Medister Sausage with Stewed White Cabbage (Medister med Stuvet Hvidkål)
Medister sausage with cabbage has become a staple in Danish cuisine since the 18th century. In the past, cabbage served as a cheap ingredient for those with limited means, who would prepare it in a delectable milk-based sauce.
The sausage was relatively easy to make as well and included ingredients like minced/ground pork, pork belly and a variety of spices to give it plenty of flavor. Together they make for a nutritional and satisfying meal and is nowadays often served at cozy family dinners.
Medister med Stuvet Hvidkål (Medister Sausage with Stewed White Cabbage)
White cabbage stew:
- 1 small white cabbage head
- 1 cup reserved water from cabbage
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- milk to desired consistency
- ground nutmeg to taste
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
For the Danish medister sausage:
- Chill all the ingredients beforehand to make them easier to work with.
- Dice the pork meat and pork belly into pieces so that they will fit into the meat grinder. Cut the onion into smaller pieces and pass it along with the meat through the grinder twice through the coarse setting.
- Collect all the ground meat in a bowl and add the spices, egg whites and potato starch. Combine until everything is evenly distributed.
- Then, add the chicken stock a little at a time while you stir to incorporate it. The aim here is to make a malleable, soft mixture, but we don't want it to be too runny.
- Once you've achieved the right consistency, cover the bowl and place in the fridge to let the mixture rest for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, run the casings under cold water, making sure to rinse them well both inside and out. Watch out for any holes that the water might seep out from.
- Heat up a little oil in a small frying pan and cook a small piece of the meat mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference.
- Use a sausage filler (you can find many models on the internet) to fill the sausage casings with your mixture. The traditional way is to make a single long sausage for each casing.
- Allow the sausages to rest in the fridge for half an hour before continuing.
- Now it's time to cook your delicious sausage! You can do this 2 ways. Either pan-fry the sausage with a dollop of butter, turning it over a few times to cook evenly on both sides (this should take around 15-20 minutes).
- Or you can place it in a skillet with a knob of butter and some water, turning it once before the water evaporates and the sausage starts to fry. This method pre-boils the sausage as well, saving you some effort!
For the White Cabbage Stew:
- First we'll prepare the cabbage for cooking. Cut off and discard the outer leaves, rinse it and cut it into quarters. Then core it and chop it into small chunks.
- Fill a deep pot halfway with water, bring it to a boil and add the chopped cabbage with a pinch of salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes until tender. Reserve 2 ½ cups of the cooking water and drain away the rest.
- Meanwhile, prepare the roux by melting the salted butter in a frying pan. Add the flour and stir vigorously for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens and turns lightly golden.
- Add the milk a little at a time as you stir until you get a nicely thick roux. Then start gradually adding in the reserved cooking water until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and freshly ground nutmeg, then add the cabbage to the sauce and continue cooking on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes with the lid on.
- Serve the sausage alongside a generous helping of cabbage stew and maybe even some boiled potatoes, if you want.