Let me state the obvious – it’s March. I hate March. I’m so tired of winter—shivering in cold weather and trying to remember what a sunny sky looks like… Don’t get me wrong—I love this time of year… when I go skiing. But unfortunately I spend most of my time in the city simply trying to survive, so I try to look forward to nice things. First I count the days till Christmas. Then comes New Year’s Eve, finally Valentine’s Day. Every weekend I watch ski jumping tournaments. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve found something magical about people flying through the air with just two boards attached to their feet. I watch them on TV, every January I go with my husband to Zakopane (Poland’s so-called “winter capital”) to watch them live, and when the competition is over I stand in a crowd of screaming 16-year-old girls to fight for the autographs of my idols.
And now the season is almost over, but not just yet… And this is why I hate March. Everything I like about winter is almost gone, but it is still so cold… This is when I turn to my last resort—comfort food. I’m craving something fatty, but also cream, and meat… This dish combines everything I need—perfect creamy mashed potatoes, zesty, caramelized cabbage and, I know that now I’m just enforcing stereotypes about Polish cuisine, but I just can’t help it—sausage, the famous kielbasa. On top of that it takes about 20 minutes to prepare – voila! Perfect comfort food.
0,5 kg of peeled potatoes
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon of butter
3 tablespoons of sour cream (yeah—save milk for summer)
¼ of a small head of cabbage
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
Pepper (I use pepper infused with dried lemon zest)
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of butter
Small bunch of dill, chopped
2 good quality sausages
1 tablespoon of canola oil
Fried onion to sprinkle on top
Place potatoes in a pot, adding just enough water to cover them. Add a pinch of salt. Bring potatoes to boil and then simmer slowly until cooked, about 15 minutes.
Mince garlic, cut onion in half and slice. Roughly chop the cabbage.
Take a pan, put it on small to medium heat. Make small, horizontal cuts on the sides of the sausages and start frying them. The trick is to do this slowly. That way they get cooked all the way through without burning the skin, just making it crispy.
Heat a large pan, add oil and cabbage. Stir. After about three minutes (don’t forget to stir!), add onion and garlic. Fry for the next 3-5 minutes. The aim is to cook the vegetables without losing their texture and to caramelize them a little bit, which makes them irresistible. Add lemon juice and stir. Add butter and dill. Stir until butter is well combined. Your cabbage is done!
Once the potatoes are boiled, drain them and let them rest for a minute. Blend (or mash) them, add butter and stir. Add spices and sour cream and stir the mixture one more time.
Place potatoes on a plate, then top with cabbage. Finally, top with the hot and crispy sausage. Sprinkle with roasted onion and enjoy on dark cold evenings!