Braised beef, Dutch style
Now add 2 bayleaves and 2 cloves. And here comes the most difficult part.. (for me at least..) don't add anything else. Not a splash of wine, not a sliver of onion or garlic, not a whiff of any other herb or spice. Nothing. Really.
The only point in the whole thread I heartily disagree, but that is mostly because I am used to the farmer's version, which is from the eastern side of the country. Here we add something very very important, we add some very very dark beer!
Hey Chufi: still awaiting the answer to my question
on Dutch trading and where the spices went?
yes I have been thinking about that... And I have to say that I am no expert on the history of Dutch Cooking or on the history of the spice trade.. so what follows is simply my own assumption about this matter.
It is true that the Netherlands played a major role in the spice trade in the 17th and 18th centuries.. and recipes from those days show the use of mace, nutmeg, cloves, sugar and cinnamon in both sweet and savoury dishes. The spices were expensive though so it was only a certain part of society that could benefit from this. They used it as a way to express their wealth.
The use of these spices in sweet dishes is still common (as you will see somewhere in the near future when I will start baking the December sweets, most of them are flavoured with a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and pepper). There is, to this day, a modest use of spices in savoury dishes. For instance the famous Frisian cheese that is studded with cloves. Cloves and nutmeg are often used in meat dishes and with game. But it is all very subtle.
I hope this answers your question. It is a very interesting topic, but it would require much more research on my part to give a full 'history of the spices in Dutch Cuisine'
question deriving from yr answer above:
Is there some section of Dutch society (e.g. richer, with a mercantile history)
that have evolved dishes with greater use of spices?
Thanks again, in advance
I have recently been looking through some old dutch cookbooks and you are completely correct, richer people did add spices, a whole lot of them, to bloody everything, I tried recreating some of those dishes, but they are absolutely horrible. They only served to show people how rich you were, so the cooks put as many spices in the dishes as they could, which as you can imagine resulted in some dishes that were abominable.
Yet there is one thing where it did get used by people interested in the taste, desserts, as you have seen by the speculaas, stoofpeertjes and others. When people got their hands on a bit of spice, they used it in a dessert that would keep for a while, so they could keep eating small bits of it for a few weeks.
Final dish of the day...
Pik in 't potje, which translates roughly (very roughly) into "picking from the pan" or "steal it from the pan".
This is a recipe from Zeeland, one of the southern, coastal provinces of The Netherlands.
Imagine a very big pot of this, on the table, with the extended family around it.. no plates just everyone eating from the same pan.. Ofcourse everybody would go for the best bits, the eggs, first.. hence the name
Well actually the name has a different meaning, which is also how it originated, anyone here who speaks dutch can imagine what I'm talking about. The story is actually quite amusing, but as I have not yet read all the forum rules, I am not all that sure if I'm allowed to post it, because if the story was a movie, it wouldn't be rated pg-13...
Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) is celebrated on December 5th. It is traditionally a children's feast, for young children who still 'believe' that this man in a red cloak, with a long white beard, sitting on a white horse, with his bishop's mitre and surrounded by his (very politically incorrect) black little helpers called Zwarte Pieten (black Peter), is a real person who lives in Spain all year and who comes to The Netherlands every winter to reward the children who have been good with presents, and to punish those who have been bad by putting them in an bag and taking them home to Spain.
Spain? How random.
Especially since the 'real' bishop St Nicolas was a bishop in Myra, Turkey, in the 4th century.
Well that is actually quickly explained, when the feast started getting traction in Holland, we weren't all that friendly with the turks. We however had just started importing citrus fruits from Spain for the rich, so that's how that happened.