No. 38: Slow-Cooker Sausage & Kale Stew with Mashed Potatoes

Saturdays are for errands. Or at least mine are.

But I love errands. I turn up the tunes, check a bunch of to-dos off my list and get lost in the freedom of just driving around and being productive. And the days I can squeeze in a nail appointment are even better.

How suburban are we? Goodness.

Slow Cooker Saturday

I had a big bag of kale to use and had been planning to make this recipe on Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday ... to no avail.

But we had lots of ground to cover Saturday morning, so I threw all the elements into the crockpot and took off to start the day. I figured lunch and some leftovers would be ready and waiting when we got home.

Ingredients

1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed and broken into pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and black pepper
2 large russet potatoes
1 small bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving

To make

Combine the sausage, onion, tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, garlic, 1 cup water, and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in your slow cooker. Prick the potatoes several times all over with a fork, and then nestle them in the liquid. Top with the kale.

In the pot

(It's all in there, promise.)

Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Pot

(Looks can be deceiving, this smelled great.)

Transfer the cooked potatoes to a medium bowl. Add the milk, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper to the bowl and mash.

Serve the stew warm topped with the mashed potatoes.

The results

I started the slow-cooker at 7:30am, left the house at 9am, and when I walked back in the door at noon this smelled wonderful. We went with the high heat cooking method, so I was curious to see the results.

Final plate

It didn't look all that appetizing (Mr. McCormick was dubious), but all in all, not too bad. The potatoes were super tender and I was surprised how easily they mashed apart.

But would I make it again? Maybe. I'd make some tweaks though.

A few recommendations if you like the sound of this stew and want to try it.

  • Get some more seasoning in there. Double or triple the pepper, add a bay leaf, try some red pepper flakes. It needs something.
  • Less liquid. I'd only add about a 1/2 cup water.

Finally, make this when it's cold. It was 70 degrees and sunny when we had this for lunch. A mountain slope or polar vortex are what you want for context with this dish.

We're headed to Tahoe this winter and I should have saved the recipe for that trip. Darn it!

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