Dutch Kitchen: Hutspot Recipe

The Dutch get creative with their meat and potatoes
This hutspot recipe is perfect for blah weather

One of the most popular traditional Dutch meals is hutspot, known in English as hotchpotch. And a good hutspot recipe is a must-have for expats in the Netherlands.

According to legend, the dish began life as cooked potato bits left behind by the Spanish during their hasty retreat following the siege of Leiden in 1574 during the Eighty Year’s War.

During Nazi occupation during World War Two, hutspot became a symbol of Dutch freedom as all the ingredients, being grown beneath the ground, could be kept from Nazi sight.

Nowadays, this warm mash of vegetables is a great dish for the autumn and winter months. It’s filling, warm, and healthy.

I recently used the following recipe to make hutspot for a friend visiting from the U.S. She, like another pal I’d made the dish for back in the spring, absolutely loved it, calling it “the perfect blend of all the comfort foods.”

My favorite part about this dish is that it’s delightfully simple to make and literally anything can be added to it, from other vegetables to any combination of any spices.

Here’s how it’s made:

If you really want to do it the old-fashioned Dutch way, you’ll need:

Hutspot
Mashed potato with carrot, onion
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound potatoes, peeled
  2. 1 pound carrots, peeled
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. curry powder
  5. milk
  6. butter
  7. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and roughly chop potatoes and carrots, and add to a pot of water. Boil until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop an onion and sauté in oil until soft and transparent. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Once the vegetables have finished boiling, drain the pot of water.
  4. Mash vegetables together, adding butter and milk to make moist and fluffy.
  5. Season to taste with curry powder, salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. The Dutch pretty much live on a meat and potatoes diet, and hutspot tends to follow that rule. If you’d like to add some meat to your hutspot, you can serve with a worst or smoked sausage on the side; dice and cook slab bacon and mix it through before serving; drizzle each serving with gravy; serve alongside pot roast.
  2. Equally delicious as a vegetarian dish. Eat alone or add raisins, dried apricots, or chopped/sliced roasted apple.
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Eet smakelijk!

What’s your favorite drab-weather dish? If you’ve tried hutspot before or given this recipe a go, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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Arnhem’s Openlucht Museum wins the 2009 BankGiro Loterij Museumprijs

Testing out the old Dutch cupboard beds at the Openlucht Museum in Arnhem

The BankGiro Loterij is the cultural lottery in the Netherlands. Each year, in association with Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the BankGiro Loterij selects one museum as the recipient of the Museumprijs (museum award) and €100,000. Each year has a different theme. In 2008, the category was archeological museums. For 2009, judges were looking for museums with the goal of making Dutch history accessible to both children and adults.

This year’s winner is the Openluchtmuseum  (Open Air Museum) in Arnhem. The museum’s director Pieter-Matthijs Gijsbers is elated by the outcome: “We are a museum of Dutch for all Dutch. I would like to warmly thank all those who voted for us.”

Jury members praised the museum for it’s success in representing the culture of Dutch daily living through hands-on activities, displays, and shows. The museum’s aim is to bring Dutch folk life and traditions to life in an outdoor setting.

Established in 1912, the museum is due to celebrate 100 years in 2012. In 1987, the Dutch government prepared to shut down the museum, but a flood of visitors on the day it was set to close forced the government to leave it open. Wise move as the museum is still popular today and was also awarded the European Museum of the Year in 2005.

In May 2009, I had the pleasure of visiting the Openluchtmuseum. Luckily, although the weather was threatening before we left, it turned out to be a beautiful day. We saw a live weaving demonstration, walked through a sea of windmills, strolled through their beautiful gardens, saw the interiors and exteriors of 17th century Dutch homes and farms, chugged free samples at their onsite brewery, and I even got to test out a typical Dutch cupboard bed! If you go, be sure to take a look through some of the quaint little shops and have some of their sensational poffertjes for lunch.

You can get into the Openluchtmuseum for free with a Museumkaart. Entry is €14,00 for adults and €9,80 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under get in for free. You can even bring Fido along! The museum is open from April 1 through November 1 from 10am-5pm.

This site contains affiliate links. When you buy something using those links, a portion of your purchase goes to helping update and maintain Clogs and Hotdogs. Thank you for your support!