Pork and cabbage rolls
Prep time 30 mins
Cook 1 hr (plus resting time)
“In Tasmania, wintertime is a slow-growing season for vegetables. The cabbage is one that is always there for us during this time. At the restaurant we use cabbage in a lot of different ways, but as soon I see the first Savoy cabbage, I think cabbage rolls,” says Stephen Peak, head chef of Hobart's Agrarian Kitchen Eatery. “There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s day than a steaming bowl of cabbage rolls, mashed potato and a rich pork broth.”
800g pork shoulder, coarsely minced
200g pork back fat, coarsely minced
80g pecorino Romano, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp sea salt flakes, or to taste
1 tsp black pepper, cracked, or to taste
700ml pork stock (see note)
10 Savoy cabbage leaves
1kg Dutch cream potatoes, washed and peeled
125g milk, warmed
150g butter, at room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Blanch cabbage leaves for 30 seconds in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, then remove and refresh in ice water and set aside. If the leaves are quite large, you can halve, and small use two pieces.
2. Add the pork shoulder, fat, garlic, pecorino and salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well. Divide mixture into 10 balls and set aside.
3. Working with one cabbage leaf at a time, press one ball of filling into a cylinder and place in the centre of leaf, roll and place seam side down in a roasting pan or casserole dish, large enough to fit 10 rolls in an even layer. Pour hot pork stock over the top, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and rest for 30 minutes.
4. For mashed potato, cook potatoes in a large saucepan of simmering water from cold until tender, then drain. Pass the potatoes through a mouli or potato ricer into a pan (or use a potato masher). Stir potato over low heat, adding the milk in batches. Add the butter and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy, then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. To serve, place a spoon of mashed potato in a bowl followed by cabbage rolls and some of the cooking liquid.
NOTE To make pork stock, brown 1kg pork bones in a roasting tray in a moderate oven and then transfer to a stockpot. The more roasted the bones are, the deeper the flavour and colour of the stock. Add aromatics, such as an onion, carrots, a fresh bay leaf and 1 tsp peppercorns and cover completely with water, then bring to the boil. Skim the scum off the surface, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the pork stock is very well flavoured. Alternatively, you can use another stock, such as chicken, but the juices won't have the same richness.