Saturday, July 10, 2010


 Stamppot is pure comfort food in the Netherlands. It is considered the most Dutch dish by anyone from the Netherlands or by Dutch-Americans like me. The meaning of Stamppot is “mash pot”. Cheap, hearty and filling, stamppot consists of potatoes and kale or other vegetables mashed together. My Grandma made it with potatoes and carrots. Every family has their own recipes for Stamppot. The following recipe is from the First United Methodist Church in Holland, Mi. They make huge quantities to sell during the Tulip Festival and Kestmarkt.

Potatoes and Kale with Gehaktballen—Dutch-style Meatballs and gravy.  BOERENKOOL STAMPPOT is a good way to get vitamin-rich kale in your diet.  Even if you don't care for kale, it is good in Stamppot. 

Stamppot is usually a winter dish but with beautiful potatoes and kale at the Farmer’s Market and the World Cup Finals featuring the Netherlands and Spain, I think this summer day would be a good time for Stamppot too. Stamppot is usually served with a smoked pork sausages called rookworst or mettworst and gravy. It is also delicious with Gehaktballen—Dutch-style Meatballs which was posted on Michigan Cottage Cook on 5/6/10.

I am sure that in the Netherlands they would use butter in Stamppot as their dairy products are famous the world over.  However the Dutch settlers here in Michigan embraced margarine.  In all the the church and community cookbooks from this area, margarine is listed as an ingredient rather than butter.  If I had to guess why, I would say it is because the Dutch are also famous for being frugal.  I use butter!!

Farmer's Market.

3 ½ c fresh kale (1 ½ to 2 c canned)
5 potatoes
1 stick margarine or butter
½ T salt
Freshly ground black and white pepper
Rookworst, Metworst or Gehaktballen—Dutch-style Meatballs


Fresh Kale: Wash kale. Strip greens from stems, remove all hard parts and do not use yellow leaves. Place about 3-inches of water in the bottom of a pot. Add the kale, bring to hard boil then immediately reduce to simmer. Cook on low-medium heat until kale is tender. Stir occasionally. For the Potatoes: In another pot, boil or steam 5 medium potatoes until tender. When both vegetables are done, drain and mash potatoes together with the margarine, salt and pepper to taste. If using canned kale, add to potatoes while mashing. Use lots of freshly ground white and black pepper if you like spices. Serve with rookworst, metworst, a slightly smoky Dutch sausage, or Gehaktballen—Dutch-style Meatballs on the side. To warm rookworst or metworst, simmer in water or beer, or their combination.

Strip leaves from stem and chop leaves.  Discard stems.

Peel and cut up potatoes.  Cook or steam until tender.  Drain well.

Cook or steam kale until tender. Drain well.

Mash potatoes with butter, salt and pepper.  Add kale and mash the vegetables together.


  1. Hey there,

    Karin here. Metworst in a stamppot?? As far as I'm aware, 'metworst' is a dried sausage and I've never seen it used in stamppot. As for margarine (yuck!), I never use it, but many Dutch people cook with a liquid margarine called Croma. Mostly when they fry their meat or meatballs. However, here in Holland, most people would use real butter to enrich stamppot.

    Mmm, boerenkool stamppot. I should make that again soon... Yum!

  2. Karin, you have hit on what has been a big mystery to me. Why did immigrants from a country famous for its dairy products embrace margarine like the Dutch-American here in West Michigan did? My family always used butter. However in all the church cookbooks I have collected that feature Dutch recipes, the recipe always calls for oleo-margarine and not butter. I agree with you, everything is better with butter.

    Metworst is not a dried sausage in West Michigan. It can be eaten in a hot dog bun or sliced and served for dinner. I will gather some samples and put them on the blog for you.

    So happy to hear from you. Have a very happy first Christmas together.

  3. Evelyn (scherfje@hotmail.com)January 10, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    This is so funny, to find the recipe from boerenkool on an American website. I am dutch and also living in the Netherlands and metworst is here indeed a dried saucage. We use to put all together in one big cooking pot. The potatoes down and the boerenkool on the potatoes. And the rookworst( smoked saucage) on the boerenkool.A few important things i am missing in the recipe above: "uitgebakken spekjes" that is fried bacon cutted in pieces, gravy (dutch use to make a kind of hole in the stamppot( google "kuiltje jus") and last but not least...add some vinegar! Boerenkool is becoming much more delicious after it has been frozen. If it is not freezing outside you can put the fresh boerenkool one night in the fridge. Not in freezer, because too much freezing stops the natural proces of making sugar from the cabbage.

    1. Gotta agree w/ the Dutchman's tips. My prep comes from my Durch friend's recipe as from his moeder. Add just enoough water to steam potatoes, about half level of tatos. After awhile put finelly chopped kale on top. No draining! Mash altogether w/ some butter. I use broth instead of water for more flavor. Add broth if need in mash, or milk. Good splash of vinegar is key ! Always better w/ chopped bacon. Serve with pork or sausages if you like.

    2. Thank you so much for your directions. I am always looking for new ways to do traditional recipes as these are the recipes that are never written down or get into cookbooks. Please keep me up to date!!!

  4. Thank you so much for the helpful hints. I hope you will send me a recipe so I can put it on the blog. Boerenkool sounds so good!!

  5. Can anyone tell me why stamppot kale is sometimes called mouse? Please reply to blondegirl5@gmail.com thank you

  6. I grew up knowing boerenkool as mouse as well. Does anyone know why? Great article and looking forward to finding out more about those cookbooks you mentioned!