I hear you. You are silently wondering who would ever dream of taking out the crockpot just as spring has finally arrived, bringing with it veggie — not comfort food — cravings. Especially since winter came and went without said crockpot ever leaving its shelf. Monsieur labels it my rebellious side. Duh.
So why exactly did I turn to that forlorn crockpot on this sunny Monday brimming with the quintessential scent of spring flowers and next door barbecue? A while back I bought, then promptly forgot, a foot-long kielbasa sausage from William J. Walter. Sitting in the fridge, it was starting to look, shall we say, on the verge of distressed. Since father and son are sausage crazy, I could already hear the diatribes if I lost their ever-so-precious kielbasa. With a full schedule and no time for cooking, enter the crockpot. Grace can be found at the strangest of times.
From sausage saviour, this modest dish has definitely earned its place in the monthly rotation. Once winter is back, of course, since the barbecue is poised to go into overdrive.
For the sake of honesty, let me confess that Monsieur did not like. It seems that in sub-Sahara Africa, bad cooks add sugar to food as a means to distract from their lacking skills. And although I explained that blood pudding & apple (France), lamb and apricots (Morocco) or chili and sugar (Asia) are celebrated worldwide, no go… To him, this dish is the equivalent of culinary anathema, no less.
So, without further ado, here comes sausage, kiddo’s “favouritest” food.
You don’t say?
Kielbasa is actually Polish for sausage, a generic term that doesn’t even start to describe whatever variety you seek. I learned of its existence on Rachael Ray’s TV show, where she used what Americans refer to as “smoked Polish sausage”. It’s a pretty large pork sausage, seasoned with plenty of garlic and marjoram, then smoked. Experience has taught me it can win the heart of any male. Wouldn’t you know.
Kielbasa with apple and potato
• 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter
• 1 medium onion, in slivers
• 1-2 apples, peeled, cores removed, in slivers (Monsieur says zero apple please, I say go for two)
• 1 chopped garlic clove
• 30 cm (1 ft) kielbasa sausage, cut into thick rounds
• 5 potatoes, peeled, cut into thick rounds
• 30-45 ml (2-3 tbsp) chicken broth
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) honey
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) mustard (I used horseradish mustard)
• salt and pepper
1. In a skillet, heat butter over ver low heat. Saute onion, apples and garlic, 10 minutes or until slightly translucent. Season with salt and pepper, then pour into cockpot.
2. Cover with kielbasa and potato rounds. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour into crockpot.
3. Simmer 3-4 hours over medium heat. If you can stir things once in a while, that’s genius. If you are away from home, add a little chicken broth. That’s it! Serve with a nice green salad to consenting adults. Junior isn’t green friendly yet.