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Transylvanian Layered Cabbage

chef.gonzalo's picture
Ingredients
  Sauerkraut 2 Pound (Fresh, Canned / Packaged)
  Bacon 1 Pound (Solid Piece With Rind)
  Rice 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Boneless pork 2 Pound, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  Freshly ground black pepper To Taste
  Finely chopped onions 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)
  Finely chopped garlic 1 Teaspoon
  Polish sausage/Italian sausage 1 Pound, cut in 1/8 inch slice
  Chicken stock 2 Cup (32 tbs) (Fresh / Canned)
  Sour cream 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)
  Milk 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Salt 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Paprika 1⁄2 Teaspoon
Directions

GETTING READY
1) Set the oven temperature to 350°F before baking.
2) Rinse the sauerkraut thoroughly under cold running water and keep aside for 10 to 20 minutes in cold water to reduce its sourness.
3) Press it dry by the handful and keep aside.
4) Cut the bacon off the rind using a sharp knife, allowing a 1/4 inch of the fat attached to the rind.
5) Slice the bacon into 1/4-inch cubes.

MAKING
6) Take a heavy 10-inch skillet and sauté bacon in it until it is slightly crisp.
7) Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
8) Discard the fat from the skillet keeping aside a thin film of fat.
9) Into 2 quarts of slightly salted boiling water, drop rice and allow the water to come to a boil again.
10) Simmer the rice for 3 minutes and then pour into a colander or strainer.
11) Wash it with cold water and keep aside to drain.
12) Season the pork cubes with salt and a few grindings of pepper.
13) In the skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat until a light haze forms over it.
14) Brown pork cubes on all sides in it over medium heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, tossing.
15) To the mixing bowl, transfer the pork using a slotted spoon along with the bacon and then stir onions and garlic to the fat remaining in the skillet.
16) Cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly colored.
17) Take them off from heat and then mix in 2 tablespoons of paprika, stirring continuously until the onions are well coated.
18) Scrape this mixture into the mixing bowl with the bacon and pork.
19) Place the skillet back to the heat and then stir in sausage, browning them lightly using bacon fat if necessary.
20) To the mixing bowl, transfer the sausage and then add in 1 cup of the stock.
21) Allow the mixture to come to a boil, scraping any brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan.
22) Spoon the stock over all the ingredients and toss them together gently using a fork.

FINALIZING
23) Use sauerkraut to line a heavy 6-quart casserole after pulling it apart with your fingers.
24) Top the sauerkraut with the meat-onion mixture and spread rice on top of that.
25) Mix together sour cream and milk and spoon this mixture uniformly over the rice.
26) Score the bacon rind and slice it into 5 or 6 equal strips.
27) Top this over the casserole and add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a few grindings of pepper and paprika.
28) Place this on top of the stove over medium heat and heat the casserole until it boils or sizzles.
29) Uncover and cook the casserole in the middle of the preheated oven for 1 1/4 hours, pouring in another cup of stock after 1 hour.

SERVING
30) Serve the dish at once directly from the casserole.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Easy
Cuisine: 
European
Course: 
Main Dish
Method: 
Baked
Ingredient: 
Cabbage
Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
150 Minutes
Ready In: 
165 Minutes
Servings: 
4

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