Some true comfort food (or: the perfect hangover cure)
Why talking about Danish kålpølse in this festive season, you might wonder… but you might soon understand.
This is the season of christmas parties. Everywhere, of course. But if you live in Denmark, you know that Christmas party (aka julefrokost) is not “only” a Christmas party, it is THE party of the year, with lots of food, much more alcohol (especially “schnaps” – Aquavit – is consumed like water), an absolutely unrestrained party with the colleagues. All of them. (Or the sports club members, the friends, at pretty much every opportunity that arises. My husband Timo just estimated that the average Dane attends about 20 julefrokosts. This might be a bit on the high side, but it makes the point.) Especially those, who have family and kids and are not partying every weekend grab this opportunity and suffer of the hangover of the year (=tømmermænd). What happens as the julefrokost stays at the julefrokost. Mine (the only one) is on Friday. No plans for Saturday.
So here comes the connection: the day after. After waking up (way too early in any case, but especially if you have young kids) you are most likely not in the mood to consume anything except one liter of water, an aspirin and a strong coffee. But once the worst is over (might be around lunch time), you feel like having some food. Something solid. With substance. Like the kålpølse on my picture.
So, kålpølse, what is it? It’s a sausage based on pork meat, (often) lung and (always) grease, mixed with spices and herbs and smoked for about 2 weeks. It’s consumed in Denmark, and also in the northern part of Germany, often with curly kale. It’s really good, but I must admit the picture says it all… there was no way to make it look healthy.
Instead of kale, I served the kålpølse recently with a simple lentil salad, inspired by a recipe of Uwe from Highfoodality. A good combination, which I will make again. And if you need an extra fast solution (i.e. if it’s the day after julefrokost), I can recommend to use the steamed lentils by Bonduelle. Did I mention I work there? 🙂 I have made that lentil salad a couple of times already – the addition of fried and mashed cherry tomatoes adds a nice twist to the dressing…
- 4 Kålpølse (or other smoked raw sausage)
- 200g brown lentils (or 2 cans of Bonduelle lentils)
- 2 small carrot
- 2 shallots
- 1 stalk of celery
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- white wine vinegar
- olive oil
- Boil the lentils, not too long, so they still have bite. If using canned lentils, rinse them.
- Put the kålpølse in lukewarm water and heat, but don't boil them for about 20 minutes.
- Cut the shallots, carrots and the celery in very fine cubes.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves, fry them together with the (whole) garlic clove and a dash of water. When soft, take away the garlic clove and mash them with a fork.
- Mix the lentils with the tomatoes and the vegetable cubes.
- Season to taste with vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar.
- Serve with the hot kålpølse - and enjoy.