Ugly food alert!! But the taste more than makes up for it.
Cabbage is a hearty winter vegetable that can survive in the refrigerator for several weeks before it’s time to use. I had a large cabbage lingering in the fridge for 3 weeks that I kept wanting to prepare but I just couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted to do with it.
At first I thought of slicing it into a cole slaw salad but I kept steering my thoughts towards braised or cooked cabbage instead. Finally, I decided that I would pay homage to my husband’s Polish roots by combining cabbage with some kind of meat. Sausages or wieners came to mind and so this recipe came to be.
This dish is hearty and very tasty. I made it extra spicy by adding chipotle seasoning but you can skip the heat if you like. Seriously though, the smokiness of the chipotle does wonders to this dish. I also used Rowe Farms all-beef wieners with no preservatives (nitrate-free) which is the only cured meat product I purchase these days. You can also use veggie dogs or Tofurky sausages if you want to make this vegetarian/vegan. The spiciness of the cabbage is tempered with a dollop of all natural plain yoghurt upon serving. Vegans can use apple sauce instead of the yoghurt which would make this dish savoury, tart and just as yummy!
stewed cabbage with wieners
1/2 large cabbage cut into slices
2 bell peppers, sliced (any colour you like)
1 large red onion, diced
1 tsp chipotle seasoning
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp tomato paste, diluted in a half cup water
1/2 cup apple cider juice or vegetable stock
pinch salt (optional)
5 beef wieners/hot dogs/veggie dogs, chopped into chunks
1) Heat olive oil in a large cooking vessel. Sautè the diced onion for a few minutes. Then add the sliced peppers. Stir everything and put the lid on the pot. (Always remember to replace the lid to ensure even heat throughout the cooking process.) Allow to cook for 5 more minutes until onions and peppers are wilted. Now add the chipotle seasoning, if using. Add a pinch of salt (optional).
2) Add the raw cabbage to the pot. Make sure you are using your largest pot because the cabbage will take up a lot of room at first. Add the apple cider juice and the tomato paste mixed in water. Return lid to pot and allow the pot to simmer on medium for 10 minutes. Check on the cabbage and stir. Keep stirring periodically to prevent sticking. (You may need to add a bit more water if you find there isn’t enough liquid in the pot.) I generally allow for about an inch of liquid. Too much liquid will make this dish soupy and remember that the cabbage will also release its own liquid as it cooks.
3) At this point – about 30 minutes into cooking – you can sample a piece of the cabbage to see how soft it is. If it’s still crunchy allow another 10 minutes of cooking time. Otherwise turn off the burner and let things sit in the pot for about 5 minutes. Give everything a good stir ensuring that the bottom contents are moved to the top. This step is especially important if you are using a tall pot like I did.
4) Serve cabbage hot with some plain yoghurt and/or a chunk of crusty bread, the latter being great for sopping up the apple cider – chipotle – cabbage juice!!