Here is a larger photo of chef Bogdan Gałązka's Polish Whole Head Stuffed Cabbage.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings Whole Stuffed Cabbage
- 2 large whole heads of cabbage
- 3.5 ounces/105ml olive oil
- 2 large finely chopped onions
- 4 finely grated carrots
- 1 finely grated parsley root
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 7 ounces/200g finely chopped celery
- 2.2 pounds/1kg ground pork
- 1.1 pounds/500g ground chuck
- Chopped leaves of several sprigs thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1.1 pounds/500g cooked rice
- 8 slices bacon
- 10 ounces/300ml vegetable stock
- Chopped leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs
- 3.5 ounces/100ml sour cream
- 1 ounce/30g butter
- Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage heads and core them but leave the heads whole. Bring salted water to a boil, reduce heat and add a cabbage head. Blanch for several minutes. Have a large bowl of ice water at the ready. Using tongs, peel leaves off cabbage head one by one and place them in the cold water. Repeat with the second cabbage.
- Heat 3 ounces/90ml olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions, carrots, parsley root, garlic and celery. Sauté while stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together pork, beef, sautéed vegetables, salt, pepper, and chopped thyme leaves. Return this mixture to the pot the vegetables were sautéed in and fry for 10 minutes. Add cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread a lint-free linen cloth that measures 24x24 inches/60x60cm on a clean work surface. Lay four 39-inch/1-meter long pieces of butcher's string in a criss-cross pattern on top of the cloth. Cover the strings with bacon slices arranged in the same pattern. Place a layer of blanched and dried cabbage leaves on top of the bacon, forming a circle, and then spread 1/4 of the meat mixture on the cabbage leaves. Repeat four times ending with a last layer of cabbage leaves.
- Tie everything with the strings to obtain something resembling an onion. In the end, hold the cloth by its corners and tie well. Put this ball into a large pot and half cover with salted water or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, adding more liquid, if necessary.
- Place 10 ounces/300ml vegetable stock in a saucepan with the chopped rosemary and simmer until it is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
- When the stuffed cabbage head is done, remove it from the water, drain and remove the linen cloth. Put the still-tied cabbage head into a baking dish that has been coated with the remaining olive oil and bake for 15 minutes in a 350F/180C oven until the bacon turns golden in color. Remove from the oven. Cut the string and slice the cabbage into wedges and serve with the rosemary sauce.