Sausage, Potato, & Kale Skillet
posted Jul 28 2020 | All posts
Sometimes you want to make dinner, but only clean one pan. Sometimes sausage sounds so good that you want your whole meal to taste like it. Sometimes you need a clever trick to get a pile of kale into the mouths of “meat-and-potatoes” type eaters. When each of those stars align…make this dish. Thank me later.
I made this on a rainy summer night, and served it with a glass of white wine, and it felt summery. But honestly, served with a glass of red during a blizzard, this could easily be spun into hearty winter fare. Either way, as is often the case with any recipe involving the word “skillet”, it is comfort food to the max.
Start with 1lb of Drover Hill Farm’s pasture-raised Italian sausage. I used sweet for my sissy belly, but back in my prime I’d have totally gone for the hot stuff, and you should too. Lay the sausage out flat in a large, dry cast iron skillet or nonstick saucepan on med-high heat. Let the sausage brown nicely on one side before flipping & repeat. Forming a nice dark crust on the sausage creates the Maillard reaction, which wakes up both hundreds of new flavor compounds as well as your inner Neanderthal at the same time. Once enticingly browned, kill your heat, and use a spatula, wooden spoon, or fork to break up the meat into small chunks. Next, scoop the sausage into a bowl, set aside, and leave any accumulated grease in the pan.
Clean and prepare 1lb of Crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, leaving smaller ones whole, and cutting larger guys into big chunks – roughly the same size as the small ones you left whole. Also, finely chop about 4 large cloves of garlic, and roughly chop one large bunch of kale from Delaney Farms.
Pour enough additional olive oil into the sausage grease until the bottom of the skillet is thinly coated, and return to med-high heat. Once the oil looks hot & shimmery, add the mushrooms. Try to lay the cut/flat sides of the mushrooms flush against the oiled pan to help them brown as deeply as they can (again – building flavor). Add ~1lb of new potatoes to the pan as well, still prioritizing the mushrooms making surface contact. Allow to sit, sizzle, and sear untouched for several minutes until your mushrooms show clear signs of browning.
At this point, throw in the garlic, one large sprig of fresh rosemary (leave it whole), ½ tsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp. cracked black pepper, and ½ tsp. of Italiano Mix from Rockerbox Spices - a great blend available here at Farm Swarming that ups your game in just about any Italian dish. If you really dig it, by all means, add more. Stir the contents of the skillet, and cook until the new additions become fragrant (~30 seconds). Now add ¼ cup white wine, and 1 cup prepared chicken stock from bouillon (I prefer Minor’s or Better Than Bouillon brands, but anything salty will work). Next, cover everything with your chopped kale, cover with a lid, reduce heat to med-low, and walk away.
Check on your skillet & stir every five minutes until fifteen minutes has passed. At that time, the liquid should have reduced by about half, and the potatoes should be cooked. Once you verify that the potatoes are in fact tender, remove the lid, turn the heat back up to med-high, add the reserved sausage, and cook until you’ve almost entirely boiled off the pan liquid (another five min. or so).
Turn off the heat, give it a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and top with some freshly grated Parmesan. Serve to the human vultures that have undoubtedly swarmed around you this whole time, trying to score samples of sausage.
Ryan Burdick is Farm Swarming’s recipe developer/product consultant. He is a father, cook, gardener, and musician who lives in Jamesville, NY. Currently a school teacher, he previously worked for fifteen years in food service as a server, bartender, prep cook, line cook, and catering manager in Western and Central New York.