pork and fennel sausages with braised cabbage, lemon & thyme

I've been posting all veg recipes of late so I thought I'd mix it up a little today. Afterall, I do eat and love meat, just not very much of it. I've written about how I eat meat sustainably before.

This recipe uses pork sausages. My obvious wish is that you source the best quality, highest welfare sausages you can. That's for animal welfare but also for your health and taste buds. The 'gourmet' ones you find at most supermarkets don't cut it:

It's not how sausages are meant to be.

Good sausages, the kind I'm hoping you'll source, are from small-scale family farms. They've been made with pork from pigs that have spent their lives outside, eating grass, digging up dirt with their piggy noses, being thoroughly pig-like. These pigs are slower to grow. The sausages made from their meat tastes like pork should taste. Like pork!

I find these type of sausages at farmers' markets. Online ethical meat suppliers and some butchers are also good options. Use Local Harvest to find a good market or butcher near you. Yes, they cost more than the sausages you buy from the supermarket. But you're eating less meat these days so you can afford it, right?

If you're thinking it'll be an expensive feed, I calculated this meal at around $5 a head for six people (or six feeds).

pork and fennel sausages with braised cabbage, lemon & thyme

6 pasture-fed pork and fennel sausages (I spent $11.20 for a 510g pack of 6) - if you can't get pork and fennel sausages, just add 1 heaped teaspoon of whole fennel seeds along with the cabbage when cooking
extra virgin olive oil or butter
1/2 a large cabbage, shredded
1 garlic clove, crushed
handful fresh thyme sprigs
juice of 1 lemon
enough home made veg or chicken stock or water to just cover

serving suggestion
lightly steamed green beans tossed with lemon zest and butter
creamy mashed potato

Pierce each sausage once and pan fry until lightly golden on all sides - no need for oil at this stage, the fat will come out of the sausages and coat the pan. Remove the sausages and set aside.

Add a little extra virgin olive oil or butter to the pan and sauté the cabbage along with the garlic. Sauté until the cabbage has wilted and is golden in parts.

Add the sausages* back to the pan along with the thyme and lemon juice and pour in enough stock or water to just cover.

*This is optional, but if you want to create the illusion of more sausage in the final dish, slice each sausage into bite-sized pieces before adding back to the pan.*

Simmer gently until the cabbage is soft and only about 1/3 of the liquid is left.

Serve with a side of steamed green beans tossed with lemon zest and butter and creamy mashed potato.


  1. HI Maria - our local farmers market has a small pork supplier, its a race each Sunday to get there before all the pork sausages are gone.
    This recipe has inspired me to get up early on Sunday and get some pork on my fork!

    Have a great weekend.



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