Wednesday 12 December 2007

Recipe: Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

A very good high-days-and-holidays recipe, this dish tastes good, presents well, and can be prepared to final cooking stage several hours in advance - so lends itself to a dinner or lunch party when you don't want to find yourself stuck in the kitchen rather than with your guests. Goes particularly well with any dark meat or poultry: Beef, Duck, Goose, Venison......

For Six.

Ingredients: 1 large Carrot; half a Celeriac (approximately 500g in weight); 1 oz Butter (or Duck or Goose fat, if you have it); 1 teaspoon of dried Thyme; 1 small head of Broccoli; 6 Brussels Sprouts; 1 Savoy Cabbage; Salt & Pepper.


1. Put a large pan of salted water to boil.

2. Peel the Carrot & Celeriac, and cut them into small (about half centimetre) dice. Melt the Butter (or Fat) in a frying pan, and add the diced vegetables and the Thyme to the pan, turning them in the melted Butter several times, then leave to cook over a medium heat while you prepare the other vegetables.

3. Cut the Broccoli florets off their stalk and blanch in the boiling salted water for two minutes. Remove them from the water using a slotted spoon, and put into a colander to drain.

4. Trim the Brussels Sprouts, and cook for four minutes in the boiling water, then remove these also to the colander.

5. Strip the leaves from the Cabbage, and blanch for one minute in the water before removing - you need to end up with six good leaves.

6. Slice each of the Sprouts into four or five pieces, and cut the Broccoli florets into pieces the same size as the pieces of Sprout. Carefully mix these together in a bowl (don't overwork it - you don't want them to go to a mush), and add the cooked Carrot and Celeriac, which should be good and tender by this stage. Check the seasoning and correct as necessary.

7. Make six double-layered squares of cling-film, about 6" x 6" each. In the centre of each one place a blanched Cabbage leaf, from which the central spine has been mostly removed, and on top of that put one-sixth of the vegetable mixture. Bring the edges of the Cabbage leaf up around the filling, and then pull the cling-film up around the whole thing, twisting the cling-film tightly together, to make a tight little bundle. At this stage, you can set the bundles aside until you're ready for the final cooking.

8. For final cooking, place the bundles in the top part of a steamer, and steam over boiling water with the lid on for eight minutes. Serve at once, by carefully untwisting the top of the cling-film, inverting the bundle onto the plate, and peel away the plastic, to leave a plump and perfect parcel, with a flavour bomb inside.


Joanna said...

I'm always astounded by the notion that you can wrap food up in cling film and then boil it ... do you just use the plain ordinary cling, or is there some special sort that's needed?


Pomiane said...

In practice, I use BACO cling-film, which comes from the Cash & Carry, and so is catering size rather than domestic; it might be a little more robust than the supermarket variety (not sure - never really having used the latter)but I'm confident that the supermarket variety should work anyway......

Anonymous said...

Were there some health issues over cooking with cling film in contact with food, or did I make it up?

Pomiane said...

Can't find anything anywhere about deleterious effects of cooking with Clingfilm - I vaguely recall a 'silly season' news story from about fifteen years ago about the threat to male fertility from eating sandwiches which had been wrapped in plastic....but that's the only thing I can think of, and I rather think that particular story was dismissed as complete nonsense anyway.....