My next ‘Authentic Dutch Recipe’ is, what we call a ‘VGA-tje’. It’s a typical Dutch meal with meat, potatoes and vegetables with a fat gravy. Aardappels, Bieten en Speklap. In English it’s Potatoes, Beetroots and a thick Slice of Pork Belly. ‘Speklap’ is a bit difficult to translate, because I don’t think outside The Netherlands people slice up pork belly, bake it and the serve it. But, look at the picture and you get the idea.
I know Aardappels, Bieten met een Speklap as a meal since my earliest memory. My grandmother and my mother made it. They peeled the potatoes and sliced up the beetroots very fine. My recipe is a bit different. I believe people should have something that they can bite in. So, the ingredients are no different than in the time my grandmother cooked us a meal of Aardappels, Bieten met en Speklap, but the way it”s cooked differs.
Aardappels, Bieten met een SpeklapCourse: MainCuisine: DutchDifficulty: Easy
4 boiled beetroots
0,7 kg little, new potatoes
4 speklappen (slices of the pork belly) each 250 gr.
1 cup of broth
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
pepper and salt
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
- Always, before you start cooking, make sure your meat is out of the fridge and warmed up to room temperature. Wash the potatoes and cook them in water with some salt for about 20 minutes. (Do not peel potatoes, that is not necessary.)
- Meanwhile, cut the beetroots in parts of 1×1 cm. Put the beetroots in a pan with the vinegar, bay leaf and cloves. Slice up the shallot very fine and put in with the beetroots. Grind some salt and pepper. Put on the smallest kernel on the cooker and warm up, nice and slowly. Just before you serve the beetroots, put in the sugar and carefully mix it up.
- Melt some butter in a baking pan and bake the speklappen for about ten minutes on each side (in the picture I’ve cut the speklappen in half, because otherwise the pan was to small ;-)) . When one side is done, turn over the speklappen and grind over salt and pepper. If turned over again, do the same for the other side.
- Drain the potatoes and mesh them up, but not to much. Take the speklappen out of the baking pan and keep them warm. Put the tomato paste, bake it for 15 seconds and poor in the broth. Add a little water, bring to the boil.
- On a dish put some beetroots, some potatoes and some speklap. Poor a view tablespoons of the gravy over the potatoes and enjoy your authentic ‘Aardappels, Bieten en een Speklap’.