This gratin came about from a mixture of things. I love boulangere potatoes, and a few weeks ago I had a cabbage in the cupboard waiting to be used so I added a layer of cabbage and I was surprised at how good it was. Then Rachel from Rachel Eats did the most amazing take on Rowley Leigh’s Cabbage and Sausage Cake, her majestic oak tree, as it became known. Now, before I had read Rachel’s words on the Cabbage and Sausage cake nobody could have convinced me to try such a thing. However, I was convinced by her words and the art of her photography that it had to be a good thing, so I made it one night a couple of weeks ago. It tasted divine. Mine didn’t look as good as Rachel’s, well for one thing I nearly dropped it as I turned it out, but it tasted very good indeed and probably even better reheated the next day. So, I thought perhaps a bit of sausage may just work in my potato and cabbage gratin. And, do you know? It does. So, thank you to Rachel for the inspiration.
When Mr OC ‘phoned me today and asked what was for tea, which is his habit (sometimes he asks me this question when he ‘phones as he walks from the train station to work. The man thinks about his stomach a great deal! ) and I suggested a potato, cabbage and sausage gratin, I could tell from his tone that he thought this may be a bad idea. But when he was halfway through eating it tonight he declared it “actually quite good, not as bad as I thought it would be”. I suppose this may not be considered high praise, but his plate was wiped clean by the end so I am taking it as such. He even declared that it didn’t need the gravy that I had forgotten to make. Anyway, my view on the matter is that it is delicious, and that goes for the dish with or without the sausage.
4 – 5 medium-sized potatoes
5-6 leaves from a savoy cabbage
4-5 good quality sausages
2 cloves of garlic
570ml (1 pint) chicken or vegetable stock
½ tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the cabbage leaves for two to three minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water to cool quickly and fix the green colour. Shred the cabbage.
Peel the potatoes and slice thinly. Chop the garlic finely. Skin the sausages.
Generously butter a gratin dish and layer half the potato, topped with a layer of half the cabbage. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the chopped garlic. Dot lumps of the sausage meat over. Layer the remaining cabbage, followed by the remaining potato. Pour over the stock. Season and sprinkle with the thyme and dot with the remaining butter.
Cover the dish with foil and cook in a preheated oven at 200°c (gas mark 6) for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 30-40 minutes until the top is golden and crusty. Serve with good bread to mop up the juices.