Thursday, July 24, 2014

Juniper Ale Braised Kielbasa and Cabbage

We actually managed to stick mostly to our meal plan this last week, and today and over the next few days, I'll be sharing a couple recipes that we particularly enjoyed.

Meanwhile, my meal plan for the next little while is still loosely based on the two-week menu I posted a couple weeks ago, but with room to switch things up as needed.   Right now, 'as needed' means that it is getting toward the end of the month, I have a large stash of edibles already on hand, and using what I have to avoid unnecessary shopping trumps establishing a new plan and sticking with it.

My freezer stock is good enough to see us through at least a couple weeks, as long as I don't mind cooking some larger cuts to make them into multiple meals - and we do still get our weekly box of goodies to keep us in fresh fruits and vegetables.  I'll be skipping that next Wednesday - it'll be the 5th Wednesday of the month, and I'm just not budgeted for that.

So, this plan covers the next two weeks - far enough to get us to our next grocery delivery.  There may be a couple small grocery runs to cover an item here or there, but for the most part, this is using what I have on hand.

Wednesday, 7/23
Honey Spiced Chicken Thighs
Coconut Milk Quinoa
Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Thursday, 7/24
Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket & Onions
Corn on the Cob
Tossed Salad

Friday, 7/25
with Coleslaw

Blanch greens for the freezer

Saturday, 7/26
Lemon Roasted Whole Chicken
Sauteed Summer Squash Medley
Fruit Salad with Coconut

Sunday, 7/27
(out most of the day)

Monday, 7/28
Spaghetti Squash 
with Ground Pork and Greens

Make broth of chicken carcass

Tuesday, 7/29

Wednesday, 7/30
Slow Cooker Beef Stew and Vegetables

Thursday, 7/31
Vegetable and Cheese Omelets

Friday, 8/1

Prepare potluck offering for tomorrow.

Saturday, 8/2
Bring a Three Sisters Medley side dish
(corn, beans, squash)

Sunday, 8/3
Chili & Toppings

Monday, 8/4
Chicken & Vegetable Casserole
(specifics to be determined)

Tuesday, 8/5
(eating out)

Come the 6th of August, I'll be able to get in a large grocery delivery and replenish the larder, and I'll do so with an eye toward following  the plan I've established - so things should be a lot more 'routine' for the rest of the summer.

One dish from last week that we enjoyed was this Kielbasa skillet meal. While Kielbasa and Cabbage is nothing exotic, there were a couple things here that really made it stand out - first, this Kielbasa is from a local area farm, and was so ridiculously flavorful that every bite made my eyes roll back in my head.  I love kielbasa - but often the overriding flavor note is salt.  We will be keeping this on hand regularly!

The second  thing is  that the beer we used to braise it in was my husband Michael's second try at his own homebrewed beer recipe - a Juniper Ale that is lower on the hoppy side, higher with the malt notes, and a good hit of juniper, which played very well with the cabbage.  Obviously, you won't be able to recreate that exactly - but try a malty amber ale, and toss in a few juniper berries, and you should get close enough.

Juniper Ale Kielbasa, Cabbage and Potatoes

1 pkg. kielbasa, cut into 1" sections
2 Tblsp. butter
1 bottle malty amber ale
1/2 tsp. juniper berries
1 head cabbage, chopped
4 Yukon Gold or red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and sliced
1 tsp. caraway seeds

Melt butter in a skillet and brown kielbasa.  When browned, add beer and juniper berries to pan, cover and simmer about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Add the chopped cabbage and potato slices, mixing gently to combine, and cover, simmering until cabbage and potatoes are tender.

Serve in a bowl with a bit of the resulting broth (the alcohol will have cooked off, leaving a good rich broth).

We ate all but one of the kielbasa sections on the first night, but still had a good bit of veggies left - so on day two, we browned some Italian sausage and added it to the veggies, along with a few cut carrots, and that gave us enough for a second night's meal, with just enough for a couple of lunch portions on the third day.

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  1. You really get kielbasa from a farm, send me some! I love kielbasa and can't not find any organic around here. However I did get a couple of packages when I was in Tennessee. I'm going to have to check the farmer's market. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays.

  2. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday!

  3. Oh great menu and delish recipe! I love Kielbasa and cabbage so this should be super yummy!

  4. Sounds delicious. I know my husband would love it. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday.

  5. Looks delicious and a great week of meals! thanks for sharing with us for Sunday Brunch

  6. This looks yummy. I love kielbasa and cabbage! I need to start planning menus like you do, I just can't seem to get around to it, or stick to the menu when I do plan one. I'm so glad you stopped by The Yuck Stops Here recipe link party this week to share this recipe with us. I have pinned and tweeted and I hope you'll join us again next week. HUGS

  7. Oh oh I skidded to a stop seeing this recipe!!!! I haven't had anything like it in years, and the combo of the juniper and ale just puts it over the top. I'd love to make this! It is dark and cool out today, starting to feel like comfort food weather, this is a good one for that!