Polish kielbasa sausage is traditionally prepared in a sauerkraut stew called kapusta. Our steps work perfectly.
- Preliminaries Slice the kielbasa at an angle into large chunks. Optionally soak dried mushrooms in enough hot (but not boiling) water to cover. Reserve the soaking water. Optionally start the water for noodles.
- Heat pan A dutch oven works well to contain all that bacon splatter. (You could also consider butter. If you only pull out the cooking spray, the taste will be less robust.)
- Heat oil Let’s assume a few slices of bacon; saute over medium heat until the bacon is crisp. (Note this recipe is not included in the “healthy” category.) Remove the bacon onto a paper towel and drain all but one or two tablespoons of the grease. Meanwhile, start to rummage for the veggies.
- Brown meat Saute the kielbasa chunks in the fat. When each piece is nicely browned remove to the pot cover. Use the browing time to chop the onion(s) and garlic.
- Sauté onion and garlic As usual, the onion is first till translucent (or till actually browning.) Meanwhile, find your other veggies: carrot, and/or cabbage. Lastly, roughly chop the tomatoes (if using fresh) and the mushrooms (dried or fresh). Rinse at minimum 1/2 cup of sauerkraut, but you can’t add too much.
- Add veggies, spices And sauté each a bit before adding the next softest. Then salt and pepper.
- Add the wet ingredients 1/2 cup of white wine and the strained mushroom water.
- Add back meat, simmer Add back the kielbasa but not the bacon. Sprinkle the stew with a tablespoon of flour. (If you tend to forget this step, keep Wondra on hand. It dissolves quickly and doesn’t clump up, so you can add it up to the last minute. Note it’s more expensive and highly processed.)
Partially cover the pot and let the stew gently simmer for 20 minutes. Prepare the garnishes: chop dill, crumble the bacon. About 1/2 way through, add the noodles to hopefully now boiling water.
- Add garnish, serve Serve over noodles or with dark or rye bread. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on at the last moment. Polish dill pickles and sweet beet salad is a wonderful contrast to the “sour” craut.