My father loves to make the typical Dutch winter dinner ‘zuurkool’ (or sauerkraut for the non-Dutch speaking). Zuurkool is directly translated: “sour cabbage”, finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a distinctive sour taste. In the Netherlands, we like to make it with mashed potato, like a ‘stamppot’. We like a rookworst (smoked sausage ) with it or a speklapje (piece of porkbelly). When my dad makes it, hè likes the porkbelly to be cooked in the same pan as the zuurkool. Sounds a bit odd, but that is how his parents made it for him when he was a child. I must say it does taste nice and the porkbelly gets really tender. We are just not that used to cooking our meat , as we usually bake it.
So what do you need for this authentic zuurkool? (For 3 to 4 people)
◾ 1 package zuurkool
◾potatoes that are suited for mashing
◾1 regular rookworst or 2 small ones
◾1 speklapje per person
How to make zuurkool
1: Take the skin off the potatoes. Prepare a bit more potatoes than you would need for a regular portion.
2: Place the porkbelly in a large pan, big enough for mashing. Place the zuurkool on top and add water. The zuurkool should be just submerged.
3: Cook the potatoes untill they start to fall apart. And cook the zuurkool and porkbelly untill the meat is ready.
4: Take the porkbelly out of the pan and drain the potatoes and zuurkool.
5: Cut the zuurkool with a knife, this makes both the mashing and eating a lot easier.
6: Mash the potatoes and zuurkool together.
7: Heat the rookworst according to the package.
8: Cut the porkbelly into cubes and mix it though the zuurkool mash. Serve with the rookworst.
You either like zuurkool, or you don’t. I am not a huge fan, but if it is cooked like my father does it, it makes me feel at home. It is a sturdy meal and after a long day of work that can be so nice! Sometimes you just need that.