Chou Farci - Serves 4
Stuffed cabbage, or chou farci, is one of my old favourite family recipes that I was bought up on. It is good hearty food, made with finesse but also retains a traditional home-cooked feel.
1. Remove twelve unblemished outer leaves from the cabbages, wash thoroughly and blanch for 1 minute in boiling water to soften. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. To make the stuffing, mince together the pork, pork fat, livers, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, wine, brandy and egg. Combine thoroughly, then season and stir to combine. Divide the stuffing into four portions.
3. Take one cabbage leaf, drizzle with oil and in the centre mound up one portion of the stuffing. Cover with two more cabbage leaves. Put the parcel on a square of doubled cling film. Pull the four corners in together to make a tight parcel and then twist so that the cling film tightens around the stuffing, gathering it into a ball. Repeat with the remaining leaves to make four balls in total.
4. Place the cabbage balls, in their cling film, in a steamer over boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for 20 minutes.
5. To serve, unwrap the cabbage balls from the cling film and place each in the centre of a bowl. The filling should be hot through and there should be no pink meat remaining; if not, return to the steamer. Heat the tomato sauce gently and pour carefully around each ball. Serve immediately.
This recipe is taken from Jean-Christophe's 'Everyday Novelli' book.