Sunday, 11 April 2010

Polish Kielbasa with Caramelized Onions, Sauerkraut and Crispy Potato Pancakes

Today's post on, "What Should I Have for Dinner Tonight?" is the latest guest post. It is my pleasure to introduce a meal prepared for us by Mary Bishop - who writes very successfully for under the pseudonym, Tierney O'Hara. Mary (Tierney) has not only prepared this meal for us but even gone to the bother of preparing settings and drinks accompaniment suggestions.

Without further ado, I will hand over to Mary - in whose own words this wonderful and delicious recipe appears...

Polish Kielbasa with Caramelized Onions, Sauerkraut and Crispy Potato Pancakes

It's late and I'm tired and hungry. I want something that is filling, that is easy to prepare and something that exists in my pantry or refrigerator right now. I throw on some sweat pants and a tee shirt because on this rainy day, I want comfort - in my clothes and in my food.

The pantry yields a large can of sauerkraut, a new bag of yellow onions and three pounds of russet potatoes. A quick look in the fridge says I have dry vermouth sitting on one shelf and a jar of Plochman's Kosciusko mustard on another. A six pack of Stella Artois sits cold and golden next to the mustard, and there are a couple of eggs still left in the carton. I open the freezer door to take a look see, and a loop of Polish sausage just about calls my name.

It was then I knew exactly what I should have for dinner tonight:

Polish Kielbasa with Caramelized Onions, Sauerkraut and Crispy Potato Pancakes

Preparation is simple, cost is minimal, calories? I didn’t count them, but I suggest you eat this meal on a day when you’ve skipped lunch.*


16 ounces Kielbasa
16 ounce can of sauerkraut
2 large onions
2 large eggs
5 medium potatoes
2/3 cup dry vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste


Cut the Kielbasa into about 10-12 pieces on the diagonal. Place them into a non-stick skillet and heat on low. As the sausage cooks, the fat will seep out of the sausage and into the pan to add incredible flavor and color to the onions and the sauerkraut. After about five minutes, put the heat up to medium and add the two onions which have been cut into a large dice. Cover.

Next get your box grater and place it into a large bowl. Remove the skin from 5 potatoes and rinse and dry them. Grate the potatoes and when done, spill out the darkened water. Then add about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of flour, 2 eggs and salt and pepper. (Don’t add grated onions or garlic as they will soften the pancake and it won’t be crisp.)

Heat a second non-stick pan to medium. Lightly grease the pan with vegetable oil and using a large serving spoon, drop potato batter on to the hot surface. Cook until the edges are very brown, and then flip. Keep warm in a hot oven by placing them on a rack over a cookie sheet.

After about fifteen minutes, remove the lid from the sausage and onion pan and stir. Continue to stir to color the onions with the caramelized juices that have accumulated in the pan. Let the mixture cook until the juices have almost evaporated, then pour in the vermouth. Stir again, then push the sausage and onions to one side of your frying pan. Add in the can of drained sauerkraut and cover again. Let simmer on low until you are ready to serve.

On the next damp, rainy day when you are tired and hungry and you just don’t know what you should have for dinner –cook up this quick and simple peasant meal and I promise you that you will love it.

*Okay so it isn’t the healthiest meal but it’s not the worst either. Sauerkraut is low in calories and good for you as are onions and potatoes. The Kielbasa today is quite lean compared to years ago and my favorite Hillshire Farms brand has an unbeatable flavor. You can’t have a smoky sausage with hot mustard and a crispy, potato pancake without a beer, can you? I think there’s a law that says you can’t...

More Polish Cooking Recipes and Ideas

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