If You Like Garlic……..
Nora is a great friend of my wife’s and spent some time with us over the holidays with her husband and young son Liam. While here, she made this great meal in less than an hour. This meal is delicious. It calls for beans and a lot of garlic…. so be careful. Nora says, “This meal is cheap and quick!”
When cooking for a family, cheap and quick are definitely the name of the game. And that this meal is also hearty and filling is a bonus. “Kielbasa” is the Polish word for sausage. Hence, it could be used to describe any kind of sausage.
Polish Sausage, is usually a pork-based (or 80% pork/20% beef) sausage flavored with garlic, salt, pepper and marjoram. In the United States, though, all manner of sausages are marketed as Kielbasa. Confusing, yes. The good news is that you can use almost any smoked sausage that you like to make this dish, even ones made with ground turkey.
Winter Polish Sausage and Bean Stew
1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil, such as Canola
2 lb. Kielbasa sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 - 8 oz. cans Great Northern beans or other canned white beans (Cannellini would be fine), drained
1 cup chicken stock (canned low sodium or homemade)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled, chopped
8 - 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 whole bunch parsley, chopped, divided
How To Prepare At Home
Cut the Kielbasa up into small slices and finely chop the garlic. Chop the parsley. Halve the tomatoes.
Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat for three or four minutes. When the pan is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.
When the oil shimmers, add the sausage and sauté until lightly browned. Add the drained beans, the chicken stock, garlic, tomatoes and half the parsley to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer gently for at least thirty minutes so the flavors can meld.
About five minutes before serving, add the other half of the chopped parsley, reserving just a bit for garnish.
To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with a little fresh parsley.
Nora says, "I like serving this meal in bowls with crusty bread and a hearty red wine."
This would also be wonderful served over gnocchi. I know that gnocchi are Italian, but they are almost identical in ingredients and cooking method to Polish dumplings. Simply pick up a bag of fresh or frozen gnocchi at the grocery store and cook them according to package directions.
This stew is fantastic as is, but it also lends itself to any number of variations. Add any fresh or dried herbs that you like. Just add them to taste.
Consider adding a large can of diced tomatoes.
The addition of some red cabbage would be in keeping with the Polish roots of this dish. If you like cabbage, add about a cup of shredded cabbage when you add the beans.
If you are not a huge garlic fan, you can certainly cut back on the garlic to only one or two cloves as opposed to a whole head.
Try roasting the garlic first. Simply cut off the end of the garlic head to expose the cloves, drizzle with some olive oil and wrap in foil. Then, roast at 375°F for about an hour, or until the garlic is very soft and caramelized. Let it cool and then squeeze out the soft roasted garlic and add it along with the beans.
Nora, thanks for this simple but elegant recipe.
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