We have been busy harvesting our Italian prune plums. I LOVE these plums but really did not pay attention to them until moved to the island 23 years ago. The old tulip farm we lived on had a huge tree. Oh my goodness they were wonderful and perfect for cooking. I was on the island the other week and picked up some beautiful, artisan made heritage pork sausages. So I thought it would be fitting to create a recipe for these sausages using some of our prune plums. Now I used unripe plums because I liked the idea of a bit of tartness against the sweetness from the pork, cabbage and cream but you can use ripe plums too, just read my notes about them at the end of the recipe.
This is a very quick recipe about 15-20 minutes cooking. And to save yourself more time, cut up your onions/mushrooms/cabbage in the morning. I used a LOT of cabbage and only 3 sausage to make the meat go father (they were not cheap but oh so worth the money!) but you can use less cabbage or more meat. It does not matter the cooking time is the same. This has become a fall fav of mine. I hope it is for you too!
Plum and Cabbage Quick Braised Pork Sausages
3-4 sausages (I used three, sliced them up just before serving and mixed them in the cooked cabbage/plum mixture)
½ large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ large cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
Splash of dry white wine (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (plus extra if needed) heavy cream
6 plums (Italian is best but any will work) cut into bite size pieces
Heat a large pan (that has a lid) on high heat. After a minute or so add a splosh of oil, then mushrooms and onions. Let onion brown a bit for a minute or two. Then add cabbage and cook 2 minutes with lid on pan. Deglaze pan with wine. Then add salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium/high. Add cream, garlic and sausages. Cook 5 minutes. If using unripe plums add now, if using ripe plums see notes below. Turn sausages over and cook another 5-8 minutes. Check and see if sausage is cooked, if not cover a cook a few more minutes. If you feel like the sauce it to watery, take out sausage, turn heat up to high and boil a minute or two. Enjoy!
If you prefer using ripe plums, it is up to you of you want to add them the last 5 minutes or wait to the end. But cooking them too long could turn them to mush, so if it were me I would add them at the end.
I said I used unripe plums but not rock hard. You know when they look and smell good but are still firm, that is what you are looking for.
You can use less sausage as I did and just slice them up and add to cabbage before serving or serve whole sausages with cabbage/plum on the side.
Also if you want your sausage really crispy? After they have cooked, just brown them up in a small, hot pan and then add back to the cabbage.