Winter has arrived. With temperatures dropping below zero, warming rustic crockpot meals are up on this household’s menu. The Belgian classic hutsepot (or in French: hochepot) is definitely one of them. This dish traditionally features a hotchpotch (which is what hutsepot indeed means) of root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, and meat, served with plenty of mustard. Now for this vegan version we of course leave all cows, pigs and sheep in peace and opt for nicer alternatives, being vegan sausages, tempeh, seitan or smoked tofu. Easy, filling and satisfying, even more so than the ‘original’.
Belgian hotchpotch or ‘hutsepot’.
This is a recipe which does not require exact measuring. So use the below as a point of reference and/or inspiration, and adapt vegetables and quantities to your liking.
- 1 onion
- 5-6 small potatoes
- 3-4 carrots
- 1 parsnip
- a handful of Jerusalem artichoke
- 1/2 cup diced celeriac
- other options: turnip, kohlrabi, white cabbage, leek
- 2 handfuls of Brussels sprouts (halve or quarter them)
- vegetable broth (Enough to cover the bottom of the pot in a decent way and to boil the vegetables until fork-tender. The vegetables should NOT be covered by the broth, or the dish will turn into a mash.)
- 2 tbsp strong mustard (or more)
- 1 tbsp herbes de Provence (or more), 3 bay leaves, optional: thyme sprigs, junipers, fresh sage
- 200-300g vegan sausage or smoked tofu. Seitan or tempeh would work too, but I usually go for one of the first two options. In the pictures over here I used Hobelz’ Currywurst, but the Bockwurst or Käsekrainer from Vantastic Foods are my absolute favourites in this dish.
- Chop all the vegetables in bite-sized chunks
- Sauté the onion in some oil until translucent
- Add the hardest vegetables, sauté them, and one by one add the other types of vegetables (from the hardest to the softest)
- After 5 minutes, add the broth (don’t overdo it – 2-3 cm will do), the herbs and the mustard. You can add garlic too, if you like.
- Cook until the vegetables are fork tender. They can be on the soft side but not mushy. Then add the smoked tofu or vegan sausages (you needn’t fry those in advance).
- Remove the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, etc., and serve with plenty of mustard (well, at least for the adults – children will not be that happy with an extra spoonful of strong mustard).
And as you can see below, my kids DO eat Brussels sprouts! In this dish their bitter flavour isn’t that prominent, which makes them more palatable to the younger ones at the dinner table. (As a 1 to 2-year-old, my son actually ate the Brussels sprouts in his hutsepot first).