With the weather becoming cooler I find I’m starting to make more slow cooked food. This week’s recipe is one that I haven’t made for a long time but did it again a few days ago. Chou Farci translates as ‘stuffed cabbage’ – it might sound a bit weird but I can assure you it’s delicious. We first ate it in ‘Aux Charpentiers’ in Paris and I then created my version.
- Ingredients (serves 4-6)
- 1 tight firm cabbage
- For the stuffing:
- 200g minced veal or pork
- 1 finely chopped medium onion
- 90g grated cheese – Gruyère, Comté or Emmental
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 cup of Abrorio rice or any short grain rice
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- A pinch of mixed spice
- A handful of any finely chopped fresh herbs – parsley, tarragon, chervil
- For the poaching stock:
- Chicken stock and/or water
- 2 carrots
- 1 peeled onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Sprig of fresh thyme
- A pinch of sea salt
Discard the outer leaves from the cabbage and gently separate and wash all the remaining leaves keeping aside the small inner leaves.
Blanch the large leaves in boiling salted water for 2 minutes in batches. Drain and refresh immediately in cold water. Spread the leaves on paper towels and pat dry.
Chop the small inner cabbage leaves and mix with all the stuffing ingredients.
Spread a clean tea towel or a square of muslin on the bench. You will be recreating a cabbage shape. Put some of the largest leaves on the tea towel and spread with a layer of stuffing. Continue alternating layers of leaves and stuffing until you have enough to re-form the cabbage.
Bring the corners of the tea towel or muslin together to make a bundle. Tie tightly with kitchen twine.
Put the wrapped cabbage and poaching stock vegetables and herbs in a large pot. Cover with water, chicken stock or a mix of both
Bring to the boil, skim the surface as required. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 3 hours. Check the seasoning of the broth just before the end.
Remove the Chou Farci from the pot and unwrap it. Cut it into large wedges and serve in wide shallow bowls with some of the broth. Serve Dijon mustard on the side. Nothing else is needed for this delicious meal. Any leftovers are really good the next day.