A whole cabbage steaming in the pot is quite a sight. When cut into wedges, each offers cake-like layers. This is a French home-style dish called "chou farci" (stuffed cabbage).
"After quick preparation, all you need to do is to simmer. Time will enhance the flavor," says cooking expert Masayo Waki. The key is to avoid leaving gaps inside when stuffing the cabbage.
INGREDIENTS (serves six)
1 whole cabbage
Meat mixture (500 grams ground pork, 100 grams chopped bacon, 1 onion, 50 grams bread crumbs, 50 cc milk, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, 2 cloves garlic, 2/3 tsp salt, some pepper)
Seasoning (2 cloves garlic, 1 bay leaf, 100 cc white wine, 400 cc water, 2/3 tsp salt, some pepper)
Cheesecloth gauze to cover.
Stick a fork into the core of the cabbage and make a circular incision around the core. Bring water to a boil in large pot and add salt (not listed above). Lower the cabbage into the boiling water with the fork. The cabbage leaves will peel off. Boil each for 5 minutes and spread on a sieve to cool. After the outer leaves have peeled off, lower the rest and boil remaining leaves.
Chop up the thick core. Separate leaves into groups of four or five, starting from the outer leaf.
Chop bacon and onion, grate garlic. Mix bread crumbs with milk. Mix well in a bowl with ground pork, salt, pepper, egg, parsley and chopped cabbage core.
Make an egg-sized roll with inner leaves, cover with a quarter of meat mixture and form a ball. Cover with smaller leaves, paste a third of the remaining meat mixture. Repeat the process, covering the outside with largest leaves. Cover with gauze, tie a knot and place in the pot.
Dice carrot and onion, stir-fry in oil until soft. Add with seasoning mix to cabbage in pot, bring to boil. Put on lid and roast in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours at 200 degrees. Or, simmer on the stove top for 1 1/2 hours on low heat. Turn every 30 minutes.