Stuffed Savory Cabbage on Braised Vegetables
(Yields: 4 servings)
For this recipe you will need:
• 1 lb ground beef (could sub turkey or chicken)
1/2 lb sausage meat
• 1/4 lb light smoked bacon, finely minced
• 3 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
• 6 medium or 1 cup shallots, finely minced
• Garlic cloves, finely minced
• 2 slices whole wheat bread, into crumbs
• Eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 dash nutmeg, freshly ground
• 1 large or 2 medium green cabbage, about 3 lbs (Asian cabbage is great to use)
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 large onion minced
• 3 medium size carrot, finely sliced in discs
• 1/2 cup Riesling white wine
• 1 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable, chicken or beef broth
• 1 sprig fresh thyme
• Bay leaf
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a bowl, combine the meats, parsley, shallots, garlic, white bread, eggs, nutmeg. Adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate.
Blanching the cabbage:
Core a whole cabbage. Carefully cut around the tough, hard core with a small knife, inserting the knife at an angle; You are carving out a cone shaped piece. Peel off and discard any loose darker green outer leaves. Separate the leaves, taking care to keep them intact.
Plunge the leaves into a large quantity of boiling salted water. Boil over high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until limp and flexible but not mushy. Drain and refresh in a bath of cold water. Spread the leaves on paper towels to dry. Cut away the rib from the center of each leaf.
Stuffing the cabbage leaves:
Line the inside of a coffee cup with a plastic film wrap (12×12 inch). Line the inside of the cup with one or two cabbage leaves, if two leaves are used overlap them. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity (to fill up the cup). fold the cabbage leaves over the stuffing, making sure that all the filling is completely enclosed. Twist the end of the plastic firmly together, then unwrap the plastic. You will obtain, by using this technique, a perfect round-shaped and firm stuffed cabbage leaf. Repeat until all the filling has been used. This technique really works well!
Cooking and presentation:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Choose a heavy casserole and melt the butter. Add the onion and carrot. Cook covered until the vegetables are soft but not browned , about 5 minutes. Uncover, add the wine, vegetable broth, thyme and bay leaf. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the stuffed cabbage leaves in the casserole side by side. Cover up and place in the oven for 1 hour or until the cabbage is very tender. When done, remove the casserole form the oven and serve directly from the dish.