This was the first thing I ate when we got back to Germany after visiting with my family for three weeks in upstate NY. We had a great time and lots of good food while we were there but as it always is when you are traveling long distances you can’t transport much in the way of fresh and/or perishable food stuffs and the airport/airline fare just doesn’t pass as real food if you ask me. Therefore, we were all quite famished after a nearly 7 hour flight and two sandwiching car rides which brought us back to our house early on a Sunday morning. This also meant that not a single store (except maybe a gas station) would be open. Luckily for us, though, Thomas’ mother had made up a large pot of “Grünkohl” the day before that was waiting for us in our fridge when we got back and it only needed to be reheated and eaten. I love kale and I have prepared it in many ways, but my usual preparation, which is of Italian origin, I suppose, is to cook it with chopped tomatoes, lots of garlic, onions & chickpeas and to serve it over ditalini pasta. So overall, this dish was quite foreign to me the way it was served but I really enjoyed it. I made it again myself (only one week later), added a few changes to Oma’s original recipe and I think this is now one of my new favorite winter-time one-pot meals.
Grünkohl (Kale) with Potatoes & Sausage*
*Sausage is optional and can be left out or this can be served with veggie sausage if you want this to be a vegetarian dish.
600 grams (about 1.3 lbs) of finely chopped, frozen (fresh – see note) Kale
2-3 medium sized Onions finely diced
5 medium sized Potatoes peeled and finely diced
500-700 ml Water
2 heaping tablespoons Instant Oat Baby Cereal called “Schmelzflocken”
(or you can substitute with oat flour by finely grinding quick oats in a coffee grinder or mill)
4-6 tablespoons Butter
Sausage or Veggie Sausage (I used Mettwurst) cut into rounds
Salt and Pepper to taste
If you are using fresh kale, wash it and remove the large stem part. Chop it finely and cook it down until it’s wilted and tender. You’ll need at least 3 cups of cooked kale.
In a large soup pot melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then saute the onions until translucent. Add the frozen kale to the pot along with 1/2 liter of water. Simmer with the lid on and stir occasionally until the kale is completely thawed and hot, about 20-30 minutes. This step may take longer if you are using fresh kale. Add the potatoes and cook until very tender, another 20-30 minutes. If at any time the pot gets too dry and the contents start to stick to the bottom of the pot add more water, 100 ml at a time, until you can stir again easily but the mixture is still thick. With a potato masher or large spoon mash the potatoes as well as you can, there will still be small pieces of potatoes remaining. Continue simmering and stir in the oat flakes/oat flour, remaining butter, salt and pepper. If you’re using sausage add it now and let it simmer for at least another 10 to 15 minutes or until it’s cooked through. This dish tastes better the next day and you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. When reheating make sure to add a little extra water as it will firm up in the fridge and stir often.