with gravy. The plate is on a concrete background with a blue checked dish towel at the top and some unpeeled potatoes and coarsely cut onions and carrots scattered at the bottom of the photo.

Hutspot - Dutch Mash with Meatballs and Gravy

Dorothy Porker
My take on hutspot, a classic Dutch mash of potatoes, onions and carrots with meatballs and gravy, with a little help from Dutch Twitter.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main course
Cuisine Dutch
Servings 4


  • Dutch oven or similar
  • Large pot
  • Saucepan


For the meatballs

  • 1 lbs - 500 gr minced meat 50-50 beef-pork is preferred, avoid lean mince as it's too dry
  • 1 bag ready-made spice mix for meatballs yes, really - or see below
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 T - 15 gr caramelized shallots the kind you put on a hotdog
  • butter for frying

If you really don't want to use a ready-made spice mix

  • 2 T - 30 gr breadcrumbs
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch paprika
  • pinch chili optional

For the gravy

  • 1/2 T - 7 gr plain flour
  • 1/2 c - 120 ml beef stock home-made or from a cube

For the hutspot

  • 1 lbs - 500 gr floury potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 lbs - 500 gr carrots coarsely grated
  • 7 oz - 200 gr onions thinly sliced
  • 2 T / 30 gr butter
  • 1/2 c / 60 gr cheese grated, optional but recommended
  • 1/2 c / 60 gr bacon cut into small cubes and fried to a crisp, optional but recommended
  • cream or full fat milk to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


To make the meatballs

  • Mix together the 10 oz - 500 gr of beef, spice mix, 1 egg and 1 T - 15 gr of fried onion until well-combined.
  • TIP: If you want to tweak flavor, mix everything together, fry a tiny pinch of the mixture in a frying pan, taste, tweak, and so forth.
  • If you want nice and even sized balls, weigh the end result and divide by however many balls you’re going to need. Roll the balls in your hands until they are nice and smooth, or keep them nice and crude.
  • Let your balls set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, this will help them hold their shape when you fry them.
  • Melt a good helping of butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy based deep pan.
  • Once the butter has stopped foaming drop in the balls and roll them around gently until all sized have reached an even brown sear.
  • Place on a very low heat and leave to cook for 20 minutes with the lid on, rolling them over every so often, until your balls are semi-solid and cooked through.

To make the gravy

  • NOTE: if your butter has burned you will not want to make gravy like this.
  • Remove the balls from the Dutch oven.
  • Stir in 1/2 T - 7 gr of flour to make a light roux. Be sure to let it go for 1-2 minutes to let the flour cook and avoid a floury taste to your gravy.
  • Slowly stir in the 1/2 c - 120 ml of beef stock until the gravy has slightly thickened. If your gravy doesn't thicken you can add 1/2 T - 7 gr of corn flour and gently stir this in until thickened.

To make the hutspot

  • Cook 10 oz - 500 gr peeled and diced potatoes and grated carrot for 20 minutes or so until all are tender.
  • While that is happening, melt some butter into a heavy bottomed saucepan and slowly wilt down 7 oz - 200 gr of finely sliced onions until they’ve gone from sweating, to translucent to golden brown. Stir them frequently to avoid burning.
  • Drain the potatoes and carrots, add the onions with an additional pat of butter and mash everything to all hell. If you’re using additional dairy or other ingredients like the bacon and cheese now is the time to add them. Most people like their hutspot kind of lumpy, but you can go as fine as you like.
  • Season to taste. Serve with the gravy and meatballs, or that European daging semur I don’t have a recipe for.
Keyword dutch mash, dutch recipe, hutspot, mash, meatballs, potatoes

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor hutspot met jus en gehaktballen.

Rendang Bitterballen

I’ve considered making rendang bitterballen for years. Bitterballen are a Dutch deep fried snack, and are basically nothing more than a small round croquette (or ‘kroket’, as we would call them).

If the British invented tapas

Over here we have deep fried snacks like croquettes on-the-go. Bitterballen are basically a smaller version of those and used as a party or bar snack. Think of what would happen if British people had invented tapas and you’ll get the idea.

Personally I think our little portable deep fried snacks are one of the best things we’ve got going for us here, food wise, but a lot of this stuff is made with mystery meat (guess who was at the center of the horsemeat scandal…) so it’s kind of best left alone. Unless you’re drunk or sad and are on a trainstation and in dire need of a snack of course.

Anyway… Dutch people are always trying to make new versions of krokets and often they’re kinda yikes. Especially when it involves recipes from the former colonies, like Indonesia. So when Mora, the main purveyor of frozen deep fried snacks for home use, released their new rendang kroket, I had to make good on my dreams of a rendang bitterbal.

Rendang bitterbal experiment success!

