Russian stewed cabbage or Russian braised cabbage is called Solyanka in Russian. Please note that this aromatic and hearty stew dish made with sour or fresh cabbage (or both) with some smoked pork meat and mushrooms is NOT the same as the Solyanka soup (click the link for the soup recipe). In Russian solyanka cabbage stew the flavours of smoked pork, cabbage, mushrooms and herbs mix together to create a mouth watering dish which is especially good for winter. The recipe is not difficult and works great in a crock pot. Enjoy!
Russian stewed cabbage Solyanka recipe
If you have sour cabbage (sauerkraut) handy you can just use it. Please follow the link for the recipe of homemade Russian pickled cabbage. It is also all right to mix fresh white cabbage with the sour cabbage or just use all fresh cabbage. The taste of solyanka will be a bit different though. To my taste the sour cabbage solyanka is better as it has brighter flavour. One of the options of the fresh/sour cabbage proportion is in the recipe but please feel free to change. You can always buy ready made sauerkraut in your local Russian, Baltic, German or Polish shop. If the pickled cabbage is too salty wash it once or more in a large pot of cold water and drain in the colander.
- sour cabbage washed and drained 1200 g
- white cabbage chopped 300 g
- onions 2 large chopped
- dry sep mushrooms 2 large handfuls
- pork shoulder 5o0 g cut up into inch pieces (you can use any cooked meat left overs also)
- chorizo sausage (or other smoked fatty sausage) 250 g
- bay leaves 2
- tomato puree 3 Tsp
- meat stock or water, if needed
- oil for frying
- dill seeds and caraway seeds (optional)
- black pepper and salt to taste
- In a small pot mix the mushrooms with 2 cups of cold water and bring to boil. Put to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- In a large pan or a wok braise the onions to a golden colour. Add the fresh white cabbage if you are using it, add more oil if needed and braise for 10-15 minutes. When finished put over into the large cooking pot or crock pot bowl in which you are going to cook your solyanka.
- Add the washed and drained sour cabbage into the cooking pot.
- Cut the chorizo or other smoked meat and fry it up in the same wok without any oil. The chorizo will produce a lot of fat, so add your pork and meat left overs for a short fry up to seal. When done, add tomato puree, mix and pour everything from the wok into the solyanka cooking pot.
- Drain the mushrooms over the cooking pot. Cool the mushrooms and chop them on the cutting board, then add them into the solyanka cooking pot.
- Add your spices (I prefer dry dill and caraway seeds, they are both great with cabbage), bay leaves and pepper into the cooking pot. Mix everything in the solaynka cooking pot and put on heat. You should have about half a pot of the stock in your solyanka at that point. Now you need to cook solyanka at low heat for a while and stir it from time to time. Make sure there is always some stock on the bottom of the pot so that solyanka is not burning and sticking to the pot.
- In an hour of cooking taste solyanka for salt and adjust if needed. It may not be needed if you are using sour cabbage.
I recommend overall cooking time for solyanka not more than 2 hours if you want the stewed cabbage to keep some texture (as we like it). Some people prefer their cabbage in solyanka very soft, always mushy, if you are one of them then keep cooking.
Serve solyanka stewed cabbage hot with boiled potatoes on the side.