” is actually a generic name in Poland for any sausage, but the product we typically find in the U.S. is a combination of ground pork and beef, with garlic and marjoram or other spices.
Don’t substitute a bulk sausage in this dish; just look for a flavorful, but mild smoked beef and pork combo if kielbasa isn’t available. Next you’ll melt some butter in the pan with all the drippings. Yes, butter. The milk fat lends a creamy quality to this dish that just can’t be duplicated with the pork and beef fat, plus it complements the natural buttery qualities of the pan-fried cabbage.
You’ll use all that goodness to heat up the aromatics, then incorporate just a pinch of brown sugar. The onions, cabbage, and even the kielbasa and bacon have their own subtle sweetness, and this little addition will make a big difference in highlighting all the nuances of flavor in these ingredients.
The sweetness is also a wonderful contrast to the warm, aromatic qualities of the main seasoning for this Haluski with kielbasa: caraway
seeds. Similar in size and flavor to its cousin fennel, caraway seeds are the tiny ones you’ll find in the rye bread that bookends your favorite pastrami and sauerkraut sandwich. Caraway seeds have a more subtle licorice flavor than fennel and are a common complement to sauerkraut (yet another wonderful use for cabbage!) both on and off that Reuben. They’re a popular seasoning throughout Eastern Europe, and they
add a distinctive, earthy flavor to this dish.
I highly recommend bringing a little more cabbage into your life, and you won’t find a more filling, flavorful one-pot meal than this Haluski.
Cabbage – There are several varieties of cabbage: green or red, which is what we typically find in the grocery store, plus bok choy, savoy, and napa. You’ll want to use green in this recipe (and definitely avoid red unless you want pink Haluski). Rather than slicing or shredding the cabbage, you’ll want to chop it into bite size pieces. This will ensure the bites of cabbage are similar in size to the kielbasa and noodles so you can enjoy bites with bits of everything instead of wrestling long strands of cabbage.
Noodles – Egg noodles are usually readily available, and there are even “no-yolk” versions for anyone with an egg allergy. I’ve seen some recipes that use a thicker flat noodle, like pappardelle, though I’d definitely suggest breaking the noodles up before boiling. Since the original homemade noodles were rolled out and cut into pieces by hand, another trick is to break up lasagna noodles to create a more rustic look and feel.
Low and slow – Some home chefs like to let the slow cooker do the work on this recipe. While you’ll miss out on some of the brown crispy bits you can only create in a skillet, it’s a great alternative to enjoy this dish without stovetop slavery.
To make crockpot Haluski, brown the bacon and sausage, then transfer everything except the pre-cooked noodles to the crockpot and cook on high for 4-6 hours. Add the noodles during the last hour of cooking.
Looking for More One Pot/Pan Meals?
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Shrimp Lo Mein -Quick and easy to make at home and it is so much better than any take-out!
Skillet Meatballs and Noodles in Creamy Herb Sauce – Herby flavors perfectly infused in a convenient one pan meal!