This traditional Dutch casserole is very similar the American favorite meat and potato dish called shepherd’s pie also known as the cowboy pie or cottage pie to the British and Irish. A rich hearty fulfilling stew made with meat, potatoes and apples but cooked like casserole instead in a slow cooker. What makes “Jachtschotel” (Dutch hunter’s stew) different are the finely sliced apples. As with all great classic recipes, there are many variations of shepherd’s pie and probably the same deal with Dutch hunter’s stew. Here’s the dutch cooking version of the recipe.
- 1 pound of stewing meat cup into small chunks
- 12 medium potatoes (to make mash potatoes)
- 2 onions (diced)
- 2 granny smith apples (core and finely sliced)
- 1 cup of beef stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup of milk
- All purpose flour
Here’s how to make Jachtschotel – Dutch hunter’s stew.
In a large jumbo skillet or Dutch oven pot, melt some butter and sauté the onions (use a pan with a lid). Dust the beef with flour, add to the skillet and brown. Add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. On low heat, let the meat, onions and seasons simmer for one hour with lid on but tilt the lid slightly to allow some steam to escape, remember to stir occasionally.
Using another pot, prepare the potatoes for boiling by peeling, chopping and washing. Let them boil in plenty of water until tender. In the meantime core, peel and finely slice the apples (save the prettiest slices for the top) When potatoes are completely done and drained, add the milk and mash well to make mashed potatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper (adding butter is optional).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish and start layering the dish with mashed potatoes, stew meat and the apples. Reaching the top, make sure all the meat is covered with mashed potatoes and be sure to cover the top with the prettiest slices of apples. All over the top sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs and dot with butter. Bake in the middle of the oven, on the middle rack for at least 25-30 minutes.
To reduce the cooking time of potatoes, cut into small cubes/pieces and pre-boil water in an electric kettle to jump start boiling time on the stove. Jachtschotel can be served with side of green beans or summertime salad.