Sad but true, I also have not very fond childhood memories of eating cabbage. Look, the fact is, I grew up in Anglo Australia in the 70s and 80s and cuisine was still pretty much stuck back in The Empire Days. Boiling and grilling with a bit of baking was about it.
But that’s why I’ve been enjoying making the dishes for these recipes. Some of them are favourites of mine since I started working out how to cook stuff that I liked and some of them are new to me. Cooking something new can be a bit of a gamble, which is what this was. I wanted to cook something using cabbage, potato and leek. I found a Hungarian stew called Kelkáposzta főzelék (warning: DO NOT do a Google image search on that) and it made me strangely curious, because it’s basically boiled cabbage, but better, so I chose it.
I didn’t have the right spice in the pantry, so I improvised a bit and even though I ended up overcooking it and it didn’t look much more appealing than the photos of it on the interwebs, it actually tasted pretty good! I also pan-fried some chicken breast coated in dukkah and they went well together. Now I’ve cooked it once, I’d change a couple of things, so I’ve written the recipe to incorporate those changes, which means it’s not fully tested. But I reckon it would be better the way I’ve described it below.
Fraser (Flood & Drought) grew the Savoy in this recipe. He said he grows two types of cabbage: one that’s good to eat raw, the Sugarloaf, and this one that’s good for cooking. So here it is, a really good rainy night comfort food sort of dish that’s not quite a Hungarian cabbage stew (and yes, it was cold and raining when I ate this, hello autumn).
Savoy & potato stewPrint This
- 2 big blobs of butter
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2kg potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- half a Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1l water
- 1 tablespoon cardamom powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
- 2 more big blobs of butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1-2 tablespoons sweet paprika powder
- salt to taste
- Melt the butter over a low heat in a soup pot.
- Gently sautée the leek and garlic until soft, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the potato, cabbage and water and stir through. You can reduce the amount of water to add, if you like, but this dish is meant to be quite liquidy. I drained some off when I served it.
- Stir in the cardamom and cumin, salt to taste, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
While the stew is cooking, prepare the roux (basically a thickener).
- Melt the extra butter in a pan and stir the flour to make a paste. Mix well and constantly.
- After a couple of minutes, start adding some of the water from the stew to the paste, a tablespoon or two at a time, stirring constantly until it reaches a nice saucey consistency, not too runny and not too thick.
- Take it off the heat and stir in the sweet paprika.
- Pour the roux into the soup pot and simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Serve as a side dish, or as a stew on its own.
A waxy potato would be best in this recipe, but I only had Sebago at the time I made this one. They were OK, but I overcooked them slightly and Sebagos are less forgiving.