Kielbasa vegetable stew and Four Gates Cabernet Franc
Two weeks ago Friday night, we were looking for a lay low food that was delicious, hearty, warm, and downright good home cooking. We had a Kielbasa sitting in the freezer, and so I went looking for a recipe. I found many recipes, but they either wanted the stew to be beans and cream or over the top tomato. I finally found a wonderful recipe that I could modify (as usual), and it turned out to be from the wonderful folks at the Food Network. The recipe is OK, but I like my meat browned and I like far more onions and an eggplant to boot, would not hurt. So here is the modified recipe, for those who care:
Kielbasa and Vegetable Stew
- Olive Oil
- 1 pound of Kielbasa cut on the bias into one inch chunks
- Two or three sweet onions cubed into 1 inch squares
- 2 or 3 good shakes of sea salt
- 4 or more garlic cloves
- 4 or 5 carrots cut into one inch chunks
- 3 or 4 parsnips cut into one inch chunks
- 1 or 2 eggplant (depending on size)
- 4 or 5 Yukon gold potatoes cubed into 1 inch squares
- 3 cups of vegetable or chicken soup stock
- 1 cup of red wine
- A cup of rice milk to finish or reheat in
Start by taking a large dutch oven and place into it a tablespoon or two of olive oil – just to coat the bottom. While waiting for the oil to get hot enough, cut the Kielbasa into 1 inch cylinders on the bias, and then start to brown the cut edges. Once one side is browned, flip them to the other side. Once all sides are browned, take the meat out and drop the cubed onions into the oil. Add the salt to the onions to help the onions release their liquid. Sauté the onions and once browned, throw in the spices and garlic, and make sure the onions are fully coated with them. From there on, add the vegetables into the pot one at a time. Once the vegetables have released their water, add in the 4 cups of stock, along with the sausage cylinders. Cook the stew until the vegetables and meat are combined into a singular and uniform form.
I must say that the stew was KNOCK OUT awesome, and the best part of it is that ALL the food is edible. You see, that there are no bones, no nasty fat and sinew, or inedible parts. All in all, sausage stew makes for a tasty and enjoyable stew. Finally, when I reheated the stew before the Sabbath, it looked a bit dry, so I added a half or full cup of rice milk. It added some flavor and moisture.
To pair with this monster stew, I pulled out a bottle of 2005 Four Gates Cabernet Franc. I loved the bottle, but it took a ton of time to come awake. It was stored really cold, so that may have been the problem, but I think that the bottle is in a slight dumb period, and will be back soon. The wine note follows below:
2005 Four Gates Cabernet Franc – Score: B+ – A-
This wine has not changed much since the last time we tasted this. However, it is in a slightly dumb period, and required a ton of time to open up. Once it did open it was quite a joy to drink. The nose on this garnet to black colored wine is a very interesting twist on Cabernet Franc. It starts with a ton of dark chocolate, cherry, currant, plum, and follows on with classical franc notes of bell pepper and a bit flowers and oak. The mouth on this complex medium to full bodied wine is packed with velvety tannins that are integrating quite nicely along with cherry, raspberry, and currants. The mid palate is flush with fruit and balanced almost perfectly by bright acidity along with oak and integrated tannins. The finish is spicy and laced with vanilla and sour cherry.