Medisterpølse is a Scandinavian specialty food consisting of a thick, spicy sausage made of minced pork. The meat filling used to be hand-chopped with a knife, but today it is chopped very finely by machine, giving the sausage a different texture. It is made in one long coil and then cut up into sections before serving. The spices generally used are allspice, cloves, salt and pepper. These Danish sausages are great on their own as a main course or sliced up and placed on top of buttered Danish rye bread, and go great with Danish cucumber salad and warm red cabbage.

2 lb. Danish sausage (Medisterpølse)

Two 14-oz. cans chicken stock

2 bay leaves

3 Tbsp. butter

Danish rye bread

Place coil in a large frying pan, cover with chicken stock, add 2 bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Drain cooking liquid and remove sausages temporarily to a plate. Cut the sausages into 6-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, return frying pan to stove over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and fry sausages until golden brown.

Danish Cucumber Salad (Agurkesalat)

3 cucumbers

Salt to taste

1 c. water

1 c. white vinegar

4 Tbsp. sugar

1⁄2 tsp. black pepper

1 Vidalia or Walla Walla onion, thinly sliced

Wash and peel cucumbers. Cut cucumbers into very thin slices and place in medium bowl, salt lightly, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Pour off all liquid from cucumbers. In a small bowl, mix together the water, vinegar, sugar and pepper.

Thinly sliced onion can be placed in the salad also according to taste.

Pour mixture over the cucumbers and place in the refrigerator for one hour or until chilled.

Drain off liquid again or serve with a slotted spoon.

Red Cabbage

2 Tbsp. butter

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5 c. shredded red cabbage

1 c. sliced green apples

1/3 c. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. water

1/4 c. white sugar

2 1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Place butter, cabbage, apples, and sugar into a large pot.

Pour in the vinegar and water, and season with salt, pepper, and clove.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the cabbage is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Pair this with Firestone’s 2014 Santa Ynez Valley Petit Verdot, the inaugural vintage of their Santa Ynez Valley Petit Verdot. They sourced the grapes for this wine from estate vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. Smokey and rustic, this wine displays aromas of blackberry, black cherries and lilac. The palate is intense and rich, offering flavors of dark fruits, vanilla and tones of nutmeg and clove. The texture is creamy, round and defined by plush tannins that linger on the finish. Produced from 97.5% petit verdot, 1.5% cabernet sauvignon, and 1% malbec, this vintage spent 24 months in French, Hungarian and American oak, 80% new.


John David Finley is a freelance writer and author of the cookbook, "Sacred Meals from our Family Table," which features Santa Barbara County wines. He can be reached at