Red Kale Stew

Savory comfort food combined with nutritious greens means a win-win.

kale stew

kale stew

have to admit that I heaved a sigh when I opened my CSA box to find a hearty portion of red kale. I've tried kale stir-fried, sauteed and fried into chips, and I've just never been crazy about the flavor or texture.

So the red kale sat on my refrigerator shelf for over a week, taking up tons of space with its huge leaves. Every day, when I opened the fridge and saw the kale still sitting there, I'd sigh and close the door. I just wasn't up for it.

Then one day, as I was using up some leftover grilled brats in an improvised stew, it came to me: cabbage and brats are common companions. Kale and cabbage come from the same veggie family. Ergo, what could make more sense in a brat stew than kale?

I gave the red kale (which had become a bit wilted by this point) a rough chop and tossed some in the already-simmering stew, and voila: my hearty stew now had an extra blast of nutrition (kale is high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, among other essential nutrients). It accentuated the flavor, too: the long simmer helped the kale blend beautifully in the stew, mellowing the usual bitter edge of the kale and lending it a milder, but hearty flavor.

Here's how I made my stew, but feel free to improvise based on what you've got on hand:

In a large pot or Dutch oven, simmer over medium-high heat:

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 5 cooked bratwurst, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 7-8 Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thick
  • 2 cups red kale, roughly chopped

Simmer ingredients until veggies are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Then blend:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (flour also works)
  • 1/2 cup water

Add the cornstarch/water mix to the stew, bring to a boil for two minutes, then turn off heat. The stew will be nice and thick: a perfect meal for a cool fall evening!

A perfect way to introduce kale to a picky-eating family: even my kids loved it. Enjoy!

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