Tag Archives: Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa

Kielbasi Casserole Deconstructed for the Grill

It sounds fancier than it is. I’m simply cooking all the meat and vegetables on the grill instead of roasting or stir-frying, and then tossing them together with a little sauce of chicken stock, herbs, and a tiny splash of rice vinegar (not too much or it turns into a hot salad). Kielbasi (or kielbasa if you prefer), potatoes, peppers, and onions. Yes it could be more complicated, but simple just plain works on the grill, because that smoky grill char is the real star of the meal.

I thought I got a pic of the dish with the sauce, but it all came together just as American Pharoah was about to win the Triple Crown and I was distracted, pleasantly. At least I got the pic of it all cut up and in the bowl!

Kielbasi Casserole Deconstructed for the Grill

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Heat up the grill for direct heat, with the coals spread out so you can use the whole cooking surface.

Meanwhile, cut all the vegetables and meat into pieces large enough to handle on the grill without them slipping through the grate.

1 lb kielbasi

15-20 baby red potatoes

3-4 bell peppers of any color (my husband won’t eat the green ones)

2-3 medium-large onions, sliced thick (about 1/2-3/4 inch)

  • I cut peppers into quarters so there is kind of a flat surface
  • I have pretty good luck cutting onions into thick slices, with maybe one coming apart on turning, but still staying on the cooking grate
  • If you use baby red potatoes, they can simply be skewered whole, with no precooking
  • I cut the kielbasi into 8 pieces for cooking, and then into smaller rounds for eating

I cook the vegetables first, adding the meat to the grill after turning once. It might surprise you how quickly the potatoes cook, especially if you close the lid for a few minutes. I’m not concerned about char on the vegetables, and I don’t remove any of it for eating, but you could certainly take the charred skin off the peppers and cook the potatoes to the side for less char.

When all is cooked (the vegetables will be a little crisp-tender, but the potatoes will be soft), remove and cut everything in edible-sized chunks. Toss together in a large bowl with the sauce:

Light Sauce for Vegetables/Meat

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup chicken stock or bouillon (I used Better Then Bouillon®, which is a little salty)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4-1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar

  1. Over low-to medium heat, melt butter in olive oil, then add garlic and heat until fragrant.
  2. Add thyme and heat for another minute.
  3. Mix cornstarch with chicken stock, then stir in mixture and continue stirring until glossy and thickened.
  4. Stir in splash of rice vinegar for just a little brightness to the sauce.
  5. Cover and keep warm until the meat and vegetables are ready.

New Year’s Pork and Sauerkraut

My mother said there were other traditions of food to eat for luck in the new year, such as black-eyed peas in the southern United States, but for us it was pork and sauerkraut. It’s a kind of heavy meal, more from the fat than from carbs, but it’s one we look forward to every year, and only once a year. I like to serve it at midday on New Year’s so we have time to recover by evening, instead of going to bed so full. What made this meal so popular with my husband is that the sauerkraut comes out edible, more sweet (without sugar) than sour, and the pork just falls apart. The roasted potatoes also help counter the tartness of the sauerkraut. It might be the simplest of big meals to cook, everything in one pot, and then a side vegetable made at the end. As noted in the last post, we top it off with custard pie, not too sweet, not too filling, just cool and creamy.

New Year's Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 300°

2 32oz bags of regular Silver Floss Krrrrisp Kraut or your favorite sauerkraut

Pork shoulder (butt), blade-in (about 5 lbs) or boneless pork butt, tied (about 3-5 lbs)*

1 lb kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut in 3 inch pieces—I used our favorite Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa©

2-3 lbs small red potatoes, whole or larger potatoes, quartered

  1. Place sauerkraut and all its liquid in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Set pork butt on top of sauerkraut and season with salt and pepper. Place lid on pan and roast in center of oven for 5 hours.
  2. Raise heat to 375°
  3. Add potatoes and pieces of kielbasa around roast. Return to oven with lid on and roast for 1 more hour.

The meat will be falling apart and the sauerkraut will be golden brown from cooking in the meat juices. Remove all components to a large platter and serve with a vegetable side—we had broccoli to add some needed green color to the meal.

*This dish won’t work out with a lean cut of pork, like a loin or tenderloin, which cannot stand up to such long cooking.

What do you eat for luck in the new year?