Layered Savoy cabbage & 3 wine pairings
In winter we need some comfort and a baking tray full of hearty meal accompanied with full bodied, heart warming wine – that is exactly what we need. Layered cabbage dishes are typical in Hungary, but the renowned food blogger, Zsófia Mautner always gives a twist to the traditional plates. We recommend a Tornai Juhfark, a Kristinus Orange Wine and a Dúzsi Old Red Estate Wine to try with the Savoy cabbage. Bon appétit!
Bulgur instead of rice – a healthier choice
“The dish requires some work and a few bowls, but it’s worth every minute. It’s a real family dish, though nowadays it seems to have passed a little out of fashion. It’s more likely still to be found in family cuisine, than in restaurants. A layered one-dish meal in which the flavours of the cabbage and the spicy meat merge nicely. Once more I depart from the classic version: instead of rice I use large-grain bulgur which is healthier and more exciting. I also add plenty of spice to the meat, using allspice and cinnamon as well as ground paprika” – comments Zsófia Mautner in her book Budapest Bites (scroll down for the recipe).
Cabbage – the sommeliers’ nightmare?
Cabbage and mostly Savoy cabbage is a flavoursome vegetable, quite strong in character and with significant acidity. The fatty sour cream and the meat requires this acidity and even more. The bulgur tames this hearty meal to a certain extent, thus we can try white wines, but they need to be characteristic, complex and high in acidity. German Riesling is a good option, but in Hungary we have our own complex and unique white variety to fit here: Juhfark, so we recommend Tornai Grófi Juhfark from the volcanic Somló mountain. Fiona Beckett British food and wine matching expert mentions orange wine – great idea! We have a suggestion: Kristinus Orange Wine from Balaton wine region. Again we have enough flavours in the wine. And those who want to be on the safe side, recommend an Italian red wine or a South African Cabernet Sauvignon. We recommend a Kékfrankos based complex red wine from Szekszárd: Dúzsi Old Red Estate Wine (Óvörös) Birtokbor.
Ingredients (serves 4–6)
– 1 head of Savoy cabbage
– 250 g large-grain bulgur, cooked
– 3 tbs oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 2 tbs of ground paprika
– 1 tbs of ground cumin
– 1 tbs ground allspice
– 500 g minced beaf
– salt, pepper
– 400 ml sour cream
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C.
- Cut out the heart of the Savoy cabbage, and cut the rest into strips about 1.5 cm wide. In a large saucepan bring water to boil, salt, and blanch the strips of cabbage in the water for a few minutes until they wilt. Drain and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
- Cook the bulgur.
- In a large frying pan fry the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent. Add the spices and then the minced beef. Stir and fry until the meat turns pale and has even browned in one or two places.
- Then it’s time to assemble the layered cabbage: grease a baking tray with oil, and put one layer of Savoy cabbage into it, then half of the bulgur and half the spicy minced meat. Then repeat this. The topmost layer should be cabbage.
- Stir the sour cream so that it is smooth, season with salt and pepper, and coat the top of the cabbage with it.
- Bake for about 40 minutes until the sour cream is tinged with golden brown.