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Dutch Hutspot

These vegetables (hutspot) with braised beef (klapstuk) are part of an annual celebration commemorating the 1574 end of Leiden’s siege during the Dutch revolt against Spain. In a shrewd maneuver, the Dutch punctured their dikes, flooding the Spanish position and thus freeing Leiden. Liberators brought herring, bread and hutspot, which residents still eat today.

Dutch Hutspot, a dish of boild and mashed potatoes, carrots, and onions served in a stoneware bowl.


  • 2 lb (907 g) beef brisket
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp (5 g) salt
  • 4 T (57 g) butter
  • 2 lg onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lb (454 g) carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1½ lbs (680 g) potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb (454 g) white turnips, peeled and cubed
  • ½ lb (227 g) parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Put brisket in a large, lidded pot or Dutch oven. Add 1 quart water, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, cover and cook at least 2½ hours, turning meat halfway through.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat; add onions and salt; cook until soft and golden, 6-8 minutes. Remove bay leaves from brisket and discard; add cooked onions and remaining vegetables to brisket. The liquid should just cover meat and vegetables; if it does not, add water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover; cook 30 minutes more until vegetables are soft.

Remove meat; keep warm. Remove 2 C (473 g) of liquid; reserve for another use. Mash vegetables in remaining liquid with a masher, leaving some lumps, aiming for a loose, fluffy texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Suggestion

Spread vegetable mash on a serving platter and top with brisket sliced thinly across the grain. Offer sharp mustard on the side.

  • Makes 6-8 servings.