Turns out: I was right. The broth from slow cooker rendang is amazing and rich. Using it to turn into a rich creamy ragout and then deep frying it is a magical wonderful thing. I may never have rendang ‘the old fashioned way’ again.

Keep in mind that you’ll need at least 2 days to put this together.

I used Koken Met Kennis’ beef kroket (Dutch) recipe as a foundation for my recipe. Their insights into how to make a good kroket turned out to be invaluable.

For my first run I had these with Donna Hay’s key lime mayo, which is a mixture of lime zest, key lime leaves and Japanese mayo. I thought the acidity worked quite well with the richness of the rendang bitterbals. But I’m still looking for the perfect dip. Hit me up in the comments if you have an idea. 🙂

A cube built out of bitterballen on a bright yellow background.

Homemade rendang bitterballen

Dorothy Porker
If these rendang bitterballen are the only thing I've contributed to life on earth that's fine by me.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Course Party snack, Snack
Cuisine Dutch, Fusion, Indonesian
Servings 20 - 25 bitterballen


  • Slowcooker
  • Sieve
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Plates x 3
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Oven tray
  • Foil for covering the tray


For the rendang broth

  • 18 oz - 500 gr blade or pot roast beef cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 large onions roughly chopped
  • 2 stems lemon grass bruised and tied into a knot
  • 4 makrut lime leaves crushed and bruised - you can find this in Asian super markets, usually in the freezer
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves fresh or dried from an Asian supermarket
  • 1" - 1.5 cm galengal
  • 2 T - 30 gr sambal ulek or 2 finely chopped red chilies
  • 3/4 c - 200 ml coconut milk
  • 3/4 c - 200 ml water

For the bitterballen

  • 1.7 oz - 50 gr butter
  • 1.7 oz - 50 gr plain flour
  • 3 sheets gelatin soaked in water
  • 2 large eggs whisked for at least 2 minutes
  • 1.7 oz - 50 gr plain flour
  • 2.6 oz - 75 gr breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep fat frying


Step 1: Make rendang broth

  • Basically chuck everything all the ingredients for the rendang broth in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. I am sure shorter and on high would work equally well, but I never do anything fast in my slow cooker. It seems to defeat the purpose.
  • Remove the meat from the broth, reserving the liquids and cut the meat into smaller pieces.
  • Strain the liquid through a sieve so all the onion, herbs and spices are removed. You should be left with exactly 1 3/4 c - 400 ml of the broth, if you have less you should be fine diluting it with water until you land this amount no problem.

Step 2: Make the ragout

  • Get a heavy based saucepan and melt 1.7 oz - 50 gr of butter on a medium low heat before stirring in 1.7 oz/ 50 gr of flour to start your roux.
  • Once the roux starts letting go of the bottom of the pan, after 2-3 minutes or so, add half of the broth. Stir continuously until the sauce starts to thicken. Now add the remainder of the broth and keep stirring to get rid of any lumps.
  • Bring to the boil briefly before adding squeezing out 3 gelatine sheets and adding them in. Stir again until well-combined.
  • Finally add the meat and stir again until the mixture is well-combined and has come to the boil. I like to use a whisk for this so the meat tears and is scattered in threads and lumps throughout the ragout.
  • Move the ragout to an oven tray and leave to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature before covering and moving it to your fridge to cool completely for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Step 3: Make the balls

  • Divide and roll the ragout into roughly 20-25 medium sized balls. If you want to be precise about it: they should be about 1.2" / 3 cm's in diameter and roughly 0.7 oz/ 20 grams in weight. Use cold water to prevent them from sticking to your hand too much and to create a smoother outer surface.
  • Now set up your bread crumbing station. Coat your balls in the following order: Flour-> Egg-> Breadcrumbs-> Egg-> Breadcrumbs.
  • Once you've rolled and breadcrumbed all your balls, move them back to your fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up. If you're not going to eat them all you can freeze some for later. If you do freeze them make sure they don't touch so they don't get stuck together, this will prevent a lot of heartbreak later.
  • You're ready to fry!
  • Heat your deep fat fryer to 360° F/ 180° C and, depending on the size of your fryer and your balls, fry your bitterbals in groups of 3 to 5 until they are golden and crisp, 3-5 minutes or so. Serve hot with mayo or sambal manis.


I don't have an air fryer myself, so I don't know if you can make these in an air fryer. From what I've read, anything self-battered or bread crumbed doesn't fare well in air fryers so I have to recommend against trying this. But you do you, live dangerously and try, and let me know how that worked out, if it did.
Once breaded you can freeze any rendang bitterballen you don't plan eating straight away for up to 3 months. Fry them for 5-7 minutes to avoid a nasty frozen core. 
Keyword bitterballen, dutch recipe, Indonesian food, Indonesian recipe, rendang

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar VetteSletten.nl voor rendang bitterballen.