Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Hearty Saute of Polish Sausage and Cabbage

This rustic dish finds it's way to our table from early fall to spring.  I think it came out of the memory of a hash-like dish that my mother made with leftover pork.  Mother felt that the only cabbage worth eating was Bent Mountain cabbage and it had to be picked in early fall.  I have been known to tote back some of that cabbage from my autumn trip to Virginia.  I didn't go up the mountain to pick the dense heads   myself.  I made my purchase at the farmers' market.  The last time I brought a cabbage home it rolled out of the bag while I was driving through West Virginia on the Turnpike--that interstate where sometimes you meet yourself coming, or maybe it's going.  The one that goes up one mountain and down the other and up another.  The one with escape "run offs" for semis.  The one where no driver heeds the 70 MPH posted speed.  The cabbage rolled, bumped, bounced and clattered for what seemed like fifty miles until I could safely exit and wedge it behind a suitcase.

I really could have made the story shorter and just said that I now use Savoy cabbage.  I like it's variegated color and crinkly leaves.  Although considered to be a winter cabbage, I find it year around at the grocery store.

Polish sausage is the meat of choice these days.  There are a number of Polish grocery stores and meat markets in the Chicago area and they have excellent kielbasas.  We like the Wellshire brand because it's  all natural.

Here's how I put it together ~

Polish Sausage with Cabbage, Potatoes and Onions
For four

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into fourths and thinly sliced
6-8 fingerling potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1 pound ring of fully-cooked Polish sausage, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups of Savoy cabbage (or another of your choice) cut into approximately 1 inch chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
2.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
3.  Add the potatoes and saute until they start to soften, another 4 to 5 minutes.
4.  Add the sausage and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
6.  Add the cabbage and stir well.
7.  Add salt and pepper to taste, stir,  cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for another five minutes.  Stir and check to see if the cabbage is done.  We like the cabbage to have a little crunch left.
8.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute.