Sausage and Cabbage Casserole

Recipe by Atheen
READY IN: 3hrs 30mins
SERVES: 4
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • First of all, prepare the cabbage. Put a big pot with water to boil. Do it first, this way it will get to the boiling point by the time you're done with the cabbage. Cut the cabbage head in half, then again in half, and then cut the core out by cutting the corner diagonally. Then cut it in inches wide strips, and separate them a little.
  • Once the water boils, salt WELL, and put all the cabbage inches It will look like a lot, but don't worry, it will wilt down a lot too. Cover. As soon as the water returns to a boil, count 10 to 15 minutes, and drain. Reserve.
  • As the cabbage is cooking, you can get started on the other vegetables. First the carrots. Peel them and cut them in 1/3 of an inch slices. Reserve.
  • Wash the leeks. Leeks need to be really washed thoroughly (nothing worse than having your teeth grind on dirt when you eat). First remove the first couple of peels, cut the dark green hard part of and trim the roots. Then cut them in half, almost all the way, but leaving the bottom inch still attached.
  • Wash them really well, check each leaf on both sides for dirt. Then chop them 2/3 of an inch thick chunks.
  • TIP : when you prepare and wash leeks, remember to always do it the root side UP, so that the dirt washes out of the leeks instead of flowing further inches.
  • Put them in a colander, and separate them, under running water to be safe for dirt . Reserve.
  • Now chop some bacon in half inch thick chunks. I use about 6-7 slices of bacon, but you can use more if you like. Just don't use less, we need both the fat the bacon is going to release, and the flavor as a base for the cabbage.
  • Just before you actually start cooking the dish, rinse the pot you cooked the cabbage in, put your potatoes in (skin on), lukewarm water, cover and put to boil. When it boils, add 2 cubes of Knorr vegetable bouillon cube, and salt liberally. Once it comes to a boil, pre-cook them for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave in the scalding water untill you're ready for them.
  • Now we are actually ready to start cooking.
  • Start the bacon it in the braisier with a little olive oil on medium heat to get it started. Once its starting to become golden, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • In the same fat, add half a Tbsp of lard and saute the carrots on medium heat with a little salt. Cover for 5-10 minutes, toss, cover again, for another 5-10 minutes, until they are starting to become golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • In the same fat, lower the heat to medium low, toss in the leeks, with a Tbsp of butter (gotta have butter with leeks), salt and pepper, and cover it until it begins to melt, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage and the bacon back in the pan and toss everything together until its mixed well.
  • Push it a little to make room for the 2 sausages, and hide the carrots behind the barrier made by the sausages. I use Hillshire Farm. (NOTE : Always rinse the sausages under cold water when you take it out of the package). Taste the cabbage for salt. Then cover with 2 cups of beef stock. When I don't have time to make my own, I use Kitchen Basics beef stock, because as its low in sodium, it allows me to control the salt.
  • Now peel the potatoes, and nest them well in the cabbage so they can suck up all the flavors. If you have extra potatoes you can put the extra ones on top of the sausages too.
  • Turn the heat to low, now its simmer time. Put a nob of butter on top of each potato, and sprinkle them generously with paprika (paprika+cabbage+any kind of polish sausage = great together). Cover.
  • Flipp them once after 30 minutes. Baste them with the juices and sprinkle them with Paprika on the other side. Cover for half an hour. After half an hour, spoon the juice over the potatoes and the cabbage to have them absorb the flavors. Do it again every half hour for the next 2 hours, keeping it covered. Check the cabbage for salt and rectify if necessary.
  • NOTE : If you were making the dish a day in advance, this is where you would pause it.
  • Uncover, turn the heat up to medium/medium low (you want it to reduce, but not burn the cabbage), and let the beef stock reduce almost all the way through.
  • Slice the sausage and put it back in the braisier.
  • Serve with Dijon Mustard.
  • Enjoy !
  • NOTE : never be afraid to cook cabbage for a long time (preferably braising it, like above). It's one of these vegetables that need a long cooking time to develop their sweetness and be good. The entire dish would be "cooked" per-se, an hour and a half earlier, but it needs that extra hour and a half, basting every 30 minutes, for the cabbage to taste right and the potatoes to absorb all the flavors of the dish. The more you cook this dish, the better it will get.
  • It's also a great dish to make a day in advance and reheat covered on very low heat. In this case, stop it at the "pause" stage, when you uncover it and let the beef stock reduce for half an hour. It will finish reducing as you re-heat it, only, you would keep it covered first until it starts to simmer.
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