Eastside Road, November 11, 2011—WHAT, STUFFED CABBAGE again? Didn't we just have that?
Well, yes, just a couple of weeks ago. But it's such a delicious thing, I thought I'd revisit it. This one was different, better in some respects, lesser in others. Here's how I made it: I browned some sausage and ground veal in goose fat, removed it, and browned chopped celery, carrots and leeks; then I combined all that with cooked short-grain rice, the core and some inner leaves of the cabbage, and a few leaves of chard, all chopped fine. I added an egg for the fun of it. Alas, I did not salt this sufficiently; nor did I flavor it with any herbs — next time I won't fail to add thyme.
I'd blanched the cabbage and deconstructed it; then, starting with the outside leaves, put it back together again, in a stainless-steel mixing bowl, interleaving the cabbage leaves with the stuffing mixture. (In the photo above, the operation isn't yet quite completed.) The finished cabbage — which I neglected to photograph, alas — completely filled the bowl, and I added veal stock up to its rim, then covered it with aluminum foil and baked it in the oven, not too hot, for an hour or so.
The finished cabbage turned out easily onto a platter and looked very nice indeed — I'm sorry I didn't think to take its picture; we just wanted to get on with our dinner. All it needed was a slice or two of bread on the side, but there was a little ice cream for a sundae afterward.
Zinfandel, Sky Vineyards (Napa), 2007: as definitive and true to varietal as Napa county can provide