Winter is not about dull, stuffing can be a wonderful solution for cabbage in this really traditional Southern France of Fassum.
Christmas is about gathering and ending the year together. My family is about to winter clean. Books found their shelves home, clothes in the closet dead end or on the road for homeless people. But who can deal with this big drawer stuck with Brown papers? Well, we did! And we were quite happily surprised to find out a recipe of Fassum with a smooth writing from another century, early 19th century by a Provençal women, so faithful to local traditions and eating time : my great grandma.
Fassum, What do you mean?
Well she wrote it- it comes from Antibes foundation. The secular food recipe settled in Grasse, the center of local life from last century. When Cannes was only for tourists and English residents. Local used to meet, shop and eat in Grasse. This cabbage filled with meat is really part of the Mediterranean inheritance for its size and its … generosity.
WHERE IS MY NET?
That’s my mum screaming in the kitchen. Why is the cook so afraid of losing her main tool? Because this very local net is part of her family history, and none i the area is still creating the thing. So if you know a net maker, it could save your dish! Or use caul fat.
Here’s how to make it :
For 8 greedy people:
1 nice cabbage – 1 Swiss chard bundle – 150g unsmoked sowbelly – 150g sausage meat – 150g beef – 150g veal – 2 shallots – 1 cup of uncooked rice – 2 eggs – Salt – Pepper – 2 carrots – 1 leek – 1 piece of celery – 1 onion with cloves sticking out of it – 1 veal bone
Leaf after leaf 1 min max and then taking away with slotted spoon. They must soft and flat. The cabbage heart of tights leaves is blanched for 10 minutes. Green part of Swiss chard as well.
Cut and mix heart cabbage, Swiss chard, sowbelly, sausage, beef, veal, shallots, eggs, salt pepper. Add uncooked rice to the mixture. Water is not welcomed.
In the fassumière or caul fat onto salad bowl, assemble leaves and stuffing. Tough leaves first, then tender ones, stuffing in the middle, close the dish with the same assembly to give the cabbage aspect. Tie the net properly. Dig it in and boil it in stock of carrots, leek, celery, onion veal bone for 2 hours (min) over medium heat.
Drain it well
Undo bows (Tiny fingers could be needed) and put it onto design pan – it must be ready to face photographers and hoorays for the « big cabbage ». This star of the day is so unusual now. Then remove some big leaves and take your cake server to slide a piece of work for you like a cake.
People from Grasse are used to having big tables with huge drawers to hide lunch clues for an unexpected visitor. Well, with family vibes, red wines and countless memories, the plate would be empty in a blink of an eye.