As the tempratures cool, and the floods retreat, I venture back into the kitchen.
Most of the summer has been CONSUMED with chasing tradesmen to get the new house up to speed, dodging heat stroke, and dealing with a new obsession.
But as autumn begins to fall, and the desire for more hearty fair creeps back, I find myself in the kitchen with an old family staple, cabbage and Kielbasa.
Sausage is a staple of Polish cuisine and comes in dozens of varieties, smoked or fresh, made with pork, beef, turkey, lamb, chicken or veal with every region having its own speciality. Of these, the kiełbasa lisiecka, produced in Małopolskie, has had PGI protection since late 2010. There are official Polish government guides and classifications of sausages based on size, meat, ready-to-eat or uncooked varieties.
Originally made at home in rural areas, there are a wide variety of recipes for kielbasa preparation at home and for holidays. Kielbasa is also one of the most traditional foods served at Polish weddings. Popular varieties include:
kabanos, a thin, air-dried sausage flavoured with caraway seed, originally made of pork
kielbasa odesskie, made with beef.
kiełbasa wędzona, Polish smoked sausage, used often in soups.
krakowska, a thick, straight sausage hot-smoked with pepper and garlic; its name comes from Kraków
wiejska ([ˈvʲejska]), farmhouse sausage; it is a large U-shaped pork and veal sausage with marjoram and garlic; its name means “rural” or (an adjectival use of) “country”, or (adjectival use of) “village”.
weselna, “wedding” sausage, medium thick, u-shaped smoked sausage; often eaten during parties, but not exclusively
kaszanka or kiszka is a traditional blood sausage or black pudding.
myśliwska is a smoked, dried pork sausage.
kiełbasa biała, a white sausage sold uncooked and often used in soups.
Kielbasa krakowska, also called “Krakauer”, which originated in the city of Kraków
The most popular kiełbasa is also called “Kiełbasa Polska” (“Polish Sausage”) or “Kiełbasa Starowiejska” (“Old Countryside Sausage”).
In Poland, kiełbasa is often served garnished with fried onions, and – in the form of cut pieces – smoked kiełbasa can be served cold, hot, boiled, baked or grilled. It can be cooked in soups such as żurek (sour rye soup), kapuśniak (cabbage soup), or grochówka (pea soup), baked or cooked with sauerkraut, or added to bean dishes, stews (notably bigos, a Polish national dish), and casseroles. Kiełbasa is also very popular served cold as cold cuts on a platter, usually for an appetizer at traditional Polish parties. It is also a common snack (zagrycha) served with beer or plain vodka.
A less widely encountered but equally popular variety of kiełbasa is the White Fresh (biała – i.e. “white”). It is mainly used as a soup meat, and is therefore sold uncooked and unsmoked. When used, it is prepared by boiling, frying or boiling in soup in place of raw meat. This kiełbasa’s taste is similar to a white Thuringian sausage. Traditionally served with barszcz biały.
Cabbage Stir Fry
- 3 cups Cabbage Coarsely Chopped, 1/2 " Chunks
- 1/2 ea Smoked Kielbasa Sliced to 1/2" rings, See Notes
- 1/2 ea Onion Medium, peeled chunked to 1/2"
- 1/2 ea Bell Pepper Washed, Cored, chunked to 1/2"
- 1 ea Chili Pepper Washed, stemmed, sliced thinly (optional)
- 1 tsp Butter Real Stuff
- 1/4 cup Chicken Stock Low Salt
- Salt / Pepper To Taste
- In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add sausage and brown slightly, add butter if needed.
- Add and saute cabbage, onion and peppers until crisp-tender. Looking for some browning.
- Depending on flavor profile and serving add chicken stock, cover and cook to desired texture.
- Replace the chicken stock with a stir fry sauce.
- Add additional stock and cook into a soup.
- Replace the sausage with thick-cut bacon or pork belly, lardons
- Replace the cabbage with Bok Choy
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