The days are getting shorter and colder. In short, time for a solid winter stew. Chef and mashed potatoes expert Werner Drent explains what the best mashed potatoes and explains what we can do with the leftovers.
Stews such as stew, kale with sausage, sauerkraut with bacon, hot lightning and endive stew are typically Dutch. No matter how different the traditional single-pan dishes are, the stews have one thing in common: they are prepared with potatoes.
Crumbly potato is the most suitable
"The most common types of potato for making a stew are crumbly potatoes," says Drent, chef and author of, among others, the Stamppotbijbel and Het grote stamppotboek .
"These potatoes fall apart quickly during cooking and are therefore very suitable for stew dishes."
"Doré and eigenheimer are real mashed potatoes." Werner Drent, chef and mash expert
There are different types of floury potatoes, each with their own taste. You can make a stew with the alpha or malta. The name malta is not a breed name, but derived from the island of Malta. The potatoes, with their full, creamy taste, are harvested by hand in April and May, and are available throughout the year - also in the Netherlands.
The doré and eigenheimer are very floury and flowery-tasting potatoes. "So real stewed potatoes", says Drent. The doré is an early potato and is harvested in the Netherlands from the beginning of June to August. The eigenheimer only from mid-August.
"And perhaps the most well-known potato type in the Netherlands, the bintje - crumbly to solid - is fairly neutral in taste and a tasty all-round potato," says Drent. "Handy for various potato dishes, and certainly for a stew."
The best potatoes for a stew:
- Malta / alpha
But Drent recommends that you choose a potato type that you prefer. A matter of trying out. In principle, any floury potato can be used with any stewed vegetable. "Depending on the type of vegetable in combination with a potato, you sometimes have to add more moisture," explains Drent. "For example, a stew with celeriac or cauliflower needs more extra moisture than a stew with leafy vegetables such as endive."
Make crisps from the skins
Anyone who has ever made a stew knows that you have to peel a lot of potatoes. And that produces a lot of peels. "Don't throw away the peels, make it into chips."
To do this, wash the peels and pat them dry in a tea towel or between kitchen paper. Then spread the skins on a baking sheet with baking paper. Sprinkle with salt (and possibly freshly ground black pepper) and a generous dash of olive oil and then mix them gently. Bake the potato peels in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Drent: "Keep an eye on them, because they can burn quickly."
Especially use the potato that you like when you make stew. Depending on the vegetables you sometimes have to add more moisture. (Photo: CookLoveShare)
Make leftover stew a pancake, smoothie or bitterbal
Drent also thinks it is a shame to throw away leftover stew. "You can do so much more with stew." Think of stew pancakes. For this you put half the flour in the batter. Instead, put a leftover stew in it. And what about stew soup? Simply mix the remaining stew with some broth in a pan and add fresh herbs for a little extra flavor.
A stew smoothie is also made in an instant by mixing a leftover (sweet) potato stew with some (coconut) milk and a banana. And finally - the favorite of Drent - the stew bitter bitterbal. Roll a few balls of stew through flour, egg white and breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the bitterballen then in hot oil for five minutes.