Eating Around the World – Holland

Filosoof - Philosopher's Stew

Eating from Holland, Netherlands or Benelux? I’ve always found it a bit confusing, even at my age I still get confused about this area of Europe.  So after a week of recipe and craft research I can proudly say (I think) that Amsterdam is the capitol, yet I know little else. OK moving on from my very poor knowledge of Europe, even though it is kind of a neighbouring country…We had Filosoof for our main course, which translates as Philosopher’s Stew.  Named such as the idea is to be philosophical about your ingredients and the way it’s cooked.  Perfect! I used this recipe for Filosoof as a rough guide. I didn’t have some ingredients, so being philosophical about it, I just sort of made it up, which to be honest is no different to most recipes I cook. Here’s the ingredients I used.  I also cooked the stew part in the slow cooker, because it made sense, not because I have a current obsession with the slow cooker, no definitely not that…

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 3 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
  • 450ml veg stock
  • few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 juniper berries, left whole the fished out at the end
  • 1 cooking apple, cored and chopped into chunks
  • 6 tbsp red lentils
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • slosh of gin, who knows how much, maybe 50ml
  • 4-5 medium potatoes, sliced about 5mm thick and par-boiled

Start by frying the minced beef in the oil until it’s started to brown, add the onion and bacon, cook for about 5mins. Add all other ingredients, except parsley, gin and potatoes and heat it all up till boiling.  Empty into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours. After this, empty it into a baking dish top with the par-boiled potatoes and cook at 175 for 30mins, or until slightly browned.  Of course this being a philosophical stew then just chuck in whatever you fancy.

Filosoof - philosopher's stew

For pudding we had Spekkoek.  Translated as bacon cake.  I’m sure many of you would be quite pleased with a cake made of bacon, but alas this has no bacon. It merely represents the the streaky pattern of bacon.  But do not be sad as it quite a delicious spiced cake, it uses a whole pack of butter, need I say more?? This cake was cooked in eight layers, alternating between plain and spiced sponge, each of which was cooked under a high grill for about 3-4minutes, a true labour of love, which I was so relieved to see work. The Fireman loved this cake, he loves anything with cinnamon. The Farmer seems a little under the weather and struggled to eat both main and pudding.

Spekkoek - bacon cake

The Farmer was however very keen to make our delft Dutch plate craft. OK, so it should be mostly blue, but look a plate with actual spinning windmills!  We just attached them with split pins.  The Fireman wasn’t too bothered about decorating his plate, he was more than happy to sit chopping up bits of paper and split pinning everything together much like last weeks ‘stapling’ craft.

Windmill craft

Next week Poland, no doubt we will be offering some random stew, again.