Sweet Sausage Cabbage Pie With Dill and Feta

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- The free-form Sweet Sausage Cabbage Pie With Dill and Feta offers a tasty combination of flavors.
Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- The free-form Sweet Sausage Cabbage Pie With Dill and Feta offers a tasty combination of flavors.

Advocate-tested recipe

Sweet Sausage Cabbage Pie With Dill and Feta

Makes 4 servings. Recipe is from “Savory Pies — Delicious Recipes for Seasoned Meats, Vegetables and Cheeses Baked in Perfectly Flaky Crusts” by Greg Henry.

Basic Pie Pastry (See recipe) (See note)

¼ cup plus 2 tbls. chopped fresh dill, divided (OR desired amount of dried dill weed)

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage

1 tsp. fennel seeds

½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed

½ cabbage, cored and shredded slaw-style (about 6 cups, loosely packed)

1 tbl. olive oil, or as needed

1 large onion, halved and sliced into slivers

2 cloves garlic, minced

Freshly cracked black pepper

5 ozs. crumbled feta cheese, divided

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Flour for rolling

1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water, for egg wash

1. Prepare the pastry recipe, adding 2 tablespoons dill to the flour mixture. Shape the dough into 2 discs about 5 inches in diameter and ¾-inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days) or freeze for up to 1 month.

2. Remove the sausage casing. Discard the casing and crumble meat; set aside. Set a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fennel seeds and toast until fragrant, shaking the skillet often, about 2 minutes. Add the crumbled meat to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until well browned, 10-12 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to move the meat to a plate; set aside.

3. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add cabbage and blanche for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, allow to cool for a couple of minutes, and dry — a salad spinner works well.

4. Set the skillet you used for the meat over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon oil to bring the total fat in the pan to about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion and cook, stirring often until tender, about 6 minutes. Add salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Stir in the cooked meat and then the drained cabbage. Cook, stirring often, until mixture is tender and the cabbage is beginning to color, about 15 minutes. Add a generous grind of black pepper. Allow to cool somewhat. Stir in 3 ounces feta cheese, the remaining ¼ cup dill and the parsley. Set aside to cool completely.

5. Place oven rack in center position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

6. On lightly floured surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll a chilled dough disc to about a 13-inch round (depending on your baking dish), a generous 1⁄8-inch thick; save the second disc for another use.

7. Carefully fold the rolled dough in half, slide onto rolling pin and transfer to a 10-by-7-by-2-inch deep baking dish. Unfold, easing the dough gently into the dish and letting it drape evenly over the sides without stretching. Fill to heaping with cabbage and sausage mixture and sprinkle with remaining 2 ounces feta. Fold the dough edges loosely over the filling, they don’t have to meet in the center. Brush exposed dough with egg wash, drizzling any extra over the cabbage mixture.

8. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the crust is crisp and dark golden brown, about 40-50 minutes, Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Note: Cream Cheese Crust can be substituted for the Basic Pie Pastry.