Monday, December 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Kale and Sausage Stew

To celebrate the gift of (organic! delicious!) sausage from dear Rebecca's farm, I made this stew.

 I am surprised I have never blogged about this recipe because we love it, it's easy, and it's a clever way to get good flavors out of the slow cooker.  I am picky about slow cooker recipes because I cannot tolerate the bland, overcooked mush that results if the cook doesn't understand the cooking method of the slow cooker. Yes, the slow cooker is forgiving about cooking times, unlike the oven or the stove which is timed to the minute; however, continuing to cook dishes after they are done (dry beans and stock excepted here) erases any flavors they used to have.  I love it when flavor and ease meet, as they do in this recipe.

Slow Cooker Kale and Sausage Stew - originally from a Real Simple mag

Combine in 6-quart slow cooker:
4 cups canned tomatoes - maybe chopped or broken up
1 large onion, chopped
several garlic cloves, chopped roughly
1 lb. sausage - bulk or links, whatever flavor you like (Italian? country?)
some grinds of pepper

Nestle 2-3 large potatoes (about 1 1b. total) in mixture. Pile chopped kale on top to fill slow cooker to brim - maybe 7-8 cups chopped, but really, I just use the amount of kale that I have.

Put the lid on and cook on low for 6-7 hours (until the potatoes are tender and the sausage is cooked through - might even be just 5 hours, depending on  your slow cooker).

Fish out the whole potatoes and put them in a serving dish.  Add 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil and 1/3-1/2 cup warm milk, a bit of salt, and mash well with a potato masher; they should be quite soft, although I don't peel my potatoes, so there are delicious shreds of potato skin throughout. Set aside to keep warm.

Stir the stew together in the slow cooker, breaking up sausage links if you want to.  To serve, place a dollop of mashed potatoes in a soup plate with a scoop of stew on top/beside.  Serve with good bread for swiping up the delicious juices.


Jennifer Jo said...

I gotta have this. Adding sausage to the grocery list.

Jan said...

Bet the kale tastes delicious with all the other flavours mixed in. I might even be able to coax my kale hating husband to try this! Jx

Sarah Barry said...

I totally agree about slow cooker recipes. I'm picky for the same reasons you are.

This recipe look so easy and delicious. I've been looking for a new way to try kale, too. I really want to try this soon.

Do you think you could replace the sausage for ham?

Margo said...

Sarah, I think you could use ham - I would try to avoid a cheap processed ham because their flavor can be pretty mild. The sausage has a strong flavor that goes well with kale. Hope you like the results!

Polly said...

I adore sausage and greens, and this looks PERFECT for our family. A question: if it is bulk sausage (I am thinking, like, just regular sausage which we buy from the pig farm), do you break it up into bits and put it in the slow cooker raw? I have always gone through the process of pre-cooking the meat. It would be pretty neat if I could skip that step!

Margo said...

Polly, YES to putting the sausage in raw!! Another great feature of this recipe. You could break it up at the beginning or end. I am not a fan of lots of different cooking processes for 1 recipe - too many dirty dishes and too much time.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Sounds good, and easy too. thanks for sharing.

Laurie Longenecker said...

I am always on a quest for good slow cooker recipes (I'm with you on slow cooker meals that don't cook into mush.) I tried this one and we really liked it. Thank you!!


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