Today is the first day of Advent. For the last couple of years, I’ve posted a recipe each day during Advent as a way to honour the memory of my mum when she passed away in 2011. She was deeply religious and revered the time of Advent leading up to Christmas.
One of the dishes we’d always make around this time of year was Cabbage Rolls (or commonly called Stuffed Cabbage). It was hearty and warming in the winter. It was one of those dishes that warmed you not only from its temperature, but from its comfort.
A common thing that accompanied our cabbage rolls was sausage. Our family recipe (which I’ll post soon) had sausage simmered in with the cabbage rolls to impart an extra meaty note to the dish.
I thought, why not try to incorporate the flavours of a nice cabbage roll into a sausage so you get that experience in a sausage slider, or sausage roll (recipe coming for that) or as a flavouring component in a larger dish.
Caramelized Cabbage Sausage:
For the Caramelized Cabbage:
1 tsp cold pressed canola oil
1 cup finely grated green cabbage
1 tsp salt
In a medium pot over medium high heat, add the oil. Once the oil heats to a smoulder but not smoking, add the cabbage and salt. Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot as necessary. As the cabbage dries slightly and sticks, you may need to add a few tablespoons of water and scrape the bottom further, incorporating the “brown bits” into the slowly browning cabbage.
Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the cabbage, stirring more, scraping more and repeating the addition of water if it gets too dry for a further 7-10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low and stir the cabbage more. It should be getting a pale brown colour, losing most of its remnant green colour. As it dries again (about 5-7 minutes later), add a bit more water, scraping the bottom of the pot once more, stirring the cabbage until it is a deep golden brown colour and remove from the heat. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to cool
For the sausage:
Reserved Caramelized Cabbage
1/4 cup tomato sauce
450g/1 lb ground pork
3 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tsp caraway seeds, coarsely ground
2 tsp salt
In a large bowl, add the Caramelized Cabbage, tomato sauce, ground pork, paprika, caraway seeds and salt.
Using your hands (there’s no better tool for this, plus it’s fun!!), combine the ingredients until uniform.
At this point you could keep the mix in your fridge for 5 days or wrap it in parchment paper and then with plastic wrap and freeze for a month.
Tonight, I made a simple sausage slider. I pan-fried a 1/4 cup measure of sausage, formed into a small patty over medium heat (the cabbage component is delicate and can burn if you’re not careful) and when it was brown on both sides I added it to a bun. I added a dressing made with a bit of extra Caramelized Cabbage that was stirred into some sour cream and called it dinner. Sometimes simple is best 🙂