I went to the Polish deli last week and came away with some great kielbasa. This is the creation that came from that adventure. The dill pickles are the key. They offer flavor, texture and well, they’re dill pickles. They’re the perfect foil for all the other flavors. As I mentioned, I had a Polish deli adventure. I love the Polish deli. They have the best ham and all sorts of good stuff, but their selection of kielbasa is without a doubt the highlight of my adventure. So many choices….I bought several “lengths” and we enjoyed them, simply sliced, with good mustard, good bread and beer or a wine. Kielbasa is a good late night snack and it’s a nice appetizer or to use for tapas, making it a great mid-week summer meal; no heating up the stove. Add some fruit and you have dinner.
This is a skillet dinner, which as you know, The Goddess is fond of. I thinks it’s that whole “one-dirty-pan-to-clean” thing. This is a simple mixture: kielbasa, potatoes, cabbage (or Brussels sprouts), garlic, seasonings and both dillweed and dill pickles. It’s those dill pickles that make this. A nice little crunch and a burst of flavor. I used Polish dills, which are just a tad sweet, but regular dills are good, too. Dice everything about the same size, except for the pickles and dillweed.
You can absolutely make this, even if it’s been a much too long day. It has comfort food properties, too. Adjust the ingredients and amounts as needed. You could add zucchini and mushrooms, if you wanted. Think of this recipe as a blank canvas and create your own work of art!
Kielbasa with Potatoes, Cabbage and Dill Pickles
- 1 length of kielbasa (about 12-14 inches), cut into half-moons
- 3-4 tablespoons bacon grease or olive oil
- 3-4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup diced onion (I used frozen onions)
- 8-12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I used 12)
- 1/4 head of cabbage, cut into large dice (about 2 cups)
- 3-5 dill pickles, diced (about the size of a kidney bean—3/4 cup)
- 2-3 tablespoons diced fresh dillweed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Ground mulling spices (optional, but very tasty)
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoons of fat; carefully toss in the kielbasa. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add additional fat to the skillet and add the potatoes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook the potatoes, covered. Stir them occasionally. I find a spatula works best for this. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until they are brown and almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook until the potatoes are tender. The whole potato-cooking process takes about 7-8 minutes.
Add the garlic; stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and kielbasa to the skillet. Using a spatula, slide the spatula under the mixture, and flip it over. Do this occasionally and continue to cook until the cabbage just starts to become slightly limp. If you want it softer, cook it longer. I cooked it about 5 minutes. Add the dill pickles and the fresh dill. Sprinkle with salt and grind pepper and mulling spice over the whole mixture. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
NOTE: If you are in a hurry, you may pour about 1/2 cup of water over the potatoes, pop a lid on and cook until just barely tender. Add more water, if needed. If you remove the lid just before the mixture boils dry, the potatoes will crisp up and brown better; add the onions and continue with the recipe.
I think this would be great to serve with a dollop of sour cream and some mustard. You can use quartered Brussels sprouts instead of the cabbage, if you have them or prefer them. You could even use kale, if you must! Feel free to sprinkle with bacon bits and cheddar cheese. The sky’s the limit!
Kielbasa with Potatoes, Cabbage and Dill Pickles Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
I use freshly ground mulling spice quite frequently, particularly with pork. I have a pepper grinder that I fill with mulling spice (which you can get at The Spice Mill). It’s great to use all year long as a savory seasoning. Try it. It’s delicious with anything related to German food…Oh, and with cider or for mulled wine, of course.
We ate this just as is. Well, we had a nice German beer with it, which worked well. I think a dollop of sour cream, bacon bits, and shredded cheddar cheese would be a wonderful “garnish”. You know, perogi-like. Now, wasn’t that easy?