Split Peas & Cabbage, or Kapusta z Grochem in Polish, is a traditional side dish at Wigilia the Christmas Eve dinner. The meal is meatless but this dish, which is as much starch as vegetable, also can be served with a garnish of fried bacon if you're not fasting.
Makes 4 to 6 servings of Polish Split Peas and Cabbage
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
1 pound dried split yellow peas, rinsed
3 cups boiling water
1 small head cabbage (about 2 pounds), shredded
1 quart sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (reserve some of the kraut juice)
3 cups water
Salt and black pepper
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound bacon, chopped (if not fasting)
Combine peas and boiling water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue boiling 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let soak 30 minutes. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes, or until cooked down into a puree, adding more water if necessary. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in large pot or Dutch oven, place shredded cabbage, sauerkraut and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 1 hour. realilize
While cabbage is cooking, saute onion in butter until golden brown but not burned. Set aside.
Add cooked peas to cabbage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and some kraut juice if too dry. Add sauteed onions, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Heat until warm throughout and serve.
Note: Optionally, saute onion with chopped bacon, omitting the butter, until bacon is cooked through, but not crispy. Add to cabbage with cooked peas.