Kapusta for World Food Day

Posted by Adam | Posted in , , | Posted on Monday, September 22, 2008

So the other day I came across Giz and Psychgrad's site, and I found out they were participating in an event to raise world awareness about hunger. I personally think this is a great idea, so I knew I wanted to join up. Val over at More Than Burnt Toast, and Ivy at Kopiaste are combining their trans-global powers to hosting, and I want to thank them very much for doing this. Please visit their sites and support this, all you need to do is come up with a family or cultural dish that can feed 6. Check them out for more details.

I have always been very lucky to never have a shortage of food growing up, but I was always told to finish everything. Our dishes were always licked clean, and we never threw anything away. Plates in our home became some kind of vaporizing device, where food that is touching it must be gone by the end of dinner. David Copperfield never had to come and make food disappear.

A nice, cheap, Fall/Winter favorite of mine is Kapusta, which essentially means cabbage in Polish. To Polish Americans like myself, it has taken on a meaning of a cabbage like stew, with some meat, mushrooms, and spices. Cabbage is probably the most important vegetable and food in all of Poland, because it is hearty, nutritious, and can be stored as sauerkraut for the cold winter months, when there is nothing left to eat. While today's supermarkets make it possible to eat anything no matter what time of year it is, I still like to go seasonal, because it just feels right. What? You don't like cabbage? Well, still give this recipe a shot, it's super easy and goes in the slow cooker. I like to get up before I go to clinic and throw this together. By dinner time, the house smells of soury goodness. If you're a health nut like me, you'll be happy to know cabbage has tons of phytochemicals that fight cancer, so eat up :)

All of these amounts, measurements and ingredients can be changed at will. If you're vegetarian or vegan, omit the pork... if you don't like mushrooms (you're crazy, then) leave them out too. You can use whatever you have around the house to throw in the pot with a little imagination. Here's what I do to feed 4-6 people.

Recipe by Adam

-2 lbs. sauerkraut (bagged or jarred)
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 cup mushooms, dirt dusted off and chopped

-1 lb pork loin, chops, or whatever you have, cut into bite size pieces

-1 can cream of mushroom soup (reduced fat or not)

-1 cup of water

-Salt, pepper, sugar and cloves to taste... it's really up to you

In a medium or large skillet, sautee the onion with some olive oil until it browns a little and becomes very fragrant. This should take only a few minutes. Empty the pan into a small bowl and set aside.

Season the pork with salt and pepper, and fry until lightly brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Add another Tbsp of oil for this step if necessary. Add the pork to the bottom of the crockpot, and then top with the onions.

Open up the sauerkraut and drain using a collander. Rinse under cold water for a few seconds, and squeeze with your hands to get rid of some of the tartness. (If you really don't like the sour or tart taste, you can rinse again, but I don't recommend it).

Add the sauerkraut to the slow cooker, then the mushrooms, and then the can of cream of mushroom soup and water. Stir a few times to mix well, cover and you're done. Set the crock pot on low setting, and let it sit for 8-10 hours. Season to taste. The above are all you need and are pretty authentic. Serve with some nice rye bread, and Wham you have a nice, cheap meal.

Don't blame a dish on it's looks. Kapusta has a really, really good personality, I promise. You just might want to take a tic-tac afterward in case you do any close talking :)

Comments (31)

This sounds so good! I love pork and sauerkraut together.

Thanks for the tic-tac warning, I'm so glad now we only talk online, lol! You're polish? I allways knew you had an european inside you (I say this in the most non-sexual way of course)!
I have lived with some polish and then never had Kapusta in my presence, otherwise I would remember. I love that name! Kapusta! I think I would name my pet kapusta if I had one!

Hmm, well I am Polish, but am just turning around to cabbage, so I've not taken to sauerkraut. yet. I'll have to give it a try now :)

Polish huh? I love going to Polish festivals...oh the food. Mmmm. So with you being Polish I do hope we get to see many more Polish dishes? With you being so close to NYC I bet you get to see a lot of Polish festivals?
I think cloves would be wonderful in this, very clever of you.
Thanks for your post; my secret crumb cake recipe is nothing like the pb&j crumb cake. Sorry. But I know you love crumb cake, so you must try that pineapple addition.

i agree... we all have to be aware of what's going on... great recipe you have there... btw, i love mushrooms :)

I think this looks really good. I usually only eat sauerkraut on my Ruebin sandwiches but I love it. I enjoy to cook slow and low in the Fall and this recipe looks perfect for that. I am with you - how can anyone not like mushrooms?

My grandfather would love you. He loved cabbage soup.

