➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson
Make this kale and potato recipe on your stovetop, sort of like a stew, that includes smoked sausage. A one pot meal that's comfort food, just like Oma made.
This sort of reminds me of a German classic, the Grünkohl mit Kartoffeln und Pinkel, a dish that consists of kale and potatoes with a traditional sausage called Pinkel.
In northern German, especially East Friesland, this smoked sausage is made mostly of a mixture with bacon, pork belly, beef suet, onions, oats, and spices. The recipe, though, is a well-guarded secret.
Being about to buy it outside of Germany is therefore very difficult. What to do?
I just use a smoked German sausage, the type that's available where I live. You can use any type that's your favorite. Will it be the same? No. But I think that a bit of compromise is totally acceptable, because it will still taste amazing.
The recipe below is NOT the one for Grünkohl mit Kartoffeln und Pinkel. That dish is basically a well seasoned kale side dish, made with pork belly, smoked pork, and the pinkel sausages. It's then served with boiled potatoes.
My recipe is actually made more like a stew, with everything in one pot. That's easy. That's delicious. That's my way!
I LOVE one pot meals. They are usually quick to put together and are an easy way to serve a crowd, because it's easy to just double it up.
In the recipe below, I like to blanch the kale briefly before using. This helps to take the edge off the bitterness. It's a step that could be eliminated if you wish.
First, you'll need to prepare your kale. If you're using fresh kale, you'll need to strip the leaves from the stalks.
To do this, just grab at bottom of stalk and pull upwards to strip those leaves right off.
Put the leaves into water and wash really well. You want to remove any dirt or insects that could be lurking among those curly leaves.
Some people don't like the 'natural' bitterness that kale has. If that's the case, then briefly blanching before using is the way to go.
Here, I've taken the leaves and submerge them briefly, about 30 seconds, in boiling water.
Remove from the water, drain thoroughly and squeeze any remaining water from the leaves. Then, chop the kale in order to use in the recipe.
If you're using jarred or canned kale, just drain it well. If you're using frozen kale, thaw and then drain.
At this point, you're ready to start with this simple recipe. Start by frying up the bacon in the bacon fat (schmaltz), but stop short of making it crispy. Add the onions.
Continue frying until the onions are translucent, which will take several minutes. Make sure your heat isn't too high or else things will brown too quickly before the onions are cooked.
Now, add the well-drained kale, whether it's the fresh, the blanched, the jarred or canned, or frozen. Stir together.
(BTW, in these photos, I only made half the recipe since it's only for hubby and me. That's why the saucepan looks a bit empty.)
Add the cubed raw potatoes on top. I used russet potatoes since they will hold together well and won't fall apart during the long cooking.
Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Then, pour the chicken broth over.
Cover and bring to simmer. Lower heat and let simmer to cook the kale and potatoes. Yes, it's a long cooking period, but it's the 'traditional' way of making this.
Could you shorten the cooking time? Of course.
Then, it's time to add the sausage. Since I don't have pinkel sausage available, I used a smoked (cooked) German sausage that's sold in our area. Don't have German sausage available where you live? Use any smoked sausage that you like that you can get where you live.
Can't find any that's nice? You could use some smoked ham, some kielbasa, Polish sausage ... something that tastes good to your tastebuds!
Should you poke holes in your sausage? Well, that really depends on you. If you do, you'll let out some of the juices (read fat) into your dish. That will bring more flavor to your dish. That's what I do.
Normally, by poking holes in the sausage, the meat will dry out a bit. However, in this case, that's not the case! Since you are cooking in a moist environment with the lid on the pot, the sausage stays nice and juicy and the kale and potatoes soak up that yummy liquid.
Once this has cooked together, it's time to thicken the cooking liquid by first removing the sausage.
I like to use Veloutine to thicken my gravy. It's quick and simple, giving a bit of added brown color. Just sprinkle some on top and stir in. Since it thickens almost immediately, you can adjust how much you add. Start wit a bit. Add more if needed.
If you don't have Veloutine, then you can make a cornstarch slurry and stir that in. Mix about 2 - 3 tablespoons of cornstarch in some cold water. Stir in just as much as you need to thicken the gravy.
That's it! See, that really was easy. Serve this with mustard on the side. I like a grainy mustard.
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