Cabbage Kielbasa Stew
I first made this stew when working in a local group home. I would like to give a shout out to Diane Bober for the starter recipe. When I moved on from the group home I didn't take any recipes with me other than what I had committed to memory, so I'm sure this isn't spot on. This stew makes me feel warm all over and it smells delicious! It's just perfect for a winter weather advisory afternoon. Sometimes I make it in the crock pot, and sometimes, I want to eat it right now so I rush it on the stove. Last night was one of those nights that I wanted it "right now."
1 Polksa Kielbasa (I used Turkey this time)
1 Medium Head of Cabbage
2 Celery Stalks
1 can broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 can of water
2 garlic cloves
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fennel seeds if ya got 'em,
(if not doctor it up with some rosemary and Italian seasoning, and a titch of cumin)
2 Potatoes (optional)
Cut up your onion, get that sauteing in the pan with a bit of oil of your choice. Ideally, you would throw the sliced kielbasa in now too, but mine was frozen so I was thawing it out in the microwave. While waiting for the kielbasa to thaw, go ahead and slice up your carrots and celery*, and throw them in the pan with some salt and pepper. Add your garlic, minced. Ah now, the kielbasa has thawed... slice that up thin and throw it in the pan. Continue sauteing while you shred the cabbage, however large or small of pieces you want. I am lazy, so we get big pieces of cabbage (easier for hubby to pick out too). Add the cabbage to the pot, add your broth and water. Sometimes I run out of broth and just use water. You have to let it cook longer, but it still tastes pretty good!
I then add my spices. Throw in your bay leaves and cover the top with salt and pepper (you can always add more later). I keep forgetting to buy fennel seeds at the grocer, so I used a touch of cumin, and some Italian seasoning and some rosemary. Use what you like to create a good flavor that you and your loved ones will enjoy.
Let it simmer on the stove until the cabbage is soft and tender. Let it simmer longer if you want your flavors to merry more, it smells great. I of course wanted to eat it "RIGHT NOW," so I didn't cook mine very long last night.
You will see that I did not add potato. You can add it if you like. I leave it out because hubby sometimes picks out all the sausage leaving vegetable stew for me to eat. If I leave out the potatoes, this doesn't happen as much. There is more sausage to stew ratio. If you did add potatoes you can peel them or not peel them. I wouldn't, because I hate peeling potatoes.
* I always wash my veggies before i peel them. This way I can save the skins (onion, carrots, potatoes etc.) for a veggie broth for next time. I throw them in a freezer bag and label it. OR, i feed them to the chickens. OR I make broth out of them, strain the broth and then feed it to the chickens. AND your garbage doesn't get stinky!