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Pan-Cooked Cabbage with Potatoes, Speck and Sausage

by , featured in Istria
Published by Smith Street Books
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Introduction

Potatoes and cabbage were staples of winter meals in Istria; plentiful, filling and affordable. Speck or pancetta add fat and flavour to this simple dish, based on one Alice, my friend Tamara’s mother, would make, using savoy cabbage and potatoes from her husband Erminio’s garden. I also add sauerkraut for acidity, and caraway seeds for complexity, as I love their fragrant anise-like taste. To make this a complete wintery meal, I like to include a few good-quality pork sausages or partially cured chorizo. Some mustard and a bit of horseradish on the side wouldn’t go astray either.

Potatoes and cabbage were staples of winter meals in Istria; plentiful, filling and affordable. Speck or pancetta add fat and flavour to this simple dish, based on one Alice, my friend Tamara’s mother, would make, using savoy cabbage and potatoes from her husband Erminio’s garden. I also add sauerkraut for acidity, and caraway seeds for complexity, as I love their fragrant anise-like taste. To make this a complete wintery meal, I like to include a few good-quality pork sausages or partially cured chorizo. Some mustard and a bit of horseradish on the side wouldn’t go astray either.

Image of Paola Bacchia's Pan-Cooked Cabbage with Potatoes, Speck and Sausage
Photo by Paola Bacchia

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Metric Cups
  • ½ savoy cabbage
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 large desiree potatoes or other all-purpose potatoes (scrubbed, unpeeled)
  • 2 - 3 good quality pork or chorizo sausages
  • 100 grams speck or pancetta (diced)
  • 1 brown onion (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 250 grams sauerkraut (drained)
  • ¾ teaspoon caraway seeds (crushed)
  • ½ savoy cabbage
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes or other all-purpose potatoes (scrubbed, unpeeled)
  • 2 - 3 good quality pork or chorizo sausages
  • 3½ ounces speck or pancetta (diced)
  • 1 brown onion (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 9 ounces sauerkraut (drained)
  • ¾ teaspoon caraway seeds (crushed)

Method

Pan-Cooked Cabbage with Potatoes, Speck and Sausage is a guest recipe by Paola Bacchia so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. Roughly chop the cabbage into strips and remove the central spine. Place in a large saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place the whole potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, season with salt, then reduce the heat and simmer rapidly for 25–30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender, but still whole.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, pierce the sausages a few times with a fork and place in a small saucepan filled with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. (You can pan-fry the sausages instead, if you like.) Chop into chunks and set aside.
  4. Place the speck, onion and olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat. Sauté for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the onion has softened, but not browned. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the cabbage and the drained sauerkraut. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in the caraway seeds and cook for 5 minutes or so, until all the flavours have combined, then add the sausages. When your potatoes are fork-tender, drain them and drop them whole into the pan. Crush the potatoes with the back of a fork; you want them to be partially mashed, but still have a few chunky pieces. Cook for about 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt.
  6. This dish tastes even better a day or more after it is made – though it is so delicious it probably won’t last that long.
  1. Roughly chop the cabbage into strips and remove the central spine. Place in a large saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place the whole potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, season with salt, then reduce the heat and simmer rapidly for 25–30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender, but still whole.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, pierce the sausages a few times with a fork and place in a small saucepan filled with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. (You can pan-fry the sausages instead, if you like.) Chop into chunks and set aside.
  4. Place the speck, onion and olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat. Sauté for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the onion has softened, but not browned. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the cabbage and the drained sauerkraut. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in the caraway seeds and cook for 5 minutes or so, until all the flavours have combined, then add the sausages. When your potatoes are fork-tender, drain them and drop them whole into the pan. Crush the potatoes with the back of a fork; you want them to be partially mashed, but still have a few chunky pieces. Cook for about 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt.
  6. This dish tastes even better a day or more after it is made – though it is so delicious it probably won’t last that long.

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