Gołąbki sauerkraut roll with wood pigeon ragù

  • Main
  • medium
  • 8
  • 3 hours, plus 14 days if fermenting the cabbage leaves (optional)



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Fermented cabbage leaves

Roll filling

Wood pigeon ragu

If you are making your own fermented cabbage leaves, then these need to be made around 14 days in advance (if you're using shop-bought, skip to step 6). Bring a large pan of water to the boil (big enough to fit the whole cabbage in)
While the water boils, use a small knife to remove the cabbage, cutting deeply to release the leaves. Place the cabbage in the boiling water and, as soon as the leaves start to separate, remove it
Peel off the loosened outer leaves and reserve. Return the cabbage to the boiling water until the next layer of leaves loosen, then set these aside. Repeat this process until you are around two-thirds of the way into the cabbage
Trim the base of each individual leaf until it is the same thickness as the rest of the leaf, then season each one with a little of the salt and pack them into a Kilner jar
Mix the leftover salt with the tepid water, then pour this into the jar until completely filled. Seal, then leave to ferment at room temperature for 14 days (remembering to open the lid every few days to allow built-up gas to escape). After this point, you can store the leaves in the fridge to halt the fermentation process
  • 1l water, tepid
Once your fermented cabbage leaves are ready (either homemade or shop-bought), prepare the filling. This can be done a few days in advance if desired, then reheated in a low oven before serving. Add a dash of oil to a pan and cook the onion until soft but not coloured with a pinch of salt
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the potatoes. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender, then lift out of the water with a slotted spoon and leave to steam-dry before mashing. Bring the water back to the boil and add the risotto rice and red and green lentils. Simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked, then drain and set aside
Drain the soaked mushrooms (reserving the liquid) and finely chop, then place in a large mixing bowl with the onions, potato, rice, lentils, buckwheat, flour, marjoram and chilli flakes. Add 100ml of the water used to soak the mushrooms, then mix until evenly combined and taste for seasoning
Take a fermented cabbage leaf and cut off the harder, less flexible end. Place a spoonful of the filling into the centre of a leaf and then roll it up, tucking the sides in as you go (like you would a spring roll or burrito). Repeat until you have used up all the filling, packing the rolls snugly into a baking dish as you go
Preheat an oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Pour the vegetable stock over the dish of cabbage rolls so they are half-submerged, then cover the dish with a lid or foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for around 1½ hours
  • 1l vegetable stock
After this time, remove the lid or foil and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes to get some colour on the top of the rolls (a little charring is fine)
While the rolls finish cooking, prepare the ragù. Finely chop the pigeon leg meat, then heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan and cook off the meat until lightly coloured all over. Set aside
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 wood pigeon, skinned and all meat taken from the bones (ask your butcher to do this for you)
In a separate, larger saucepan, add another dash of oil and gently sweat the shallot and garlic. Tie the sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary and tarragon sprigs together to create a bouquet garni and add to the pan. Once the shallots have softened, add the pigeon leg meat, parsley leaves and tomato purée. Gently cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes
Add the brandy and turn up the heat, cooking until reduced, then add the wine and reduce by half. Add the chilli flakes and chicken stock, simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has evaporated, then add the veal stock to loosen the mixture
Finely chop the pigeon breast meat and add to the pan. Remove from the heat, season and leave for a few minutes to allow the breast to cook in the residual heat
To serve, reheat the sauerkraut rolls (if required) in a low oven. Place a roll in the middle of each plate, then top with a spoonful of the wood pigeon ragù. Top with micro herbs and leaves and serve
  • micro herbs, or leaves, such as red vein sorrel and pea shoots, to garnish (optional)
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