Saturday, March 13, 2010

Polish Easter Sausage

When I was a kid, my best friends had grandparents from Poland. I was exposed to many regional dishes, since their grandmother visited often and was a good cook.

I also worked with my friends' parents, who did catering, especially for Polish-American weddings.

A "must-have" wedding dish, but also an Easter dish, was what they called "Polish Easter Sausage," a savory combination of lightly smoked kielbasa sausage braised in a tomato-tinged sauerkraut and cabbage mixture.

The dish is Polish American, more than old-country Polish, I have learned, but became a mainstay specialty in Polish-American communities.

In Poland -- and among Polish Americans -- the typical drink with this meal is beer. But an off-dry German Riesling (Kabinett level of ripeness) or an Austrian GrĂ¼ner Veltliner would also accompany the dish well.

The recipe serves 4 to 6.

Polish Easter and Wedding Sausage

1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 pound (half a small head) cabbage, quartered, cored, shredded
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon whole caraway seeds or 1/2 teaspoon juniper berries
1 small (14-ounce) can shredded sauerkraut, juice squeezed out
1 small (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, unflavored
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound kielbasa sausage cut in 2-inch lengths on a slight angle
Sour cream for serving, optional

In stainless steel or enamel pot, gently fry onion in oil, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown.

Add cabbage, and raise heat. Fry, stirring often, until starting to brown.

Add water, pepper, and caraway or juniper berries. Cover, and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, or until cabbage is starting to become tender.

Add drained sauerkraut and entire can of tomatoes. Simmer 20 minutes, covered but stirring occasionally. Add a little water if becoming dry.

Add sugar, salt and kielbasa. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste cabbage. Add salt, if necessary.

If desired, sour cream can be spooned on when serving.

Serve with boiled, salted potatoes. Accompany with horseradish mustard or Dijon mustard.


Blogger Revolt said...

I live in Ukraine (Kiev) and leading blog
Looking for recipe for Passover as sausage meat products in casings. Your recipe is very interesting, but it finished sausage, stewed with vegetables.
Why is it called the "Passover sausage"? Because he put on the table on Easter Sunday?

9:35 AM  

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