17 Jun Layered cabbage pie – Alissa Timoshkina, Salt and Time
Prep 30 minutes
1 white cabbage
250 g minced beef
200 g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
120 g basmati rice
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp tomato puree
½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
6 tbsp hot water
Mild vegetable oil (for frying and oiling the baking tin)
Freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream, to serve
200 g pancetta or lardons
1 garlic clove, grated
2 large slices rye bread, cut into cubes
1 tbsp sunflower oil
In this cake, the cabbage leaves play the part of pastry, so they need to be peeled off first.
Cut off the stem base and braise the cabbage, intact, in a pot of salted boiling water for 10-15 mins.
While the cabbage is braising, prepare the fillings.
Heat up a tbsp of oil in a medium-sized saucepan and fry the onion, carrot, half the garlic and dill over a medium heat for 8-10 mins.
Add the minced beef and fry for 5-8 mins, until the meat is cooked throughout and begins to turn golden, adding a splash of water if it starts to catch too much.
Then stir in the tomato purée and measured hot water to create a rich sauce, and season it with salt and pepper to taste, followed by the sugar and all the spices.
Cover the pan with a lid and simmer the filling over a low heat for 10-15 mins.
Mushroom and rice mixture
In the meantime, heat up a frying pan and cook the mushrooms with a tbsp of oil, a pinch of salt, the remaining garlic and parsley over a medium heat for 5 mins, covered, until the mushrooms have released their juices.
Remove from the heat, then add the rice and mix through, along with a few tbsp of hot water if the mixture feels too dry.
By this point your cabbage should be ready. Drain and let it cool for a few mins before starting to peel off the leaves. A medium-sized cabbage usually yields around 20 medium-sized leaves.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
Oil a round springform tin and cover the base and sides with a layer of cabbage leaves as neatly as you can. Start building your tiers by adding a layer of the meat mixture, followed by a layer of cabbage leaves. The next tier will be made up of the mushroom and rice mix, followed by a final layer of the cabbage leaves to seal the cake.
If the tin you are using is smaller in circumference but quite deep, you can keep going until you have run out of the fillings and cabbage leaves.
Brush the pie with oil and cook in the oven, uncovered, for 20-30 mins, until the leaves become crisp in places. Let the pie cool down slightly before opening the springform tin ring and carefully sliding the pie onto a plate or a wooden board.
Heat up the oil in a frying pan and fry the pancetta over a medium heat, until all the fat has melted and the meat begins to caramelize.
Add garlic and rye bread cubes, and fry for a further 5 mins until the bread soaks up the fat and start to crisp up.
The mixture should be crisp enough to be blitzed into a crumb without turning into a paste. You can either use a good food processor or simply chop it up with a knife until it reaches a fine, crumbly consistency.
Serve the pie with a side of bacon and rye crumb and a bowl of soured cream.