" David Copperfield never had to come and make food disappear." Another funny line!! :0D

Oooh, cabbage!! Love the stuff. Very nice dish!!

hooray for cultural dishes!! You've got me thinking of what I can make now...
give the weather a couple more weeks and this soup will be making an appearance in my house :)

I love making family/heritage dishes. They always taste better when there is a story or person behind them.

Yum this looks great! I love anything that has to do with cabbage! And I love Polish food!

Wh-what?! No baking? No dynamite?

Just kidding. This sounds great!
I've never used a slow-cooker before.

Lol, you're a funny guy :) Someone should give you an award. Wait, I just did. Come and check it out.

I recently made a sauerkraut and smoked knuckle Thingy. I wish it had a cooler name. Kapusta - I love saying it. And I like the mushrooms, too.

Another great recipe I've never heard of...
And yeah.. there's no way I'm leaving out mushrooms in ANY recipe. I add it even when it's not called for.

Sour cabbage? It is really healthy too? Don't think I will ever get to have this dish. But the name is definitely un-kaput. Never judge a dish from it's picture. I am sure it tasted yum.

Sounds like a great event. I too tend to finish the plate clean...even if I'm getting full...but many don't have the option or the luxury.

I eat heaps of cabbage - I tend to use it raw in salads, but you know I adore me some Polish food - and the Kapusta looks delicious. Yay for the slow cookers!

Adam, I'm not usually a massive fan of pork - but for some reason, when paired with sauerkraut I love it! This is undoubtly one to try, thanks :D

Even though I m not a big fan of cabbage I sometimes eat it. This recipe looks quite tasty .

Adam I can't believe my eyes!!!! My jaw just dropped to the floor right this instant :D. Do you know how similar your delicious Polish Kapusta dish is to a personal favourite of mine (I'm biased since the town I was born in got quite famous because of it)? And do you know I just ate it for breakfast (shameless I know :D) and plan to write a post about it? The ONLY difference is we don't use mushrooms but add some rice to it and serve it with a sour cream based sauce. It MUST be an East European thing...you mentioned you have some Polish roots. Is your grandmother Polish? Please give my best to her :). Oh and sauerkraut rules (sauerkraut=my Jets ;) )!

Hey there "Awesome & sexy" Adam :-)

first time i heard about this cause and im hundred percent behind it. thanks for bringing this up! i'll see what i can do to participate on this meaningful cause! i grew up in the shanty town of manila and i know how hard it is not to have antyhing to eat. kudos for this people on raising awareness on this!

btw, i have never heard of kapusta before it looks like french choux croute to me! anyways i love cabbage i will definitely love this! so you have polish on your blood :-) would love to see more of your polish recipes!!

Oh man, kapusta - one of my very favourite things. Since both my parents are from Poland I was raised on the stuff, although not the meat version. We make it with raisins and then eat it with a boiled potato - you can believe I'll be buying some green cabbage soon. Really a great entry - cheap produce, goes a long way, feeds alot of people and totally satisfying. Good job Adam.

Hmmmm, interesting recipe. There's something Northern Italian and Southern Chilean about pork and sauerkraut!

Adam this is a lovely and really nice recipe, I love this, polish??? so nice!!! Hey Adam I know now my friend Daziano and others told me that Champagne cookies is the same LADY FINGERS COOKIES I dont have idea!!! so you know now and me too.
Did you know Graziano is from Chile?? But have and italian family, and live in Canada, Is so nice. xxxGloria

Of course is a wonderful event that you participate!

Hello! I loveeee cabbage! Maybe because I am Asian (?) Hmm! Love sauerkraut too..and this dish just sounds super yummy!

I never heard of that dish before. Also I think this is a great event.

Adam, thanks for participating in WFD Event and I would never have known if I did not scroll down to read some of your recipes. However, we have never received your entry. If it's not trouble for you just send us the URL of your post, the photograph and a short description of the dish, so that we don't forget to include it in the round up. The dish has been bookmarked. It sounds delicious.

Thank you so much Adam for sending this delicious dish for our conga line ro raise awareness for the many hungry in this world. We hope to try and help in some small way:D

Today is World Food Day Adam. Thank you once again for contributing this delicious dish to our conga line of dishes. The party starts today. Thank you for all that you have done to spread the word about this global issue. Now let's DANCE!!!!!!

Hey fellow Polish American, when I saw this at Val's site I just had to come over. I grew up on this and is such a great reminder of good food and old times. Thanks for this!

Kapusta happens to be my last name and I can cook it any which way possible. Love love love it.

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.