Stoemp (stamppot – literally: mash pot) is an authentically Belgian popular dish. Step into a random eatery and chances are you will find it on the menu. Stoemp with leeks and grilled sausages, for example. Or a variation with Belgian endives, ham and cheese – a Brussels favourite. Not to mention that other, genuine classic: soft cauliflower stoemp. Delicious with beef stew and a pint of dark ale.
Nothing, however, beats a nice endive stoemp with a meatball!
The structure of stoemp is less smooth than stamppot or the classic mashed potatoes we all know. After cooking, the potatoes and vegetables are not mashed into a fine puree, but mashed coarsely. Then we add a generous dollop of butter and a dash of vegetable stock to achieve the desired unctuousness. Finally, we season the dish with white pepper, a pinch of salt and some nutmeg. To ensure the right unctuousness, we at Balls & Glory make fresh steaming stoemp every hour. No microwaves or steam ovens needed, which makes us rather unique. And proud, to be honest.
The perfect stoemp hinges on respecting the right proportions, and putting the potato in a leading role. As “real Belgians”, however, we try to strike a balance between at least 40% of vegetables and the time-honoured “bintjes”. This floury, firm-cooking potato was first cultivated by Kornelis Lieuwes de Vries, a Frisian potato farmer and teacher, in the early 1900’s. He named his most recent race after Bintje Jansma, the smartest girl in the class. As it is, we share a rich hutspot history with our neighbours to the north! But while the bintje fell out of favour in the Netherlands, we Belgians kept the tradition alive: bintjes grow like cabbage, meaning they require less spraying than other varieties. The floury bintje is thé fries potato par excellence. And eminently suited for making coarse stoemp!
The tastiest stoemp in Brussels?
We are huge fans of Viva Bomma’s “stoemp saucisse”:
Rue de Flandre 17, 1000 Bruxelles
For more top addresses, consult ‘The five best places to eat stoemp and 51 other lists about Brussels’, a booklet by Jan Sulmont.
We want stoemp!