Braised Stuffed Cabbage on Winter Vegetable Stew

Braised Stuffed Cabbage on Winter Vegetable Stew

This recipe was inspired by Julia Child's stuffed cabbage recipe. And, much like Julia's recipes, these measurements are approximations and may be altered to taste. It is rather putzy and its many steps will keep you occupied for quite a while. However, the end result is delicious, wholesome, and beautiful. Let the cabbage sit at room temperature for a good 10 minutes before cutting or the slices and wonderful layers will fall apart. The caraway may be omitted if you have an aversion to its bold flavor, but I suggest trying it, as it takes on a different flavor in this dish than one might assume.

Stew together:
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, ends trimmed and diced
2 leeks, rinsed and diced
½ onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, roughly minced
2 c. vegetable stock
¼ c. white cooking wine, or other dry white wine
2 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence
½ tsp. whole caraway seeds
2 c. rough chopped Shiitake mushrooms
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, but not soft. Add all other vegetables except mushrooms and sauté until onions are translucent and turnips are slightly soft. Add the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes. Add white wine, stock, and spices. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Cabbage Stuffing

1 ½ c. cooked arborio rice
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 c. ground beef, drained and seasoned with salt and pepper (vegetarian crumbles work, too!)
½ c. minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. vegetable stock
½ tsp. black truffle oil (omit if unavailable)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

In a small skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic and cook until light brown. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add ground beef (or soy crumbles) and cook, stirring often, until warm. Add butter and drizzle on black truffle oil. Add stock, salt, pepper, Herbs de Provence, and rice. Simmer until reduced. Set aside.

Cut the end off the cabbage. Carefully peel off the outside leaves. You will need about 12 leaves. Rinse and pat dry. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Lay three leaves flat and spread about 1 cup of the rice and soy crumble mixture on each. Lay another layer of three leaves, followed with more filling. Repeat until filling is gone and finish with a layer of cabbage leaves. Bring the foil up and around the cabbage, pressing the sides with hands into a ball shape. Try to imitate the cabbage head shape. Pinch the top of the foil so there is only a small hole. Place down on top of stew, cover, and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours in a 350° F. oven.
Remove the cabbage bundle and let it sit for 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil and slice into wedges. Serve over stew.