Growing up, every family gathering I remember was scented by my Grandma Katherine’s baking. The baked goods were varied but, no matter what, one pie was always present. To me, to this day, it symbolizes the whole family gathering together in celebration. It was my Grandma Katherine’s cabbage pie. The filling of cabbage (or sauerkraut) perfumed with spices, wrapped in dough is an integral part of my family’s food history. I am not sure that Grandma Katherine made the filling the same way twice, but years we were successful at foraging for mushrooms, various forms of them would find their way into the mix. That was probably my favorite.
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325 per serving
- 1 sauerkraut (or green cabbage), soaked in water for an hour, drained well
- 1 wild mushrooms (or crimini), sliced
- 2 dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, chopped, liquid reserved
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2/3 cup dry white wine, I use dry Riesling
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 2 tablespoons duck fat
- 2 tablespoons bacon drippings with crispy lardons
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 5 juniper berries
- 10 peppercorns
- 3 whole garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- store bought or homemade yeast dough or puff pastry, use what you are comfortable with
Wrap all the spices in cheese cloth and tie it together with twine. Reserve.
To make filling, sautee onions in a heavy bottomed pot in combo duck/bacon fat over low heat till translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Turn up heat to medium high and saute until mushrooms are soft. Add sauerkraut, chopped porcini, mix the ingredients together well. Bury the spice sachet in the pot. Add wine and about a cup of reserved porcini liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover. Braise for at least an hour. Remove cover and let the liquid evaporate. Cool the filling in a large bowl, add chopped eggs, mix, season as needed with salt & pepper. Cool completely before filling the pastry.
I shamelessly use this dough recipe with ever increasing success: http://www.sooogood.org/iraqi_food_recipes/kulebyaka_russian_pie_pirogi.html Use any yeast dough recipe you are comfortable with. Store bought puff pastry works well in a pinch.
On a floured surface, gently roll out the dough (it should rise by this point). You will need two sheets of dough, about 8 by 10 inches. Place a sheet of dough on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Top with filling evenly. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the filling, cover with the second sheet of dough. Pinch to seal. Brush with eggwash (beaten egg with tsp of cream). Let the finished pie rise for 15 minuntes in a warm place. Preheat oven to 375. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven about 30 minutes or until nicely browned and shiny on the outside. Slice and serve with a fresh green salad on the side - or any way you prefer.