Thursday, April 20, 2017

Romanian Red Cabbage and Pork Sausage

     Old Fashioned Comfort Food!
     Romanian style Red Cabbage and Sausage recipe is nice entrée for the change of seasons.  During the autumn and spring seasons daytime temperatures can be warm and the nights can be chilly.  Wide swings in temperature can stress the immune system and the high Vitamin C content in cabbage will help to maintain good health.  The comfortable warmth of mild Hungarian Paprika in this entrée not only adds character, it also helps to ward off the change of season blues too.      
     Today's recipe is traditionally made with white cabbage, but red cabbage is also popular in Romania.  The purple color of the cabbage gives this entrée nice eye appeal.  The Hungarian Paprika also brightens the color.
     Pork is the number one meat staple in Romania and traditional small farm methods of harvesting a pig in this country are interesting to see.  It goes without saying that some of the greatest pork recipes in the world are Romanian.  Where plenty of pork is marketed, fresh pork sausage is readily available.
     Romanian fresh pork sausages tend to be lightly seasoned, just like fresh Kielbasa from a good butcher shop.  Fresh Bratwurst from a butcher shop is a good choice for today's recipe too.  Bratwurst is made with a high proportion of pork with a low percentage of beef and veal.
     The reason why hand crafted pork sausage from a good butcher shop is recommended comes down to quality.  In modern times, national brand sausage companies have found ways to turn cartilage and fat into a slurry that is added to a mass produced pork sausage meat mixture to extend profits.  The result is a Bratwurst or Kielbasa that has a Hot Dog texture and increased saturated fats.  Cheap mass produced sausage may be okay when junk food is craved at a ball game, but it is definitely is not a good choice for an old fashioned comfort food meal.
     Romanian Red Cabbage and Pork Sausage:
     This recipe yields 2 portions.
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauce pot (or brazing pan) over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add 1/2 cup of thin sliced onion.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper.
     Sauté till the onions start to turn clear in color.
     Step 2:  Add 7 to 8 cups of very thin sliced red cabbage.
     Sauté and stir till the cabbage starts to wilt.
     Step 3:  Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of mild Hungarian Paprika.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Smoked Hungarian Paprika.
     Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper.  (Optional for a spicy flavor.)
     Add 1 pinch of whole caraway seed.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary leaf.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.  (to taste)
     Step 4:  Add just enough light pork broth to almost cover the cabbage.  (About 2 1/2 cups.)
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Place 3 Fresh Pork Sausages that weigh 5 to 6 ounces apiece on top of the cabbage.  (Uncooked Fresh Pork Kielbasa or Fresh Bratwurst are a good choice.)
     Cover the pot with a loose fitting lid.
     Gently simmer till the sausages are fully cooked.
     Step 6:  Remove the sausages from the pot and place them on a cutting board.
     Cut the sausages into large bite size pieces.
     Return the sausage pieces to the pot of red cabbage.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Step 7:  Leave the lid off of the pot.
     Simmer and reduce till the cabbage is very tender and till only about 1 cup of liquid remains.  (Only add a splash of water if the liquid evaporates too soon.) 
     Step 8:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Place the Romanian Red Cabbage and Pork Sausage in a large serving bowl.
     Try to expose some of the sausage pieces on the surface.
     Garnish the bowl with a rosemary sprig.
     Serve with sliced bread on the side.
     Romanian Red Cabbage and Pork Sausage is simple delicious entrée!

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