Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ode to Germany: Rustic Bratwurst and Savoy Cabbage Stew

Today I want to celebrate my German roots. When you attach the word Germany to a culinary experience, what comes to mind...? Sausage of course!

I had a pack of 10 Brats in the freezer and a head of savoy (that deep green curly-leafed cabbage) in the fridge as well as the usual staples I keep on hand, like carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic. The key to a really good broth here, is in getting a nice 'caramelization' on the onions and garlic and in adding thyme and smoked paprika.

Once you get all of the ingredients nicely amalgamated into your Dutch (or German) oven, it then goes into the oven to simmer into one delicious rustic stew. This is a rustic dish, so the less uniform the pieces are, the better.

Here's how its done:

Rustic Bratwurst and Savoy Cabbage Stew


1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
10 bratwurst, uncooked and cut into random pieces (1/3's and 1/4's)
3 strips bacon, fat trimmed and chopped
2 Tbsp smoked Paprika
1Tbsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 can canned diced tomatoes with some liquid
1/2-3/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into random pieces
1 medium sized head savoy cabbage, outer leaves separated, washed, tough ribs removed and torn into random pieces; inner cabbage leaves separated and torn, if needed.
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. In large Dutch oven, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat; add onion and cook until transparent; reduce heat to medium and add garlic; cook until onions and garlic are caramelized, about 12 minutes.
  2. Add bacon and sausages and continue to cook until lightly browned (careful not to burn the garlic); drain the fat.
  3. Add smoked Paprika and thyme, salt and pepper, canned tomatoes and 1/4 cup vegetable broth; stir to blend; place potatoes on top and cover with cabbage; sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
  4. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in a preheated 325F oven for 1 hour; after 1/2 hour remove lid and gently fold ingredients over to blend cabbage and liquid with remaining ingredients; add more broth if needed. 
  5. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley, rustic bread and a beer, if you fancy!

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