I don’t pretend to be an expert on Tuscan cuisine. Truly, the only requirement for labeled “Tuscan”, in my opinion, is that it needs to be rustic, comforting, and filling. Thus, this Sausage & Potato Stew with Kale is nicknamed my Tuscan Sausage & Potato stew.
Gather Your Ingredients
The best part about this stew- second only to its amazing flavor- is how easy it is to prepare. I added an extra step, and dish, just because; but, you can most certainly make this a true one-pot meal. All you need are: sausage, onion, garlic, potatoes, kale, chicken stock, bacon, a smidge of olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage. Isn’t that amazing? Eleven ingredients and one pot. Obviously, this is a great weekday dish. If you are out and about during the weekdays, throw this into your slow cooker on the way out of the door, and you’re good to go. I live to bring you meals like this, my friend. I really do.
Use Your Favorite Sausage
Polksa kielbasa (Polish sausage) is a staple in our kitchen. It’s easy for the Soldier and the twinks to make dinner with it when I’m too busy to cook, so I make sure we always have some on hand. Even if you don’t eat pork, this is still a dish you can prepare. Instead of pork sausage, use beef or turkey sausage. You can even use that fancy flavored sausage, if you have that on hand- provided it doesn’t have bold, conflicting flavors (like sun-dried tomatoes or jalapeños).
For me, flavor is develop with the caramelization (browning of sugars) of any given food. To extract as much flavor as possible from the sausage, I use one more dish in preparing this recipe. It’s not even a legit dish because I cover my sheet pan with aluminum foil, so that’s, like, half a dish. Arrange the sausage on the sheet pan and broil, on low, for three minutes on both sides, or until the sausage is slightly charred on the edges. That char will impart more flavor to finished stew.
Prep the Remaining Ingredients
Before you switch cutting boards, or clean the one you’ve cut the sausage on, slice the bacon into strips a quarter of an inch wide. Now, switch to your veggie cutting board, or clean this one off.
Slice off the stem end of a medium white onion. Cut the onion in half, through the root, then peel it. Using the onion’s natural lines a guide, slice the onion half (without going through the root) a quarter of an inch thick.
Turn the onion ninety degrees and cut it in half before removing the root end. Use your fingers to separate the slices.
Peel and slice three large cloves of garlic. Push these, and the onion slices, to the side.
Cut two large, scrubbed and rinsed, russet potato into quarters (lengthwise).
Turn the potato quarters, then slice the potatoes into half-inch thick quarter rounds. If you plan to prep all of these ingredients ahead of time, store the potatoes, covered in cold water, in a bowl. When you’re ready to make the stew, drain the water off of the potatoes before adding them to the pot.
Sweat the Veggies
To prepare the stew, heat the olive oil and bacon slices in a six-quart dutch oven over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the bacon pieces and cook to allow the bacon to slowly release its fat.
Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook the veggies until they appear glossy and begin to look translucent, this should take three to four minutes.
Stir in the potatoes and seasonings.
Now, pour in the chicken stock, using your wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot (FLAVOR!). Bring the stew to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and allow the stew to simmer, covered, for fifteen minutes.
After fifteen minutes, add the sausage…
…and the kale to the stew. Return the lid to the pot and let the stew cook for another ten minutes.
Dish and Enjoy
Once the stew has simmered and the kale has wilted, you’re ready to serve the stew.
I love topping my bowl of stew with a big ol’ pinch of asiago or parmesan cheese. A crusty loaf of bread would be totally Tuscan, too.
Slow Cooker Method
The slow cooker version of this recipe is so easy it needs less than one paragraph. Add all of the ingredients, except for the kale, to the slow cooker. Stir, cover, then cook on low for eight hours. Ten minutes before serving, add the kale and allow it to wilt.
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Sausage & Potato Soup with Kale
- 1-1 1/4 pound Polish sausage, sliced 1/2" thick
- 2 large (about 1 1/2 pounds) russet potatoes, cleaned
- 1 tablesoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 large white onion, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 6 ounces (about 10 cups) kale, cleaned and trimmed, leaves cut into 1" pieces
- shredded asiago or parmesan cheese
- sliced crusty bread
- OPTIONAL (if you choose not to broil the sausage, skip to the next step): Arrange the sausage on a foil-lined sheet pan and broil, on low, for 3 minutes on each side, or until the sausage is slightly charred on the edges. Remove the sausage from the oven and set aside.
- Cut the potato into quarters (lengthwise), then slice each quarter into slices 1/2" thick. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil and bacon slices in a 6-quart dutch oven over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the bacon pieces as they cook.
- Add the onions and garlic to the bacon in the pot and cook the veggies until they appear glossy and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes, salt, sage, and pepper. Pour in the chicken stock, and use your wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and allow the stew to simmer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, add the sausage and kale to the pot. Cover and allow the stew to simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and the kale has wilted.
- Spoon the hot stew into individual bowls and top with a generous amount of the shredded cheese and slice of artisan bread.