One of my favorite traditional Dutch dishes is “hutspot met draadjesvlees”: mashed potatoes, carrots and onions with braised beef and gravy. According to legend the recipe originates from the Siege of Leiden in 1574, but that cannot be accurate because potatoes were not eaten in Holland yet at that time (so it was probably parsnip back then). The traditional preparation means that you boil the potatoes, carrots and onions in ample water, but to amplify the flavor I sauté the onions in butter and use as little water as possible. I’ve braised the beef sous-vide for additional juicyness and tenderness. To obtain a braised texture rather than a steak-like texture, I’ve cooked the beef sous-vide at 63C/145F rather than the usual 55C/131F I use for most cuts of beef. If you don’t own sous-vide equipment, you could of course just braise the beef as you normally would. The beef was so tender we could cut it with a fork. Here’s what I did.
For 2 servings
400 grams (0.9 lb) potatoes
400 grams (0.9 lb) carrots
300 grams (0.65 lb) onions
300 grams chuck roast (Dutch: stooflappen), buy marbled meat if you can
60 grams (2 oz) butter
1 glass (100 ml) of red wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp concentrated beef stock
Pre-heat water bath to 63C/145F. Chop 100 grams of the onions.
Pat the beef dry and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 30 grams (1 oz) of butter in a frying pan over high heat. Sear the beef in the hot butter on all sides.
Take the beef out of the frying pan and put on a plate to cool.
Turn the heat low and sauté 100 grams of onions in the same frying pan until soft and fragrant. Add the wine and cook until most of the wine has evaporated.
Seal the beef into a pouch with the onions. Cook sous-vide for 72 hours (!) at 63C/145F.
Three days later make the hutspot so it’ll be ready so serve with the beef.
Chop 200 grams of the onions.
Heat 30 grams (1 oz) of butter in a frying pan for which you have a cover. Sauté the onions until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the carrots and cut into pieces. I had an organic yellow carrot left that has more taste, but normal carrots will do just fine.
Add the carrots to the onions. Stir. Add a bit of water.
Cover and simmer for 25 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally and checking whether more water needs to be added.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into pieces.
After 25 minutes of cooking the onions and carrots, add the potatoes. Cook for another 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking whether more water needs to be added.
Mash everything with a potato masher and keep warm, covered, over low heat.
Take the pouch with the beef out of the water bath.
Carefully pour the juices in the pouch into a saucepan. Add beef stock, stir and cook for a bit until it becomes a bit thicker.
Arrange the meat and the hutspot on preheated plates. Make a hole in the middle of the hutspot and fill it with gravy (“kuiltje jus”). Spoon the remaining gravy on the meat.