This is just so comforting. It’s a take on a classic dish called Cabbage in the Trôo Style, which is simply cabbage and sausages baked together for around two and a half hours until you have something butter-soft and utterly delicious. It seems almost impossible that just these two ingredients and a bit of butter can make something so good. But then I realised that a bacon sandwich is exactly that. And bangers and mash. And….Hey ho.
I’ve just hoiked the two ingredient thing up a notch – basically it’s now five-ish – by adding some sliced onions, some sliced potatoes and a couple of other flavours to make it a one pot dish. I don’t think garlic works here but by all means use some if you wish. Just 10 minutes to prepare and then two and a half hours in the oven, but a bit longer won’t hurt if you’ve gone out to do something and left it to pootle away whilst you are busy. It’s perfect for a weekend lunch or a midweek evening meal. Serve it with other vegetables if you like but I think it’s perfect just as it is. Please don’t faint at the amount of butter, it’s necessary and adds its own particular flavour and wonderfulness to the end result. Do not, under any circumstances, use margarine. We can’t be friends if you do.
As usual quantities are a bit fluid. Don’t be a slave to this list – more or less of any ingredient won’t matter at all. If you need to feed more people, just increase the quantities and maybe up the spuds a bit. I use unpeeled baking potatoes because of the L factor and you get good coverage fast but substitute a similar weight of any potato you like.
And in case you are sceptical about this, my cabbage hating (weird) but spinach loving (?) daughter really likes it, however she prefers it with some cream in the mix because she doesn’t do spicy. I know. If it wasn’t for the fact that she is the spitting image of me I’d swear she was swapped at birth. If you think you would like it less spicy too then either leave out the chillies or temper the heat by pouring over a little double cream before you eat.
Sausage and Cabbage Bake
1 white or green cabbage – say about 1.5 kg
2 baking potatoes, thinly sliced. Peeled if wished.
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
6 high quality sausages, skins removed and flattened out
1 heaped tsp of fennel seeds – caraway seeds also work well
1/2 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
100g butter, sliced
Quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Slice thickly then cut across to make chunky pieces.
Bring about 200ml of water to the boil and add some salt, then tip in the cabbage, stir well, cover with a lid and cook for 4 minutes. Then drain into a colander.
Butter an oven proof dish – I used a cast iron casserole but anything oven proof will do. If it’s wide and shallow just do one layer.
Start by adding a layer of cabbage followed by a scattering of fennel (or caraway) seeds and some chilli flakes. Dot with five thin slices of butter and lay over three flattened, skinned sausages followed by the slices (or equivalent) of one baking potato. Season with salt and pepper.
Repeat the layers.
Add more thin slices of butter to the top layer of potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid or foil.
Bake for 2 hours at 170ºC (160ºC fan) Gas mark 3ish or until a knife goes in easily.
Discard the lid and give it another 30 mins at 200ºC (180ºC fan) or Gas mark 6 until crispy around the edges.