Introduction: Hutspot: Yummy Dutch Winterfood for People Who Can't Cook

It has been a while since I submitted an instructable, so when I was in the supermarket getting food I thought I might as well make an ible out of my meal today :)...
Let me be the first to say that I can't cook very well. I can keep stuff from burning, and I can probably follow instructions on a recipe, but I neither have much skill nor interest in cooking. Luckily this recipe is very easy...
The traditional Dutch kitchen has a lot of different variety of stamppot and hutspot, consist of mashed potatoes with some vegetables, and usually "rookworst" (smoked sausage) and sometimes diced bacon. You only need one pan, so not that much dishes to do afterward!
For hutspot the vegetables used are carrots and onions.

Step 1: What You Need

You only need very basic stuff, as you can see in the picture:
  • A large pot
  • something to mash potatoes with, a fork works as well
  • salt & pepper
  • potatoes (the kind that falls apart easily when cooked, I used 1 kilo but you could use more if you want to)
  • onions and carrots: b/c hutspot is eaten a lot over here there are the handy prepared boxes. For anyone not living in Holland: if you buy just a small bag of small carrots (maybe use about 3/4ths) and about 5 white onions (just small or average, use 4 if your onions are really big), that will be enough. What you're going for is to have a little bit more carrots than onions, and about the same volume in carrots+onions as potatoes.
  • milk or butter: You need something to make the mashed potatoes nice and smooth, I like to use milk but butter works just as well.
  • a potato peeler and a knife to cut potatoes with

optional ingredients:
  • diced bacon (I've used a 250 grams package) + a small frying pan and some oil/butter
  • smoked sausage
Although these are optional, it is a lot nicer if you choose one or use both.

I ate about half of this in one go, so I would say it's a recipe for 2 people.

The nice thing about this recipe is that nothing is critical, there's not really anything you can get wrong, as long as you keep the volume of the potatoes about the same as the volume of the vegetables you can use as much as you like.

Step 2: Peeling and Cutting

*Peel the potatoes, and cut them in pieces cubes of about 1 inch.
*If you have small carrots, slice them in half till they look about the same size as the carrots in the second picture.
*Cut the onions in half and slice them so you get onion strips in the form of half a circle.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

Put water in the pot with the potatoes, until the potatoes are covered. Put in about a glass of water more in than in the picture (I messed up at first). Throw in the carrots and onions. Put the smoked sausage on top if you have one, and cover the pot with a lid.
Put the pot on the stove, heat it up at a high temperature until it's boiling. This will give you enough time to cook the bacon.

Step 4: Bacon

mmmmmm.... bacon :) this maybe is a bit redundant to describe, but I might as well for the sake of completeness

Put some oil or butter in the small frying pan and put the bacon in, grab a fork and keep turning it over. At first it will go a bit white, then a bit red, and finally deeply red and crispy. You might have to drain some excess oil every once in a while. I use the plastic container the bacon came in, this is nice b/c after a day it's completely turned to solid fat and you can put it in your trash without putting all the fat down your drain. The only drawback is that the plastic melts, so be careful!
If you think the bacon is nice and crispy, turn it off. Don't worry about it getting cold, that doesn't matter.

Step 5: Knowing When It's Done Cooking

Cooking the bacon takes you 5 to 10 minutes, but the hutspot has to be cooked for about 20. I think I kept it on the highest temperature all the time, but I'm not sure. As long as it doesn't boil over it's fine.

Don't set an alarm, just keep checking from time to time. You know when it's done when the vegetables look a bit limp, and it looks like there's not as much in the pot as before. The definite test is grabbing a fork and seeing if you're meeting any resistance if you poke the hutspot. If the potatoes are soft, then it's done.

Step 6: Letting Out All the Agression... and Then Replenishing That Energy :)

When you're sure it's done, get rid of all the water, and put in the bacon (try not to poor in any oil/fat).
Now put it some butter or milk. You don't need a lot, for the milk i would say just what you would normally drink in 1 or 2 sips, and for the butter just a small cube. You can always add more, so try to be a bit conservative at first. Grab the masher or fork or whatever else you want to use, and mash everything. If it's too dry and crummy, grab some more milk/butter. It's supposed to be sort of smooth, but not liquid (see the picture)... If you put in a smoked sausage, you obviously remove it b/f mashing, the onions and carrots and bacon you just mash with the potatoes.

Now you've mashed and mixed everything together, you only need to add some pepper and salt. Use quite some pepper but be careful with the salt if you have used bacon because that's already sort of salty. Be sure to try some before and after you add spices to not overdo it. Use freshly ground pepper for bonus points :).

So now it's a big pot of indistinguishable goo, which admittedly looks horrible on pictures, but is very good to eat. Hope you like it :D