St. Patrick’s Day Fusion. 3/17/21

Sweet and sour stuffed cabbage

Since we have been celebrating as many food-themed holidays as we can due to the tedium of the pandemic, why not St. Patrick’s Day too?! My sisters were telling me how they were making Irish soda bread and corned beef and cabbage. They and I are at least 3/8ths Irish. Certainly enough Irish for a celebration. But what of my other family members. Our daughter is only 3/16ths Irish because John is not Irish at all. He is half ethnic Polish and half Jewish Polish. So, how can I fuse these cuisines together?

Our daughter decides to make Irish soda bread. Good start. It turns out delicious, kind of like panettone with caraway seeds. She says it is very easy to make (unlike panettone.)

Irish soda bread

John and I decide on sweet and sour stuffed cabbage as the main course. We have made this before for the Jewish holiday of Succoth but it involves a lot of work so it does not appear in the regular rotation of dinners. John is charged with making the stuffing for the cabbage and I am in charge of getting the cabbage leaves off (I used boiling water to loosen them), stuffing the leaves, and making the sauce. The Instant Pot will take care of the cooking. After loading in the sauce and cabbage rolls into the Pot, I also put in 6 meatballs made from the leftover stuffing and the extra cabbage from when the leaves got too small to stuff.

Although I wish there were some sort of narrative to go along with the dinner, it all turns out great. We eat in the dining room and demolish half of the soda bread and a lot of the stuffed cabbage rolls. After dinner surely Irish eyes were smiling for all of us.

Long rather complicated recipe follows the picture below.

Stuffed cabbage rolls (Sweet and Sour)- Modified Jacques and Julia recipe for whole stuffed cabbage and memories from our childhoods

2.5-3 lbs. head cabbage

FOR THE STUFFING
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic clove, minced
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons caraway seeds
1⁄4 cup chicken stock
2 cups cooked rice
1 lb uncooked ground beef
Some finely chopped up cabbage

FOR THE SAUCE (sweet and sour)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 cup carrot, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cans diced tomatoes
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 lemon juiced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

Core the cabbage. Use some method for getting the leaves off; freeze or boil. Remove useable leaves, maybe 16, and chop up rest of cabbage. You will add the extra cabbage this to the Instant Pot on top of the cabbage rolls. Reserve some small pieces of cabbage to chop up for the stuffing.

FOR THE STUFFING
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat; add onion and celery and saute, while tossing and stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and reserved cabbage, cook another minute or so while tossing and stirring.
Season with salt, pepper, caraway.

Pour in stock, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates and vegetables are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes (if too much liquid remains, simply remove cover and continue cooking).

Remove vegetables to a mixing bowl and allow to cool; add cooked rice and ground beef, mix well (with hands). Be sure mixture is well seasoned as this is the stuffing (to test, fry a small amount) Any excess stuffing can be made into meatballs.

FOR THE SAUCE
To make the sauce, set a large pot on the stove top and heat over medium high heat; add oil, onion, celery, and carrots and saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, chicken stock, and white wine, salt and pepper, and bay leaves; Add sugar, vinegar and lemon juice. simmer on low for 20 minutes. You need the sauce to reduce some and the alcohol flavor of the wine to cook out. Taste and correct for right amounts of sweet and sour.

THE METHOD
Add a heaping tablespoon or so of the stuffing.

Roll up the cabbage leaves

Add ½ cup or so chicken stock to Instant Pot, you need enough liquid in a pressure cooker!

Put in half the sauce followed by cabbage rolls, leftover cabbage and meatballs

Add rest of the sauce and cook under pressure for 15 minutes, release pressure when cooking is done after 10 minutes rest.

This entry was posted in Beef, Holidays, Kitchen tips, omnivore, Recipes, rice, Vegetables and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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