Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stoemp Met Wortelen (Stoemp with Carrots)

Since winter has arrived, I couldn't resist making this wonderful winter dish.  A traditional dish from Brussels, "stoemp" has everything you need to stay fat warm and happy!  It basically is a type of mashed potatoes with a large amount of vegetables mashed right in with the potatoes.  And you can do it with all kinds of vegetables, although each one will require a slightly different preparation.

This time we'll focus on Stoemp with carrots, one of my favorites, especially when served with a nice banger-like sausage (although it should have a bit more of a peppery taste to it).

What do you need?

For two people you'll need:

6 to 7 large potatoes
10 large carrots
1 large onion
1 to 2 cups of milk

Let's get cooking!

1. Start by peeling the potatoes and cleaning the carrots and onion. 

2 Boil the potatoes to the point where they're soft enough to make mashed potatoes (usually around 18-20 minutes, but it varies according to the size of the potatoes).  You can halve the potatoes to shorten the cooking time.  Make sure to add plenty of salt to the water.

3.  Dice the carrots into small cubes.  Do the same thing for the onion. Melt a tablespoon of good, unsalted butter in a small frying pan or pot.

4. Once the butter has melted, add the onion.  Stir it until it has become glazy.  At that point, add in the diced carrots.  Keep it on a low fire for about 15 minutes, while stirring regularly.  You may need to add a little more butter or olive oil if you prefer.  Once the carrots are soft, you can remove them from the fire.

5.  When the potatoes are cooked, pour away the water and leave the potatoes in the pot. Mash them up a little bit before adding in the carrots.

6.  Add the carrots, a tablespoon of butter, lots of pepper and freshly ground nutmeg.  Also pour in about a cup of milk to ensure the stoemp is moist enough.  Add more later if need be.

7.  Mash it all together so that you get a consistent orange-yellow mass.

8.  Taste it to check whether it needs more spices or butter, or milk.

Serve with sausage, porkchops or thick bacon.

To wash it down, I suggest a dark beer with spices, such as a Belgian trappist or abbey beer.  A nice pale ale will also go great with it!

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