Sausage and Cabbage

On St. Patrick’s Day we may tend to think about green beer or Irish whiskey. Or we hunger for traditional Irish foods. When doing so, corned beef and cabbage may come to mind, even though the dish is not originally from Ireland. In truth, it was popularized by Irish immigrants in America when they couldn’t afford their more traditional bacon. Something special happens when we add crispy bacon and caramelized onion to cabbage. So, here are a couple of Super Simple recipes, one with sausage and one with bacon. Both will satisfy your St. Patrick’s Day hunger and set you on course to dash blarney back and forth with friends… with or without green beer or Irish whiskey.

Sausage and Cabbage
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 lb smoked sausage, kielbasa, or bratwurst, sliced into ½“-thick disks
1 lg onion (sweet or yellow), sliced
8 c coarsely chopped green cabbage (about half of large or whole medium cabbage head)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ c chicken bone broth or stock
2 T chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley
For serving: grainy whole mustard and/or sour cream

Heat oil and butter in large skillet over med-high heat. Add sausage, cook and stir 4-5 min, till golden brown on both sides. Remove sausage with slotted spoon to a plate, but keep oil in pan. Add onion to the pan and let cook about 5 min to soften. Add cabbage, garlic, salt & pepper; cook 7-8 more minutes, till cabbage wilts. Return sausage to skillet and stir to combine. Add chicken stock. Cover pan and reduce heat to medium low; let cook 20 minutes, without removing cover. Then stir in parsley and add more salt & pepper, if desired. Serve. Makes about 3 servings.

KISS Note: There are no hard and fast rules. I’ve seen this dish prepared with hotdogs, rather than smoked sausage. I’ve also seen it with extra goodies tucked in, ranging from peas and carrots to sliced ripe olives and rice. You can also add more broth and make it a stew.

Fried Cabbage
Typically, I am a fan of regular-cut bacon, but for Fried Cabbage, I suggest choosing the Irish original… thick-cut.
5 slices raw, thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 large onion (yellow or sweet), coarsely chopped
1 small head green cabbage, cored & diced into 1” pieces
2 T water
1 T kosher salt
1 tsp celery seed
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 T apple cider vinegar
Cook bacon in medium Dutch oven 10-12 min over med heat, till crispy. Remove from heat and use slotted spoon to transfer bacon to paper towels but leaving bacon dripping in pan. Add onion to pan and cook over med heat for about 6 min, stirring often. Then add cabbage, 2 T water, salt, celery seed, and pepper, tossing well to distribute throughout cabbage. Cover and cook 8-10, stirring occasionally just till cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and bacon. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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