Pork Pastries with Pickled Onions, or The Stuffed Cabbage That Kept On Giving


I barely know how to start this post, or write it. It was the story of the recipe that turned into three. Our saga begins with our protagonist (that would be me) adapting a Richard Olney recipe for stuffed savoy cabbage. Enter cabbage stage left. Enter stuffing stage right.  The audience gasps.

Now, I don’t know what kind of uber-cabbages Olney was eating in the south of France, but as my imaginary heckler would say, “zat stuffing will nevarre feet in zat cabbage! Zat ees not a vrai Franche cabbage!”

I had a lot of extra stuffing. I mean I had 6 pork pastries and a meatloaf worth of extra stuffing.  But like all good tales, our protagonist learned along the way and came to a happy conclusion. The learnings: that I prefer to stuff individual leaves to an entire cabbage, and that this stuffing makes a damn good meat pastry/pie!  Yes valiant readers, unlike a French movie, this tale ends happily (and with no cigarettes or accordian music either!).

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Meatloaf Meets Thanksgiving Stuffing

I love my mother’s meatloaf recipe. Maybe that is not unusual, but I always find myself satisfied when I make it, and I am invariably disappointed when I try meatloaf in restaurants. The recipe for the original recipe is posted here, and I hope you try it.

Tonight however, as a prelude to the looming Turkey Day here in the US, I changed things up a bit and brought hints of Thanksgiving “stuffing” into my meatloaf. The reaction was gratifyingly positive, so I deemed it blog-worthy. Apologies for the less-than-great photo above, but it gives you a sense of texture.

(Note: what kind of stuffing do I love? It comes from a 1973 NYTimes recipe for Thanksgiving turkey that my mother cut out and we have been making ever since, because it is just that good!)

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion (spanish), finely chopped
8 white button mushrooms, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
10 large black olives, chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped (if you love sage, add more)
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Heat up a splash of olive oil in a saute pan, and saute the onions until transparent. Add the mushrooms and cook for several minutes, and then add the celery. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine everything but the bacon. (note: I mix it all up with my hands, well-washed before and after)

In a large baking dish, shape your meatloaf. I usually mold it into a roughly-rectangular shape about 1.5 to 2 inches high and 4 or 5 inches wide. Then drape slices of bacon across the top.

meatloaf prep

Place in the oven, and after 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 350F. Cook for another 50 to 60 minutes — if the meatloaf is firm, it should be done.

We served this with a potato, brussel sprout and celeriac gratin (in milk) — good, but I want to continue to tinker with that recipe and improve it before blogging.

potato gratin