Kielbasa Cabbage Stew

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Favorite Recipes |

One of the favorites from my mother’s recipes is Kielbasa-Cabbage Stew. I call it our German stew, though I really have no idea if Germans eat this, but my mother’s grandfather came over from Germany and the stew has sausage and cabbage with potatoes so it sounds good to me. We didn’t grow up eating this, she started making this in the final years of her life. It became an instant favorite.

This is a healthy meal, fairly easy to make, and can last for a while. Dawn and I made this yesterday to celebrate a “cool front” that came through Ft Worth knocking the temperatures down from around 103 to 93. It is normally a fall-winter stew, but we wanted it anyway.

Start with a package of Kielbasa Sausage, 14 oz. This is a Turkey Sausage and low in fat with a good flavor, though perhaps high in sodium for some. Cut the sausage up into slices that are about 1/8″ thick. I then cut about half of those slices in half so that the stew has both big chunks and smaller chunks ensuring that more bites of the stew have sausage in them.

Put the cut sausage into the big dutch oven over a medium heat so that it slowly browns.

While the sausage is browning cut up about 2-3 lbs of potatoes, I use the Red Skinned potatoes and leave the skins on; they are full of vitamins. Here is where you can modify the recipe to meet your health needs. As a diabetic I need to watch out for the potatoes so I will put in less potatoes and more of the cabbage. Dice the ‘taters up into about a half inch square then toss them in to brown a little bit with the sausage. (Better not forget to stir that sausage once in a while too.)

Next we cut up the cabbage. The original recipe my mom had called for only 2 cups of cabbage, she always added more and I add much more. I cut up basically three dinner plates full of cabbage, about half was purple cabbbage. The purple cabbage has a few extra vitamins and the visual effect is very appealing on the first night. By the second night the stew basically leaches out the color. Add the cabbage into the sizzling meat and potatoes and stir.

While that is cooking now dice up  a medium onion. I use purple onion for the flavor and color. I also had some Vidalia Sweet onion on hand, but I am not about to waste a Vidalia in a stew. Toss the onion in with the rest and stir.

By now the stew is needing some liquid in a bad way. Pop open two cans, 14.5 oz each of chicken broth and pour into the stew and stir.

I added between 3-4 cups of water, go slowly so you get the consistency you want.

Now we can add the flavorings. Start with 3-4 tablespoons of Brown Sugar, depending on how sweet you want the stew. I used 4.

Next, add 1/2 to 1 whole teaspoon of black pepper. I like it peppery so I added the whole teaspoon. Believe it or not (for those of you have followed my cooking over the months) I did not add any cayenne pepper nor jalapenos.

Next I added 2-3 teaspoons of Caraway Seed. I prefer to just dump the Caraway in and stir but Dawn (and my mom) prefers it to be wrapped in cheesecloth so the seeds do not come loose but still transfer the flavor. I would recommend that you start with only 2 tsps of the caraway to see if you like it, it can have a strong flavor. I love it and use more.

At this point you need to bring the stew to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes to make sure the potatoes are done, then add the beans.

Now we open two cans of dark red kidney beans. Drain and rinse in a collander then add to the stew and stir in.

Kidney beans are wayyyy healthy. Good protein, high in cholesterol fighting fiber, good for diabetics, high in minerals and vitamins…nice color too!

Now add 4-6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I like the stronger vinegar flavor and so I go with the higher dosage. You might want to go slow on this one.

Finally, we want to thicken the stew with some flour. I used 4 heaping tablespoons of whole grain organic barley flour or whole wheat flour. I have been using whole wheat or barley flour in my gravies for a couple of years now and love it. You can mix your flour with some water to form a paste and then stir it in to the stew gradually. Adjust the amount of flour for how thick you want the stew. If you accidently get it too thick you can always add a bit more water.

Now you simmer this stew just a few more minutes until it thickens and it is ready to serve.



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