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: