• Saturday, August 8, 2020

hutspot recipe

Lorenzo Manuali's Hutspot
By , Food Contributor
July 29, 2020

I remember Amsterdam like it was yesterday. The evening sun had just set, and the winter breeze pushed the cold North Sea air on my cheek. My friend Robby and I made our way through the canals the city is known for, wandering along unfamiliar cobblestone streets. We started to crave a local meal, so we ducked into a nearby tavern-like spot. When I travel, I like to go as authentic as possible, and with wooden walls and ornate carvings, this nondescript typical Dutch bar was perfect for a cold winter’s night. As it was my first eve in Amsterdam, I was looking to sample the local cuisine, and on the recommendation of my waiter, I ordered something that I had never even heard of before: hutspot.

What was described to me as “Dutch mashed potatoes” was so much more than that. I dug into my decadent hutspot, which in addition to potatoes includes carrots and onions that are boiled and mashed to add a deeper, sweeter flavor. Hutspot is also usually cooked with klapstuk, a braised cut of beef from the rib section. It’s a marbled cut, allowing the fatty juices from the beef to seep into the hutspot and add more depth of flavor.

The other (more pub-style) way to serve hutspot is with a large meatball in the center. As you cut into the meatball, its juices seep into the hutspot, imparting their pleasant, hearty flavor and filling you with comfort — perfect on a chilly winter evening. You can make hutspot your own though, which if served as a side, shines when paired with something that has a rich and juicy sauce or fat that seeps into the potato mixture. Alternatively, I think hutspot is a star in itself, and with my recipe, it’s a main dish.

My recipe for hutspot is without any sort of meat flanking it, though serving it (and perhaps cooking it) with a nice cut of beef would certainly be in line with tradition. My recipe also contains some departures from tradition, such as caramelizing the onions in a sauté pan instead of boiling them, glazing the carrots slightly, and adding cream cheese for a touch of creaminess, but I think these slight adjustments are well worth it. Adding flavor to each ingredient that complements the flavor of hutspot (e.g., sweet, nutty goodness from caramelized onions) creates a layering of flavors that’s simply divine.

 

Lorenzo's Hutspot

Ingredients

4 medium onions, diced
4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut thinly
6 medium-sized russet potatoes
1 bay leaf
8 tablespoons butter, 4 of which should be softened
½ cup scalding milk
3 tablespoons cream cheese
¼ ounce chives, chopped
Salt
Pepper to taste

Directions

Fill a large pot with water. Add a generous amount of salt and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then add the potatoes. Cover and let boil for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of your potatoes) until fork tender. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water, and peel and rice them.

While the potatoes are boiling, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized (preferably nonstick) saucepan over low heat. Turn the heat up to medium and add the diced onions as well as a large pinch of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, and then add another tablespoon of butter. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized (golden-brown), about another 10 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure all the onion is evenly caramelized and nothing is burning. Remove the caramelized onions from the saucepan and set aside.

Fill a medium-sized saucepan (it can be the same one you cooked the onions in) with 1 cup of water. Add the sliced carrots and bring the water to a boil. Then, reduce the boil to a simmer and let the carrots cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Strain all the water from the pan, reserving the carrots (the easiest way to do this is with a colander).

Over low heat, add one tablespoon of softened butter to a medium-sized saucepan (again, it can be the same one). Let melt, and then add the brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix together until combined and the sugar is dissolved, 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots back to the pan, coating them in the glaze. Remove the glazed carrots from the pan and set aside.

Combine the riced potatoes, caramelized onions, glazed carrots, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons softened butter and chopped chives in a bowl and mix the ingredients together. Once mixed, add the scalding milk and mash all the ingredients together. It’s helpful to use a masher, pushing it to the bottom of the bowl and rocking it back and forth to mash carrots and onions underneath into even smaller pieces. It shouldn’t look homogenous, but the butter and cream cheese should be fully incorporated and most of the carrots and onions should be somewhat mashed. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix. Serve.

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