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Apples, Red Cabbage, and Kielbasa

Cabbage stewed with fruit such as apples or pears is a wintry dish with Germanic origins. The addition of kielbasa makes it a hearty main course. There is a terrific balance between the earthy cabbage, sweet apples, and slightly spicy sausage.

  • 1-1/4 pounds smoked kielbasa, bias-sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium head red cabbage (1-1/2 to 2-1/2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1-2/3 cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium cooking apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

In Dutch oven, cook kielbasa in 1-1/2 teaspoons hot oil over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add half portions each of cabbage, onion, and garlic to the pot. Cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from pot; set side. Add remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons oil to pot. Cook remaining cabbage, onion and garlic about 10 minutes or until onion is tender.

Return all vegetables to pot. Stir in cider, wine, brown sugar, caraway seeds, and salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir in apples. Simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes more or until cabbage is tender. Stir in reserved kielbasa. Cook a few minutes more to heat through. Makes 8 servings.

*Tip: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, crush seeds on a cutting board with the bottom of a heavy skillet.