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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kohl Zeug

Word of mouth recipes are always the best, and also the most likely to be lost. Which is why I'm going to share this wonderful recipe from my dear old grams. When I asked her the name of this dish all she knew it by was "kohl zeug", roughly translated from German as "cabbage stuff".

Being word of mouth, the proportions and amounts of ingredients vary. She always used what she had and tweaked it to her own personal taste. Below are the ingredients:

1 head of white cabbage (red cabbage, she says, is too bitter)
A handful of potatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 keilbasa

Cube potatoes and add to a medium sized pot. Fill the pot with water to just cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. According to my grandma, this is the most important part, and the part most often messed up. You are going to use the starchy water in the recipe, so do Not add too much. You can always add more hot water later if the potatoes are too dry.

While the potatoes are cooking, crush and add 1 clove of garlic and a couple slices of diced bacon to a skillet. Render the bacon and lightly brown the garlic. You can add a small amount of olive oil if you'd like to pick up the rest of the flavor from the pan. Place to the side.

Once the potatoes are soft, shred the cabbage and add to the pot. Continue to cook until everything turns into a delicious mush. Once the cabbage and potatoes are soft enough, blend it all together (you may opt to mash if you like it chunkier, but my grandma is very much against chunks -- so she uses a hand blender). You can now add the rendered bacon, a small amount of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut the keilbasa into single serving chunks and place into the... stuff. Continue cooking until the keilbasa is cooked all the way through. Again, if things are a little dry, add some more hot tap water. It should be slightly less stiff than mashed potatoes. If you add too much water you'll end up with soup.

The nearest recipe I can find is Irish Colcannon.

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