Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sweet and Tart Cabbage Stew with Kielbasi


Cabbage gets a pretty bad rap, in my humble opinion.  It's often relegated to a back seat or it's dressed in a some kind of soupy disguise. Sometimes it's just filler. I admit it doesn't smell great when it's cooking, but its healthy attributes overshadow that one minor flaw.

But it's the star in a couple of my favorite comfort foods, stuffed cabbage and New England boiled dinner. And I love cole slaw, as long as it's not dripping in mayonnaise.  And Mr. Rosemary loves his pork and sauerkraut. 

Cabbage is a great veg in its own right.  It's high in Vitamin C, even higher than oranges! And loaded with roughage, and sulphur. It rivals kale for being a power food.

My sister gave me this recipe. She's a great recipe source; I know to trust her. She clipped this from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (I still clip recipes from newspapers, too. Do you?) The article said it came from The Splendid Table, but she couldn't find it on the website. She knows that I always try to credit the source here.

Although I knew Mr. Rosemary would like this dish, he would only view it as a side. There has to be meat somewhere for it to be a real meal.  So I added kielbasi. I cooked the kielbasi separately, browning it then adding about  a 1/2 cup of apple juice and deglazed the pan.

There's a lot of spice in this recipe; don't be tempted to cut back.


Sweet and Tart Cabbage Stew with Kielbasi
Adapted from a March 2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article and from “The Splendid Table Weeknight Kitchen Newsletter” 
Makes four generous servings
extra virgin olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small (about 1 ¼ lb.) green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 medium to large onions, coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 generous teaspoon each ground coriander and ground ginger
2 tablespoons each sweet paprika and dried basil
2 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
1/3 cup vinegar (red wine or cider vinegar)
1 cup vegetable broth or water
14 ounce can whole tomatoes
Water, as needed
1 pound kielbasi, sliced and sauteeed in a separate pan

Film the bottom of a straight-sided 12” saute pan with oil and set it over medium-high heat.  Once it is hot, add the carrots, cabbage and onions.  Sprinkle them with the salt and pepper and sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring them often, or until they’re browning.  This is where the stew’s depth comes from. Stir in the garlic, the spices and sugar.  Cook until the spices are fragrant, but no more than a minute.

Pour the vinegar into the pan and boil it down as you scrape up any brown glaze from the bottom of the pan. When there is no liquid left, stir in the broth or water, and the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them with your hands as they go into the pan.  The vegetables should be barely covered with liquid.  Add a little water if necessary.

Bring the liquid to a gently simmer, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes (check often for sticking) or until the carrots are barely tender.  Uncover the pan and turn up the heat so the liquid is at a fast bubble.  Cook off excess liquid, stirring the stew often to protect the vegetables from burning.  You want the sauce to be thick and rich tasting with a sweet-tart balance.  Add more sugar, vinegar, salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Add the cooked kielbasi.

33 comments:

  1. I do enjoy cabbage and have even learned to love its cousin the brussel sprout.

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    1. I love them all! Didn't even have to convince me with a "They're good for ya!"

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  2. This is a great fall (Polish-style) comfort food Rosemary!

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    1. Us Irish-Italian-Americans (married to German Americans) like it pretty well, too!)

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  3. My hubby would need the meat, too...but he'd definitely go for this! I love cabbages, too...and I'm overdue to add some to the menu :)

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    1. I'm learning that a lot of people either love or hate cabbage. Glad you're a lover!

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  4. I am one of those people who ADORE cabbage. Each time I see it in a soup, I get excited. I can't wait to make this! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Like Brussels sprouts, too? My SIL told me she started to grill cabbage. HAven't tried that yet, but I will.

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  5. Cabbage is an all time favourite my friend, this must taste incredible :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. I think the cabbage lover crew is growing by leaps and bounds!

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  6. Just bought a large head of cabbage! This is a perfect winter dish. I am very sure I would love it.

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    1. Now you know exactly what to do with it!

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  7. I'm so thrilled to finally taking my time this morning to comment back to much 'overdo' comments, and just happened to hit the 'jackpot' of one of my favorite comfort foods! Being in my family of 'multicultured' Hungarian/Transylvanian/Jewish/Northern/Southern Italian...and this is (my family) on both sides, we all love cabbage and sauer kraut, not to mention Kielbasa, Kolbasz=hungarian.

    Rosemary, I love the creative touch you added with he allspice-coriander-ginger to the addition of the much loved paprika. This is a must for me to try with a different 'spin' on the spices! I'm so pinning this on Pinterest, and must add your blog to my blogroll list so I can find your latest at a
    'glance'! xo

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth. Glad you liked it. I just discovered smoked paprika and I love it.

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  8. Admittedly I'm kind of anti-cabbage, but not because I don't like the taste. I actually don't know! I've never tasted it cause the smell puts me off. Perhaps...I need to give it a proper chance because this looks very tasty :)

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    1. I have heard that if you put a little baking soda in water when you're boiling cabbage that the smell dissipates -- but I've never tried it!

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  9. Rosemary, this looks so delicious and you made it look so pretty too! Sometimes soups and stews taste wonderful but they just don't have that much eye appeal. Your carrots stayed so bright and colorful and I love the fresh green herbs.

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    1. If it wasn't for the carrots and the sprinkling of parsley, it wouldn't look too good, you're right. Brown foods and casseroles -- well, you got to prety much smell them before you look at them!

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  10. Perfect Fall fare! I am so on this recipe like scum on a pond ( you gotta love those old Yankee-isms!)

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  11. We are big cabbage lovers at my house. This dish looks wonderful and the addition of the sausage just makes me love it more. I can't wait to give it a try.

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    1. I really do think cabbage is underrated; this dish is a good one. I hope you'll try it.

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  12. This looks delicious--my husband makes a cabbage salad, but I love this variation with the sausage.

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    1. The kielbasi made it for my husband. (I thought it was great solo.)

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  13. A perfect cool weather dish - full of flavor and we know how good cabbage is for us!! Delicious
    mary x

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    1. I was a little hesitant at the amount of spice -- but it worked well!

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  14. Hi Rosemary we love Kielbasa and this is perfect indeed for this weather such wonderful comfort food, got to book mark this one!

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    1. I hope you'll try it, Claudia -- it is a perfect fall dish.

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  15. I don't think I have ever had kielbasi...the cabbage stew looks delicious and hearty. Perfect for cold days.

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  16. My husband was surprised when I made this, Rosemary, as I normally hate cabbage but this is a gorgeous winter warmer and I love the touch of sweetness and spice. It's now in my folder of "keepers"!

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    1. I'm so glad you tried this, Hester! It was my sister who tried it out first. (She's a great tester.) And she convinced me, and now Mr. Rosemary likes it, too. We have a new keeper as well.

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