I wanted to make this dish because I knew I never gave it enough credit when I was younger. You see, my grandmother used to make this all the time. It was served piping hot, with cornbread, in one of our glass bowls. I never really got to the glass bowl. I’d just stand over the stove, picking out the pieces of sausages, staring down into the steam at the goopy bits of boiled cabbage. I’d say, “I’m not hungry” and I’d sneak some breakfast cereal into the den after she was done eating. I’ll bet she was always wondering where the rest of the sausage went.
So, I said to myself, “Self, you’ve got to buck up. Pull your pants up a little. It’s just cabbage. Give it another try.” And, so, in between my obsessive viewings of Downton Abbey and trying to be social this past weekend, I whipped up a batch of cabbage and sausage.
You know what? It really isn’t bad. I’m not going to lie and say it’s my favorite food. Hah, I mean, it’s no biscuit or potato, but it’s definitely not the treacherous, horrible food I deemed it to be when I was a teenager. The cabbage kind of holds up its thickness and the sausage creates a less offensive cabbage flavor.
boiled cabbage and sausage
1 pound minimally processed kielbasa sausage
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne
2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp all natural cane sugar
1 head cabbage, chopped
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté the sausage until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 inch slices.
Add the olive oil and chopped onion to the hot grease in the pan. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook until onion is translucent. Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until flour is a blonde color, about 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Add the sugar, cabbage, and sliced sausage and simmer on low, covered, for 20 minutes.
Boiled cabbage. Hm. Boiled…cabbage. That sounds so…unrefined. So rural. So rustic. I suppose you could call it “bubbling leaves” or something. But I think boiled cabbage works for me. Why? I’m originally from Lugoff. It is, indeed, a real place. And it’s pretty stinkin’ rural. People muddin’ in trucks. Wadin’ down in the river. Dirt roads for miles. So, yeah, boiled cabbage works.