Cabbage Balls

A meat filling makes this a hearty starter from Jean-Christophe Novelli
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Cabbage Balls
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 2 Savoy cabbage
  • olive oil

For the stuffing

  • 150 g pork fat, chopped
  • 150 g lean pork, chopped
  • 25 g chicken livers, trimmed
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 10 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 25 ml white wine
  • 1/2 tbsp brandy
  • 1/2 eggs

To serve

  • tomato sauce


1. Take twelve leaves from the outside of the cabbages, and blanch them in boiling water to soften.

2. To make the stuffing mince together the pork and its fat, and then mix in the remaining ingredients of the stuffing.

3. Take a large piece of cabbage leaf, drizzle with the oil and mound quarter of the stuffing on it. Cover this with some more blanched cabbage leaves. Put this on a square of doubled cling film. Pull the corners shut and twist so that the cling film forms a ball with the cabbage inside doing the same. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients to make four balls in all.

5. Place the cabbage balls, in their clingfilm, in a steamer over boiling water. Put on the lid and steam for 20 minutes. The filling should be hot through.

6. To serve, unwrap the cabbage balls from the cling film and place each in the centre of a bowl. Warm the tomato sauce and pour carefully around it.

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