Note: Paul Bocuse is probably the world's most famous chef; he's not somebody you associate with hearty, homey dishes. But this recipe proves that a truly great chef can bring something special to even the most rustic fare.
1 sheet caul fat or kitchen string
5 or 6 slices country-style bread
2/3 cup milk
3/4 pound boned shoulder of veal
3/4 pound boned pork loin
3/4 pound smoked slab bacon
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Freshly ground pepper
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 turnips, peeled and finely diced
2 onions, finely diced
1 large head savoy cabbage
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons oil
If using caul fat, soak in cold water. Drain and rinse several times.
Remove crusts from bread slices and crumble into bowl. Add milk and let soak 5 minutes. Gently squeeze bread to remove excess liquid. Place bread in large mixing bowl and set aside.
Finely chop veal, pork and bacon separately, or ask butcher to grind them. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and saute until tender. Add to bread with veal, pork and bacon. Add parsley, egg, egg yolk and allspice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly.
Bring saucepan of lightly salted water to boil. Add carrots, turnips and finely diced onions. Blanch several minutes. Drain and refresh vegetables under cold water. Drain and pat dry.
Trim savoy cabbage, removing tough outer leaves and stem. Rinse. Blanch in large pot boiling salted water about 10 minutes, turning halfway through to cook all sides. Remove cabbage and rinse under cold water. Drain, stem-side up.
Place cabbage, stem down, on work surface. Gently fan out leaves, 1 at time, being careful not to detach from core. Using sharp knife, remove inner core or heart.
Form 2/3 meat stuffing mixture into ball size of cabbage heart and place in center of cabbage. Fold up inner leaves of cabbage, wrapping firmly around stuffing. Continue to fold cabbage leaves around core, sprinkling diced vegetables and remaining stuffing mixture between layers of leaves.
Spread caul fat on work surface. Place stuffed cabbage in center and wrap fat around, using kitchen string to tie firmly but gently in place. If not using caul fat, use string to gently truss cabbage.
Dissolve bouillon cubes in 1 3/4 cups boiling water. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in large Dutch oven. Add cabbage and saute, turning until lightly browned on all sides. Drain fat. Pour bouillon over cabbage. Cover and bake at 400 degrees 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 300 degrees and bake 1 1/2 hours more, basting occasionally. Makes 8 servings.
Each serving contains about: 455 calories; 720 mg sodium; 141 mg cholesterol; 31 grams fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 21 grams protein; 0.92 gram fiber.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun