If you’re trying to get a satisfying, home-cooked meal on the table, sausage is your friend. Sausage is the master of many guises and the embodiment of variety. A simple package of ground meat (lamb! venison! pork! beef! veal!) and spices, sausage can be transformed into pasta sauce, soup, meat loaf; it can become the filling for dumplings, a tortilla, a quiche, or a deep-dish pie. It can be paired successfully with every vegetable I can think of, and it can be grilled, fried, braised or broiled.
Our farmers’ market, fortunately, has many varieties of sausage, which is a frequent visitor to our dinner table. And while it is a cliché of many western cuisines, sausage cries out to be married to cabbage and potatoes, which can also be prepared quickly on a weeknight. (By the way, if you’re interested in making your own sausage, or meaty things in general, check out Charcutepalooza over here.) Two weeks ago at the market, I was looking for ground lamb from Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm, and I found a lamb kielbasa, which I had not tried. I scooped it up and it came in handy this week when I found potatoes and cabbage in the crisper.
Lately, we’ve been preferring our cabbage sliced into wedges and browned—seriously, very caramelized—in my braiser, at which point I add the lid and pop it in the oven to steam/bake. This brings out the wonderful sweetness of the cabbage and cooks it just enough. (I have horrible memories of friends’ mothers who over-boiled their cabbage. Blech.)
This technique works well if you want to cook the sausage and the cabbage in one pan, which I highly recommend. After the cabbage is nice and brown, you add in the sausage and brown it, too. Then, the whole thing goes into the oven to finish cooking. Add some thinly sliced, roasted potatoes, and you can have dinner on the table in 45 minutes. The instructions below have interlocking steps so that the whole meal will be ready at once.
Sausage, cabbage, and potatoes
Serves 2 with leftovers
- 1 – 1.5 pounds sausage, sliced into 1” segments (I used lamb kielbasa in these photographs, but veal, pork, or beef varieties would work, smoked or unsmoked)
- half a large head of cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
- 4 medium potatoes, quartered and sliced into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. In a colander, toss sliced potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, letting excess drain off. Pour potatoes into a baking dish, add garlic cloves, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slide the dish into the oven.
3. In a shallow, lidded braiser or casserole that can be used on the stove and in the oven, heat enough of remaining olive oil to thinly coat bottom of pan, over medium-high heat, until it shimmers. Add cabbage wedges with one flat side on pan. Leave it there 6 or so minutes until surface is thoroughly browned.
4. Using tongs, flip to the other flat side and brown for another 6 minutes or more. After flipping, consolidate wedges in pan and add sausage pieces and additional olive oil if needed.
5. After second side of cabbage is deep brown, place lid on pan and slide it into the oven.
6. Bake in oven until potatoes are done, and the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 170 F. The cabbage will have reduced in size and it will be thoroughly cooked.
7. Remove from oven. Adjust salt and pepper as needed and serve from the stove.