I recently made a good Cabbage Sausage stew, but it didn’t knock my socks off. I wanted something heartier–richer. So, since my husband and I were going to be interviewing and supporting the team of a famous Gypsy Cobb Horse #TeamCheezy, I decided to give the stew a revamp. And guess what? I nailed it. Rich, full of flavors and it all comes down to caramelization of the vegetables and browning the meat (not steaming it). So, take your time, let it simmer, and I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you EVER have a question, let me know, happy to help.
Irish Cabbage Stew
- 8-10 qt Dutch oven or stock pot
- Sheet pan lined with parchment or Silpat
- 3-4 strips thick cut bacon cut into 1” chunks
- 2 lbs Smoked Kielbasa sliced into ½ or ¾ inch rounds
- 1 small head of cabbage or half large cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 stalks Celery with leaves if possible, sliced
- 2 large carrots sliced
- 3-4 medium leeks white and light green only, halved and cut in ½ inch slices
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil* *Avacado or Grapeseed oil is fine too
- 1 large white onion divided, half will be used with roasted potatoes and carrots
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 6-8 cups Chicken Bone Stock depends on how thick you want your stew
- 1 lb red potatoes quartered
- 1 tsp dried rosemary NOT ground, or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped
- ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425° F
- Wash Leeks to remove outer dirt then trim away the dark green stems (you can wash and freeze these for stock). Next, slice the leeks in half (lengthwise) and then in ½ slices. Place in a large bowl with cold water. Wash, remove to strainer/colander (don’t dump otherwise sand will end up back with the leeks). Repeat until all traces of sand are gone. Set aside to drain.
- Next dice the white onion and divide portions. Mince garlic and set aside.
- Put half the chopped onions, quartered potatoes, and sliced carrots in a large bowl. Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, rosemary, thyme, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp fresh ground pepper. Toss and pour onto a parchment or Silpat lined shallow sheet pan. Roast in the oven for about 30 min. You want caramelization so look for dark edges on the potatoes and onions.
- While the root veggies are in the oven, heat up a large Dutch oven (mine is 10 qt) on medium-high heat. Add the bacon and render (if necessary, add a Tbsp of oil). Remove when it starts to get crispy and add ½ of the Kielbasa and brown. Once brown, remove and brown the rest of the Kielbasa.
- Next, add the onions and leeks to the oil (again, if you need it, add another Tbsp of oil). Caramelize the onions then add the celery, garlic, and the browned meat, including the bacon.
- At this stage, stir in the cabbage; it will seem like a lot, but the cabbage will reduce, especially once you add the stock. Once the cabbage is coated and the brown bits on the bottom of the pot are all loosened up, add the stock. Start with one box then add more as needed.
- Once the roasted vegetables are ready, add them to the stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn to low to simmer. This is where you will add more salt and pepper to taste. It is REALLY important to get things caramelized because that is where much of the rich flavor for this stew comes from. That’s my secret friends, so enjoy it!
- Best served with Irish Brown Bread but any hearty artisan bread will do.