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Milk Street Thanksgiving: Belgian Mashed Potatoes with Winter Vegetables

Belgian Mashed Potatoes with Winter Vegetables (Stoemp)
1 Hour
8 Servings

Stoemp (pronounced STOOMP) is a hearty Belgian dish of mashed potatoes mixed with finely cut winter vegetables. Our version includes leeks, carrots and cabbage, with a good dose of bay and garlic for fragrance and flavor. A tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar brightens the dish while adding a touch of sweetness, but white wine vinegar worked, too. Make sure to rinse the leeks well; their many layers trap dirt and sand. It's best to rinse them after slicing so you can get between the layers. For convenience, cook the vegetables, mash them and season with the vinegar and salt, then cool and refrigerate up to a day in advance. Reheat in a large pot over medium with 1⁄2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, covered and stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, then follow the instructions to create a well and finish the dish with the butter and chives.

Don't use the small holes of the box grater to grate the carrots, as fine shreds lack texture and will turn the dish orange. Use the grater's large holes instead.

4 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
11⁄2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
11⁄4 cups half-and-half
3 medium leeks, white and light parts thinly sliced, rinsed and dried
5 bay leaves
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
10 tablespoons (11⁄4 sticks) salted butter, divided
Kosher salt
1⁄2 medium head savoy cabbage, cored and finely chopped (3 to 4 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (see note)
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

1. In a large pot over high, stir together the potatoes, broth, half-and-half, leeks, bay, garlic, 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover and cook, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a rapid simmer, until a skewer inserted into the potatoes meets just a little resistance, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Remove and discard the bay, then stir in the cabbage. Cover and cook until the cabbage is almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, cover and cook until the cabbage is fully tender and the carrots are crisp-tender, another 5 minutes.

3. Off heat, add 4 tablespoons of the remaining butter and mash with a potato masher until almost smooth. Stir in the vinegar, then taste and season with salt. Transfer to a serving bowl. Using the back of a spoon, create a well in the center of the potatoes. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into 2 or 3 pieces and add to the well. Sprinkle with

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