Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chorizo and Cabbage


A few weeks ago, I drove up to Los Ranchos for the winter market (got to get my fix! every second Saturday, so you can bet I'll be there this coming weekend) but I was too late - everyone was already packing up. As I dejectedly headed home, I remembered I'd be driving right by Joe S. Sausage. I'd actually never been into his shop, so I thought I'd pay a visit. It's tiny - you walk right into his kitchen, basically, and there he is making sausage. This is the kind of sausage you want to see being made. He uses organic pork, and when I asked him what cut, he said definitively: shoulder, because it has the right balance of fat.

On a tiny whiteboard, there's a list of all the varieties available, and the list is extensive. It's fabulous to get him talking about how he develops the flavors - he was trained as a microbiologist, so of course he keeps a meticulous sausage lab notebook! He also makes ravioli, pierogies, and falafel. Probably my favorite part of the conversation was when he explained how he quizzes Polish old ladies about how they make pierogies, which means Polish old ladies buy sausage from him... impressive. I got the Green Chile Bratwurst, the Hungarian Kolbasz, and the Xoriço.

The best way to cook a great sausage like this is low and slow, with some onions roasting alongside it. I love some cabbage in there too.

1 large sausage link (or however many regular-size ones you want to eat)
1/2 medium onion
1/2 medium head of cabbage
2 Tbs cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt

Slice onions and cabbage into 1/2-inch ribbons. Arrange around the sausage in a cast iron skillet or casserole dish. Sprinkle vinegar, water and salt over the veggies. Cover and bake at 350F for an hour or so, until the sausage is done (at least 160F on an instant-read thermometer) and the cabbage is tender.
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