Zuurkoolstamppot met rookworst (keto version)

Well, folks, over here it's that time of the year where you're eyeing the warm sweaters and the woolen socks. You know that, if you put away all your summer gear and stock your closets with your winter clothes, the weather is going to turn and we'll have a hot weather spell. But you also know that if you don't, the weather will turn the other way and it'll be so cold you're layering three summer dresses and looking for a warm long sleeve cardigan. At least, that's my experience :-) 

Regardless of whether the sun is shining or the rain comes pouring down, once my nose catches a whiff of that autumn scent (chrysantemums, caramel apples, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon pine cones), this girl wants stamppot. And any variety will do, whether it's boerenkool (kale), spruitjes (Brussels sprouts), or hutspot (carrot and onion) - it matters not. All I look forward to is a cozy evening in front of the TV, with my legs pulled up under a warm blankie, watching a good mystery show, and a plate of hot, steaming stamppot on my lap. 

Vending cart at Waterlooplein, A'dam

Stamppot, a one pot dish of mashed vegetables and potatoes, is a staple dish in the Dutch household, and has been for various centuries, although it wasn't always named stamppot (stomped pot) but used to go by the more general name of hutspot (or hussepot, tossed pot). The first reference to the mashed vegetable and potato dish as stamppot does not happen until around 1870, even though similar dishes had been served for many years before that. One of the most famous, and still celebrated every year, mashed one dish pots is the hutspot, a dish the Spanish left behind when chased out of the city of Leiden, in 1574. 

The dish we're making today is a simple zuurkoolstamppot: mashed potatoes with zuurkool, sauerkraut. If you remember, last week we prepared pots and pots of salted and shredded cabbage to make zuurkool). We're serving rookworst with it, a smoked beef sausage - the smoked, juicy meat matches the slightly sour flavor of the zuurkool really well! 

A nineteenth century Dutch cookbook, Aaltje de volmaakte en zuinige keukenmeid, has several zuurkool dishes listed, and they were popular dishes to make: one pot was easier to tend to if you were working the fields or the shop, or had an otherwise busy household. 

Now....usually this dish is made with potatoes, but since somebody in our household is keto-ing, I made a keto version. I wonder what Aaltje would have to say about that! 

Zuurkoolstamppot met rookworst

2 lbs cauliflower (or 1.5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed)*

2 lbs jar of sauerkraut

Salt

Fresly ground black pepper

1 smoked sausage

Chop the cauliflower into small pieces, add enough water to cover, add a teaspoon of salt and set to boil, covered. Drain the sauerkraut and squeeze out as much moisture as you can, making sure to save some liquid. A 2 lbs. jar should leave you with approximately half to 3/4 lbs of sauerkraut. 

Once the cauliflower is cooked (and you are looking for a soft consistency, not al dente), pour off the water and blend the vegetable into a purée until it's smooth. Put it back on the stove and stir several times on low fire, for a good five minutes, to remove some of the moisture, as cauliflower tends to be very wet. Make sure it doesn't scorch.

In the meantime, heat the smoked sausage according to instructions (I tend to simmer it in a shallow bottom of water in pan on the stove, but others have been known to take it out of the plastic and microwaving it for 3 minutes). 

Stir in the sauerkraut and make sure it's all mixed in together, and add in some of the sauerkraut liquid, one tablespoon at a time. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slice the sausage or serve whole. A side of good mustard is appreciated! 

* if you use potatoes, just boil until tender, drain and mash with a potato masher, do not use the stick blender! 

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