This recipe can be enjoyed with link venison or pork (wild hog) sausage as well as "civilian" type meats such as smoked link sausage, kielbasa, or any other bratwurst or smoked type sausage you enjoy.
For wild hog or venison link sausage, I like to cook them whole on the grill or in frying pan. For larger varieties like kielbasa or Hillshire, Johnsonville smoked, etc., I like to cut them in 6" lengths and split them lengthwise before cooking them on the grill or in a pan.
Now the star of the meal is actually the fried cabbage. Some of you may already be familiar and some of you may be shaking your heads in wonderment. I'll simply say that I'm darn glad I was intoduced to it and we love it when cooked right.
Start the "sausages" however you decide you're going to cook them and then start your cabbage. We use a small - medium head for 3 to 4 adults. I cut out the stem and then split the head in half, top to bottom and then flat side down cut 1/4-1/3" slices of the half head of cabbage out of both halves.
To ready the cabbage pan, cut up (dice) 1/3- 1/2 pound of bacon and put into a large frying pan (I like non-stick for this). Medium heat should cook the bacon "bits" fairly quickly and do not allow to crisp, but rather only cook about 3/4ths way through. I will also add some cooking oil at this time, stretching the bacon grease rendering there for us. I use olive or vegatable oil as it need not get really hot.
When the bacon reaches about 3/4ths cooked I simply add all the cut cabbage, simply pulling it apart somewhat as I toss it on top of the bacon and bacon grease. I add another tablespoon or so of oil on top of all that cabbage, along with a tespoon full of red pepper flakes (adjust as needed!) and put the top on the pan, keeping the heat at medium. All that cabbage will render some moisture and cook fairly slowly taking 30-45 mins to be about right.
Simply pull the cover from time to time and stir it some as it cooks
for that time and I like to allow it to brown up pretty good before I call it done. Your sausages will likely be done prior to this and I like to simply put them on top of the cabbage and let them stay warm and soak up some of that bacon oil too.
Serve it with spicy mustard (I also like spicy ketchup with it too) and if you've got some good rolls make a sausage "dog" topped with mustard and then the cabbage. Nope, it does not
taste like saukraut, but has a great smokey bacon flavor that I'll bet you enjoy, a LOT!
No need for tators with it, although I've completed the trifecta by serving some good fried potatoes along with it. But it's just really not needed if you've made enough cabbage. I do like a salad with it and of course a cold _ _ _ _... Beer (you insert your favorite type!).
Try it, if you have not before, and I'd be willing to bet it will be the best way you've ever had cabbage, hands down.
One word of warning: Don't waste your time trying to make this without that bacon ingredient. It may seem healthier, but the taste is nothing like what it supposed to be. Doing it that way, is simply a waste of time IMHO.