Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dutch Comfort Food

Dutch cuisine has been influenced by French and German cuisine. Dinner is typically the main meal of the day (unlike Germany), and meat, potatoes, and a variety of vegetables are common. Apples are frequently used in savory main courses and side dishes. Most traditional dutch main courses are very heavy.

One cool and rainy Saturday seemed like the perfect day to have some warm, hearty comfort food simmering on the stove. I happened across a Stoofvlees recipe on Kayotic Kitchen, and the author said she liked to eat it with just fries. That sounded good to me! I made some modifications to the Stoofvlees recipe using the Kayotic Kitchen Hachee recipe. It was fantastic! Flavorful and hearty and satisfying. If I make it again, though, I'd throw the dutch oven in the oven instead of simmering on the stove - more than I'd prefer stuck to the bottom. I also made a salad with a warm bacon dressing to get some vegetables. It was supposed to be two meals, but was so delicious I polished it off immediately!

Dutch Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing

3 to 4 bacon strips, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
4 cups torn spinach greens
1/2 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Hard-cooked eggs, sliced

In a small frying pan, cook bacon until crisp. Do not drain. In a 1-cup measure, place egg, sugar, vinegar and enough water to measure 3/4 cup; pour over bacon and grease. Cook and stir until dressing thickness. Season to taste. Pour hot dressing over greens and onion. Toss; garnish with egg slices. Serve immediately.

Modified Stoofvlees

1 1/2 pound stew meat, cut into cubes
1 small red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 rosemary sprigs, smashed a little to release the flavor
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp coarse mustard
3 tbsp oil

Combine all marinade ingredients and put in a zip lock bag with the meat. Refrigerate overnight.

butter or oil
1 large onion
1  1/2 to 2 cups beef broth
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp sweet paprika powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp molasses
1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste

Chop the onion. Combine the dry ingredients and sprinkle over the meat (remove the rosemary and drain the marinade). Brown the meat and onion in butter, cooking about five minutes. Pour 1 1/2 cups beef broth in and add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the molasses, apple, and tomato paste, stir, and cover again to simmer for 45 minutes. Stir again and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes to let it thicken up a bit.
Optional: pulse 1/3-1/2 of the meat in the food processor for a few seconds, then add it back into the stew.

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