Friday, September 23, 2011
Boudin-stuffed cabbage rolls
I can't believe no one's ever done this before.
Traditional stuffed cabbage rolls (a Jewish staple) are stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, rice and veggies (onion, carrot, celery, maybe a parsnip) and slow-cooked in a tomato sauce. Hearty, filling, real winter fare. I was poking around in my fridge the other day and realized I had a head of cabbage that needed to be used up. But I wasn't in the mood for either slaw or soup.
"Stuffed cabbage rolls!" says I.
"But I don't have any ground beef," I told myself.
"Pshaw," I scoffed, "I have this boudin right here. All thawed out even."
And boudin, as we all know now, is a loose pork-and-rice sausage. All I had to do was add the veggies, and voila! Instant cabbage roll filling! With pork, and spices, and yumminess!
For those of you without boudin, any other kind of ground meat is just as good.
1 head of cabbage
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 lb ground meat (or pork, or boudin filling, or whatever)
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper
tomato sauce or juice
Core the cabbage by cutting out the core from the bottom, leaving the head intact. Put the head in a bowl and pour a pan of boiling water over it. Let sit.
Meanwhile, saute the carrot, celery and onion in a little olive oil until soft. Transfer to a bowl. Add the meat, rice and tomato paste and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill each cabbage leaf with a 1/4 cup or so of the mixture (you may need to cut out the bottom inch or two of the center vein) and wrap into a small roll. Fill a pan with the rolls. Add enough tomato sauce to just cover the rolls, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 45 minutes. Serve immediately.