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A savoy mess starts big – w/ this big big savoy cabbage – & finally becomes a soft, juicy mess of savoy, cream, meat balls, bacon & onion…
For the record:
In Germany we call this mess just „Durcheinander“ – (hotchpotch). The basis may be a savoy cabbage, however, it may also be a white cabbage or Brussels sprouts or carrots or kohlrabi… whatever vegetables are available – typically during autumn & winter. You may add some meat balls or just fried minced meat or any type of sausages as well as brisket of beef… (I won’t go down the road to any knuckles of pork or belly of pork or pig’s trotters or any whatever…) You may also skip the meat & use only some stock. In short: it’s a perfect dish for any grey rainy (or snowy) day.
Cabbage & me: we are not really friends, however, we are no enemies either. Most of the time I don’t prefer cooking any type of cabbage because it takes time. Cabbage isn’t the solution for homecoming from the office, hungry… & then preparing some dinner w/ help of cabbage. (Ok – if you just have to defrost & reheat any cabbage mess – it’s fine!) Nevertheless I think it’s the most underestimated comfort food around.
So I started thinking about how to prepare cabbage in a fast way… & I started w/ a real beautiful savoy cabbage.
What do we need?
We think of a simple approach:
- a savoy cabbage w/ cream for the finishing touch
- bacon & spring onions for the basic flavoring
- minced meat mixed w/ breadcrumbs soaked in cream or milk w/ an egg… formed into small balls…
- …& some spice: I made a try w/ garam masala (a mixture of primarily Indian spices).
The basic flavoring was a fried mix of hearty bacon, spring onions (or any other mild onion) in oil – w/ a pinch of garam masala.
Said & done. Chopped & fried.
Next step was frying the meat balls.
I had “half & half“ minced meat aka 50% minced beef & 50% minced pork. The breadcrumbs were soaked in cream – you may also use milk – until you get a soft mess. Add an egg, add 2 heaped tablespoons of the bacon-onion mess, some garam masala & knead it. Don’t forget some salt & pepper to taste. Finally form small meatballs (about 30!) & fry them in some oil. Turn them over to get them well done. Finally set aside the meat balls.
For the record:
You get it: we are working w/ a mess here & a mess there. The basic principle of „Durcheinander” is creating a mess existing of other „messes“!
For the record:
Maybe you’ve noticed from the photos: I’ve got a new pan. It’s a mineral coated pan heating up at once, needing almost no oil… & so far you only need a medium jet of water to clean the pan. Therefore in my recipe the amounts of oil are very low at the moment. (I hope it’ll stay so, but you never know…)
I started w/ frying bacon & onions in the pan. Set aside the bacon-onion mess. Then I used the same pan w/o cleaning for the meat balls. This will continue… Next step will be the savoy in the same pan w/o cleaning… So you don’t need more than 1 pan & there is no in-between-cleaning necessary.
The savoy will lose all his outer leaves completely. Afterwards we rip apart all the inner leaves. Every now & then we cut off the end of the stem & discard it.
Afterwards in the process we take each of the leaves & cut it in the middle while cutting-out the big vein of the leave. The big veins will be discarded, too.
At the end there is a lot of discarded stems & leaves… I like to get my savoy soft rather quickly so I won’t deal w/ the stems of the cabbage as well as the veins of the leaves which are the real tough parts. Keep in mind that you’ll lose about 40% of the cabbage! (Therefore the savoy isn’t so intimidating as it seemed from the start!)
The remaining leaves will be roughly chopped & amount to a rather big mountain.
We start w/ our pan again & put in about 1/3 of the savoy mountain. Add some water to just cover the bottom of the pan. Heat it up & the leaves will collapse soon. (They won’t get mushy because we are dealing w/ savoy!)
Then add the bacon-onion mess & some garam masala & some more water & mix. Add the next batch of savoy & mix until the savoy collapses.
Finally it’s the last batch of savoy. When collapsing the water should have vanished until now. Add the cream & mix. Add the meat balls. Bring the cream to a boil. Ready.
You may indulge in the savoy mess as it is.
You may also care for some fresh crispy baguette to accompany the savoy mess. Or you may even cook some plain potatoes for the savoy mess. In any case: it’ll be fine!
Isn’t it delicious?
The garam masala gives a fine sweet Oriental note perfect for cabbage.
Best is: you can indulge at once when ready or leave it for dinner or next day. Just reheat it in the microwave. Each „Durcheinander“ gets even better when reheated – everybody knows about this truth.
The businesswoman w/ too many office hours thinks
It isn’t so fast, however, it’s easy. I can imagine preparing the savoy mess when I’ve got some time ahead & then freeze it for dinners when I’m late.