Monday, September 13, 2010

Band Geek Recipe

Hi.  My name's Janet, and I'm a carnivore, and I despise fish.  Fish is pushed in most diet plans for very good reasons.  It's high in protein and good fats.  It's low in bad fats.  Whoopee for fish.

When my dad was in college, he got rip-roarin' drunk, ate an enormous seafood dinner, then promptly decorated the floor.  As a result, fish was never allowed at our house unless he wasn't home, which was almost never.  Not that you can get fresh seafood in Wibaux, MT....  At any rate, my reaction to most kinds of fish is only slightly less violent than Dad's.  I had super fresh halibut in Alaska, and fell in love.  That's about it.  I was a good girl and tried my husband's fish creations, but he hadn't quite figured out how to tell if it was done.  Guess which piece I got.  Ewww.

There's a lot of debate about what place beef has in a healthy diet, which I will rant about in an upcoming post.  One of the best, healthiest meats I have access to is deer.  Personally, I would rather gnaw on a bloody bone than eat deer steak, but I love deer sausage.  Sure, there's a little pork added to make it stick together, but it's still low in bad fats.  I can't give you specific numbers because it's made with game sausage, but I can tell you that it's high in protein, fiber, and iron.  

My husband and I have developed this recipe after years of experimentation.  We have also noticed that we lost weight when we have it regularly for lunch.  The tomatoes kill the flavors in the cabbage that I find mildly unpleasant, and it reheats for lunches wonderfully. 

The downside to this recipe is that it's geared toward a very specific sausage.  We have our game processed at Shafer's in Billings.  The Smoked German Brats are very strong and salty, and making them into soup diffuses the salt and spices into the vegetables.  It's heavenly, and even folks who don't like game love this soup.  The sausages are cooked, so if you want to try it with another brand of sausage, shoot for pre-cooked and strongly flavored.

Schafer's Sausage Soup

2 packages Schafer's Smoked German Bratwurst
Lots of water-sorry, I never measure
1 tbs shallot pepper
2 cans of stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 packages frozen spinach
1 head of cabbage, sliced.

Slice the sausage into 1/4" rounds.  Place in the crockpot and fill approximately halfway up.  Don't forget to give a few pieces to the toddler jumping up and down on your leg.  Add the tomatoes and the shallot pepper.  Set the crockpot on low and let it stew for a few hours.  

When the water has turned a nice golden brown color, or about a half an hour before you would like to serve, add the spinach and cabbage.  Let the toddler sneak a few pieces of meat.  He really likes meat.  Serve once the stew is again hot and the cabbage is tender.

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