Recipe Details:This dish is one of the impressive French culinary creations that amaze those fortunate ones to enjoy it right from the moment they see it. Lou Fassum is as delicious as it looks and diabetes-friendly as well.
- Savoy cabbage – 1 head (about 2.5 lb.)
- Salt – 0.5 tbsp.
- Ground meat of your choice – 1 lb.
- Turkey bacon (fried and diced) – 7 Oz.
- Wholegrain Basmati rice – 0.5 cup
- Cabbage heart (chopped) – 1 cup
- Butter (unsalted) – 1 tbsp.
- Garlic (crushed) – 5 cloves
- Chard (chopped) – 3 1/4 cup
- Medium Onion (chopped, lightly fried in butter) – 1
- Tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped) – 2
- Peas (frozen or fresh) – 4
- Flat-leaf parsley (chopped) – 2 tbsp.
- Salt and ground black pepper for stuffing – to taste
- Unsalted beef stock for poaching broth – 3 quarts
- Carrot for poaching broth – 1
- Thyme for poaching broth – 4 sprigs
- Bay leaves for poaching broth – 3
- Salt for poaching broth – 1 tsp.
- Tomato purée for tomato sauce – 1 can (14.5 Oz)
- Butter for tomato sauce – 2 tbsp.
- Carrots (shredded) for the tomato sauce – 2 Oz
- Small onions (diced) for the tomato sauce – 2
- Garlic for the tomato sauce – 2 cloves
- