This recipe for a lovely and tasty side dish is less about the cabbage, and way more about the filling. Over the years, I’ve made the bundles so many different ways, but today I’m using a creamy mixture of bacon, onions and mushrooms. I’ve also included leeks and peas before.
So try this out as an easy and pretty side dish, varying the filling ingredients to your liking. You can even make these a day ahead and reheat. That’s a handy thing to do when it’s holiday season.
Inspired by this recipe on Epicurious here
1 large green cabbage
6 thick slices of bacon, diced
2 onions, thinly sliced
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
White sauce, approximately 1 1/2 cups
Core the cabbage, then place the whole cabbage in a large pot.
Add enough water to cover. Add a little salt, then bring the water to a boil. Cook the cabbage in the water for at least 7 minutes. Remove the cabbage to a colander and let it drain upside down.
If you feel you’ve overcooked the cabbage, place it in ice water immediately for a minute, then let it drain.
When the cabbage has cooled off, peel off the outer leaves and let them dry; set aside.
Cook the bacon over medium heat until fully cooked, but not crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
Pour off some of the bacon grease if there’s too much in the skillet. But save it, of course.
Reduce the heat slightly, then add the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes. You want them soft and only slightly caramelized.
Remove the onions to a bowl, then add a little more bacon grease or olive oil as needed, and sauté the mushrooms. Towards the end when they’re almost fully sautéed, add salt and seasoning like garlic pepper.
Just for fun, I added a little cognac to the mushrooms and flamed them for a minute. This step adds a little flavor, but it not necessary.
Drain the mushrooms to get that wonderful mushroom jus, then combine the mushrooms and onions in a large bowl. Add the thyme. Save the jus for when you make the white sauce, if you like.
Add the white sauce and bacon to the cooled-off onions and mushrooms, then stir to combine gently. There’s your filling. It can be refrigerated overnight, if necessary.
To make the bundles, begin by lightly greasing a baking dish. Lay one cabbage leaf flat on your work surface, and top with filling. Don’t go overboard with the filling, or else it will all ooze out. Just a nice amount, that still allows you to comfortably roll and tuck the cabbage leaf around the filling. Also first trim off any really tough leaf ends before rolling.
Place the bundles smooth side up in the baking dish. Repeat.
Just before you want to serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush a little olive oil over the top of the bundles, and bake just until there’s a little color on the cabbage, or about 20 minutes. If you want more color, you can always slide the baking dish under the broiler for a minute.
Alternatively, these can be baked one day, refrigerated, and then reheated on another day. They stay intact pretty well if you haven’t overfilled them!
If you want a pretty decadent side dish, toss a little grated Parmesan on the bundles before the browning and heating step.
These were delicious with pork loin, but would be equally wonderful with grilled white fish or roasted chicken.
Delicious. Those must taste so good!
I think they’re pretty delicious! Hard to get good photos, though. Or maybe I was in a hurry.
OH YEAH !! I am ALL OVER these!!!!! And I WILL add some cognac !! Actually, I usually have brandy which I use when making pate. Do you think I could add some brandy?
Same difference to me. Besides, you’re burning it off, so I don’t think you could taste the difference.
Wanted to share with you a few photos from our farm in Quebec. I think you’ll enjoy seeing them. (Actually, I think they’ll make you want to visit Quebec even more!) http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2013/03/13/our-wonderful-farmhouse-in-st-antoine-de-tilly-quebec-canada/ http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/01/29/going-through-some-photos-sharing-a-few/
Can’t wait to check them out. When we lived on Long Island, my parents went to Quebec and it sounded so lovely. I was just thinking the other day that we need to go!
Get this – I met a man last night who ‘announced’ to me that Montreal was ‘much more English years ago than it is now’. I wanted to ask him, “And what planet are YOU from?” (Even though I’ve lived in Montreal – he still didn’t seem to 100% believe me…)
The links ran into each other – I sent you a link to two posts of mine with photos from our farm and one (I think) of Quebec City.
Very nice, Mimi. Love how you include all the flavors. It is indeed more about the filling than about the cabbage. Interesting how the colors of the leaves are so different.
Even cabbage haters would enjoy these!
What a great idea! Love the ‘hint of cognac’ element.
I still worry that I’m going to burn down my house, but it’s a great flavor addition!
Very elegant Mimi. A lovely way to get the 5 a day.
Ha! Thank you!
YUM! these are my kind of cabbage rolls :)
Bacon and cabbage were meant for each other. Your rolls ust e delicious!
I love stuffed cabbage and mushrooms. What a good one!
Damn delicious healthy veggies parcels!!!
Thank you Dedy!
Those look really good. My Hungarian grandmother made stuffed cabbage with a meat and rice mixture in a tomato sauce, it was one of my favorite things she made but as you can imagine they are a little on the heavy side! Will have to give these a go!
Yes, those are fabulous! These are more of a side dish.
Such healthy vegetable parcels, this looks delicious! :D
I have seen lettuce but never cabbage as the bundler! Love it :)
Choc Chip Uru
These might be the most elegant looking cabbage bundles I’ve seen– And they a have great, bright green color too.
These are just beautiful little packages, & certainly sound tasty.
Thank you! They tasty and hearty little bundles!