Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Savoy Cabbage Rolls--Otherwise "Pigeons"

I had just finished cooking those cabbage rolls when I incidentally learned that people from the British website lovethegarden.com wished to learn more about cabbage and the way to prepare it and announced a contest for a cabbage-based dish. I am sure that with the recent tide of Polish migration to the UK, Polish cuisine has got a chance to become very popular, but I could always offer many ideas on that subject. So far, I have posted five cabbage recipes (most recently, for a spicy white cabbage salad) and at least another five are waiting to be posted. Nevertheless, in this contest I will vote for my follower Karolina and her cabbage dish: cabbage & mushroom pasties.

I agree that cabbage, so well-known in Eastern Europe, is still not very popular elsewhere. I consider cabbage a very Polish vegetable and we are the greatest experts on how to prepare it and serve it. Therefore, I am always very happy that someone from an exotic place like Trinidad checked out for instance my red cabbage salad. And the idea that someone would like to try for the first time that vegetable, thanks to my post, is very thrilling to me.

Recently, having my mother visiting I have been cooking more Polish dishes than I usually do, since normally I choose my daily food from a more international repertoire, only with some Polish elements. But with her help I was able to collect quite an impressive array of traditional Polish recipes, which I will share on my blog from time to time.

Today's stuffed cabbage rolls belong to the classic and probably most known Polish cabbage dishes next to bigos. Many of my friends visiting Poland fall in love with them, many heard of it, some ask me to prepare it for them to try. So as you can see on one of the photos, when I finally make them, their amount is really impressive. It is just the simplest version of that dish, sauteed with meat stuffing. In many Polish homes, they are made in a tomato sauce with a stuffing including meat and rice. The Polish name for this dish is "gołąbki", which means "pigeons".

Stuffed Savoy Cabbage Rolls
(Makes ten rolls)

1 medium soft savoy cabbage,
1 lb ground pork (try to choose a lean and light pink piece; it is a better quality meat),
1 medium onion,
1 tbsp breadcrumbs,
1/2 lb thinly sliced smoked bacon,
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper,
6 tbsp olive oil.

1. In a large pot boil water with a tbsp salt.
2. Peel off gently cabbage leaves, throw away the outer layer.
3. Put the cabbage leaves in a boiling water and let it blanch for about 5 minutes or until the leaves turn bright green. Dry and cool them on a colander.
4. Chop onion as thinly as you can, fry it on a tablespoon of oil.
5. Mix ground pork with spices, breadcrumbs, and onion. Using your hands mix all the ingredients, until they create a smooth feeling. Divide meat into ten equal portions
6. At that point heat oven to 375F.
7. Select the smallest leaves and put a one portion of meat inside, then place it on a big leaf that you will use as wrap.

8. Put oil in a baking dish and place all the the rolls next to each other.

9. If you like bacon, cover rolls with bacon slices, or with a few slivers of butter.

10. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake it for another 20 minutes, until the rolls get slightly brown on top.

Serve with potatoes or rye bread and fresh tomato salad.

1 comment:

Jeanne @ CookSIster said...

Oh these look fantastic! I've never tried them, but I think this recipe may push me over the edge ;o)