Kabanos and butter bean casserole with sauerkraut

Kabanos are salty, smoky, relentlessly moreish, and have thankfully become more and more readily available at passable quality in supermarkets. I picked some up this evening, and was casting about for something to do with them. So I ended up making this by mistake.

The most promising recommendation was bigos, a Polish hunters’ stew which sounds seriously tasty, and which I think I may have eaten at Polonia some time last year. It’s all earthy flavours and cabbage. Unfortunately the recipe I was linked to rendered like arse on my phone and I got very confused about the ingredients.

So I impulse-bought some sauerkraut, and served it on the side of a very basic butter bean stew.

Kabanos and butter bean casserole
Kabanos and butter bean casserole

This is just what it looks like,really. I fried  a couple of onions, added garlic, sliced kabanos, and flat-leaf parsley. Once it has worked together and the onions were soft, in went a couple of tins of butter beans, three diced tomatoes, some vegetable stock and a little thyme. It simmered for about 20 minutes, and reduced more harshly for another 10 or so.

In hindsight, I should have made the bigos, and I will. But the simple flavours and the smooth richness of the beans lets the smokiness of the sausage stand at the front, and the sauerkraut is a delicious piquant offset. So I’m calling this a lucky break.

That said, some root vegetables would help a lot. I guess that’s what I get for blundering around Tesco in a daze.

Next to the sauerkraut in the supermarket, however, were several types of croquette. And this has me thinking. So tomorrow or Thursday is likely ground-zero for working a lot of potato and stiff Béchamel together with various fillings and getting down to some aggressive frying. Fuck, but croquettes are splendid.


I worked up a revised version of this for the book, adding the sauerkraut to the stew:

2 thoughts on “Kabanos and butter bean casserole with sauerkraut”

  1. Our default midwinter life saver is a flexible slow cooked stew of smokey meat, beans, garlic, ham stock, onions, flat leaf parsley and either celeriac or celery. Seasoned with whatever seems nice (often I smash up a tablespoon or so of pickling spices). It’s a bit rough and ready, and sounds fairly grim now I come to write it out, but I’ve never had it fail.

  2. Grim? Really? I love that shit.

    One-pot nonsense is the absolute spacecocks. And pickling spices rarely fail alongside anything basically a bit rich.

    When I was doing this bizzarro French exchange thingy years ago (I spent a month swapping lives more or less with a girl from somewhere in Normandy) my hosts did something similar. They had this giant casserole dish the size of a modest hippo, and used it to make a rolling soup. I’m not sure it ever got empty, and the core flavour was constant, but it bounced around at the edges based on what they chucked in.

    It was chuffing splendid.

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