Chou Farci

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chou-farcichou-farci-roasted-asparagus

Chou Farci

Chou Farci or Stuffed Cabbage with Pork Meat is a very popular French dish, especially during the cold months. Savoy cabbage is perfect for it, the leaves are very pliable once blanched in boiling water and serve as a perfect vessel that holds the meat when chou farci is cooked. In my recipe I use two kinds of fresh pork sausages- sweet and spicy. I take the meat out of the casing into a frying pan and cook until the meat is almost done. These sausages are already well seasoned and spicy so if you want to use a different kind of meat, make sure you season it well. Ground lamb or beef in combination with ground turkey can be a delicious alternative to pork. The best way to check for seasoning is to shape a tiny patty and fry it in small pan, taste it and adjust if needed. Finely chopped and cooked mushrooms add earthiness and softness to the meat, while diced carrots and shallot flavor it. I like to use the leftover cabbage heart by finely shredding it, cooking it with carrots, shallot and bay leaf then mixing it with the meat. Arrange cabbage leaves into a baking dish and spread the stuffing, then cover with another leaf and spread the rest of the stuffing. Bake and serve this dish hot with a side of oven-baked asparagus spears.

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Ingredients: savoy cabbage, pork sausages, mushrooms, shallots, carrots, eggs, breadcrumbs, thyme, bay leave, allspice, butter, olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Peel away 11-12 large green leaves to reveal the light yellow heart of the cabbage.

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I like to use the greenest leaves in this recipe, they make a beautiful presentation when chou farci is served.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water for 1 minute. Carefully remove the leaves from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl with iced water. Drain and pet dry with a towel.

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Cut remaining cabbage heart in half and shred one half finely, set aside.

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On the cutting board, using a sharp knife remove the thickest part of the vein in the center of each blanched cabbage leave.

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But keep the largest leaf intact, just slightly shave off the vein with a knife.

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Keep on shaving the vein until it is as thin as possible.

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Place this largest leaf on a bottom of baking dish.

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Then like a flower, arrange another five leaves around it.

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Slightly overlapping each other.

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Take sausages out of the casing.

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Cook quickly in the pan for 3-5 minutes, until almost cooked. No need to season.

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Transfer to a bowl.

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Finely chop shallot.

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Add butter to the same pan (no need to clean), let butter melt then add a dash of oil. Add shallots and carrots, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often until soft but not browned.

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Then add shredded cabbage.

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Season with salt and pepper, add allspice, 2 thyme sprigs and bay leave and sauté for another 5-8 minutes, stirring often until cabbage reduced in size and softened but not mushy.

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Transfer to a large bowl with meat.

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Finely chop mushrooms.

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Using the same pan, pour a dash of oil, add chopped mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and add the last thyme sprig. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, transfer to a bowl.

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Mix meat, vegetables and mushrooms.

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Add breadcrumbs and eggs and mix again.

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Spread half of the mixture in one even layer on the bottom of the dish, pressing it gently with spatula.

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Place cabbage leaves on top.

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Then spread the rest of the mixture.

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Inclose the leaves around the stuffing.

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Press lightly.

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Cover with the last cabbage leave on top.

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Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes. Serve this dish hot!

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chou-farci

 

 

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Chou Farci

recipe details

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 head Savoy cabbage
  • 1 pound pork sausages (½ pound hot spicy pork sausage and ½ pound sweet pork sausage)
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced, then diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/8 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leave
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Equipment
  • 9" round baking dish or soufflé dish

Directions

  1. Prepare cabbage leaves: Peel away 11-12 large green leaves to reveal the light yellow heart of the cabbage. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water for 1 minute. Carefully lift up the leaves with slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl with iced water. Drain and pet dry with a towel. Cut remaining cabbage heart in half and shred one half finely, set aside. (2 cups of shredded cabbage)
  2. On cutting board using a sharp knife remove the thickest part of the vein in the center of each blanched cabbage leave but keep the largest leaf intact, just slightly shave off the vein with a knife. Place the largest leaf on a bottom of baking dish, then like a flower, arrange another five leaves around it, slightly overlapping each other.
  3. Make the filling: Take sausages out of the casing and cook quickly in a hot medium sized frying pan for 3-5 minutes until almost cooked through. No need to season. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add butter to the same pan, let it melt then add a dash of oil. Add shallots and carrots, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often, until soft but not browned. Then add shredded cabbage, season with salt and pepper. Add allspice, 2 thyme sprigs, bay leave and sauté for another 5-8 minutes, stirring often, until cabbage shrinker in volume and softened. Transfer to a large bowl with the meat.
  5. Add a dash of oil to the same pan, add chopped mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and add the last thyme sprig. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, transfer to a bowl.
  6. Mix meat, vegetables and mushrooms to combine. Add breadcrumbs and eggs and mix again.
  7. Spread half of the mixture in one even layer on the bottom of the dish, pressing it gently with spatula. Place cabbage leaf on top. Then spread the rest of the mixture, close of the leaves on a side tightly and cover with the last cabbage leave on top.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes. Serve this dish hot!

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