This twist on cabbage rolls might sound like a lot of work but is quite easy and makes for a great presentation. Your guests will be amazed! It also reheats well and is good cold. This doesn't have the usual tomato based sauce poured on top, but I have done it that way too and both ways are excellent! Be sure you have a clean piece of cheesecloth before starting this recipe. From Food and Drink Magazine, yes AGAIN!
- 1 medium savoy cabbage or 1 small savoy cabbage
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 onions, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 20 fresh sage leaves, shredded
- 2 eggs
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground pork
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 juniper berries, crushed
- 4 -6 cups chicken stock
- one section of clean cheesecloth
- Remove the coarse outside leaves from the cabbage and trim the base. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the cabbage for 7 minutes, then refresh under cold running water, drain well.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onions, season well and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic and sage the set aside to cool.
- Whisk the eggs, salt, allspice and pepper together. Pour into a large bowl and add the pork and cooled onion mixture. Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley and mix well. Fry a small ball of stuffing to check the seasoning. Adjust the stuffing if necessary-it should be well seasoned, as the cabbage will absorb it.
- Spread a section of clean cheesecloth on the work surface and place the cabbage in the centre.
- Open out the leaves carefully, like a flower until you reach the heart and the leaves are small and too brittle to peel back. Starting with the inside circle of leaves, spread about 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 25 mL) of stuffing onto them, then fold them back around the cabbage heart. Repeat with each layer of leaves, adding more stuffing to the bigger leaves. If you run out of stuffing before the last layer, don't worry, just fold those leaves to reform the cabbage. Bring the cloth up around the cabbage to keep it in place and tie the opposite corners.
- Place the cabbage, thyme, bay leaf and juniper berries into a large saucepan or flameproof casserole, and pour in enough chicken stock to come at least halfway up the side of the cabbage. Add a little water if necessary.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the cabbage and let sit for 10 minutes to drain out excess liquid. Bring the cooking juices to a boil, skim and boil gently to reduce slightly.
- Remove the cloth from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into wedges, removing the core, if desired, and serve with the some of the cooking juices spooned over.
freezing the cabbage makes it eaasy to peel the leaves ,...not rock hard just a little more then chilly
My journey...I chose this because it looked yummy & it used juniper berries which I have & rarely see recipes using them. I will admit I was cursing this choice as I was trying to carefully peel back the cabbage leaves. ;) I would recommend blanching longer than 7 minutes as the middle hadn't softened at all. Perhaps 9 - 10 minutes? I cut an X in the very middle & crammed the stuffing in. It was fun layering the meat & re-wrapping the cabbage up. :) I used quite a bit of water - maybe I should have used a smaller pot? I cooked it for 1 1/2 hours instead of 2 (getting late - didn't start early enough) but it was perfect. It sat in the colander in the sink for about 10 mins then I unwrapped & cut. It was PERFECT. I served it with the broth. OMG IT WAS SOOOOOOOO DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to make this for company! Everybody should make this. Kind of like childbirth, I guess, you forget the pain of peeling back cabbage leaves once you've tasted the final product, lol. Thank you, Leslie!! Made for the 1/08 Aussie Swap.