Here’s a quickie for ya – this was one of those impromptu meals I had no intention of documenting, until it turned out as delicious as it did. It was a means of chipping away at the contents of my freezer in order to transfer everything to the new fridge, and a garlic sausage was the first to make its escape.
When Mike and I were younger – newly married and past the novelty of Eggos and Hamburger Helper (the things my mom smartly denied my sisters and I as kids) for dinner, I decided that since he was of Ukranian descent, I should make him big panfuls of kielbasa and cabbage. Though he had grown up on nothing of the sort (think KD and Twinkies – his family didn’t even like peroghies) he loved it (must have been in his blood), but at some point I got distracted and forgot how delicious it was.
And then my friend Elizabeth went on a trip to Poland, came home inspired and with a couple extra bottles of potato vodka, and invited us over for pickle soup (if you’re a fan of pickles, try this – I crave it now) and a big potful of bigos. Since then I’ve been craving a big, warming, eastern European sausage stew of sorts – something smothered with something else – and ’tis the season for cranberry sauce and cabbage, and simmering everything together so there’s only one pot to wash.
Sausage Smothered in Red Cabbage with Cranberries
canola oil, for cooking
a dab of butter
1 lb. kielbasa or garlic sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup cranberry sauce (or to taste)
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and a blob of butter over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it starts to brown.
Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until it softens. Add the cabbage and apple and cook, stirring often and covering with a lid, until soft. Add the cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking, stirring often, until thickened and softened.
Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. Serves 4.