Balkenbrij is an old Dutch dish traditionally made from the less popular parts of animals, in particular blood of pigs. Yeah that sounds gross I know! But the flavour also comes from typical spices used for this dish, as well as buckwheat flour. Recipes vary also per region, some add bacon for example, but for this recipe I just stick to the version I had in my youth, but then veganised of course.
For about 8 portions
1 stock cube
1 heaped tbs rommelkruid (not very well-known spice mixture but contains a.o. nutmeg, cloves and anise seed. Available at De Peperbol and Jacob Hooy in town)
2 bay leaves
250 g buckwheat flour
vegan butter / margarine
1 apple (e.g. Jonagold)
Needed also: a cake tin
1. Add the stock cube, rommelkruid, cloves and bay leaves to 1 litre boiling water. Let it simmer for one hour.
2. Put the stock through a sieve to remove the cloves and bay leaves. Some of the water will have evaporated, add water again to get to 900 ml. Bring to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool down for a bit. Grease the cake tin with some sunflower oil.
3. With a whisk, mix 300 ml of the stock with the buckwheat flour. Bring the rest to a boil again and slowly add the buckwheat flour mixture while you whisk. It will get very thick now. Keep on stirring with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes, while you keep it at low heat.
4. Add the mixture to the cake tin, with a wet silicone spatula make it smooth at the top. Leave it to cool down overnight, or just for a few hours until cold.
5. With a thin knife run along the edges to separate the balkenbrij from the tin. Put a cutting board on top and slowly turn the cake tin upside down, and gently bang the bottom. The balkenbrij should fall out now on the cutting board.
6. Peel and cut the apple in thin quartered slices.
7. Put some butter in a frying pan. Cut off the number of balkenbrij slices that you need, about 1,5 cm thick. Once the butter is hot, fry them on medium fire. When they are getting crispy brown turn them around. Add the apples to the pan as well and also fry them both sides.
8. Now you’re ready to plate! This one is easy. Get yourself a slice of nice bread and add 2-3 pieces of balkenbrij per person on top. Finish it off with the apple slices. Makes for a decent breakfast or lunch!
You can also vary with the filling to your liking. Possible additions include vegan bacon, minced meat or, small pieces of tofu (for the visual effect, it would resemble the tiny pieces of pig fat in some versions of balkenbrij).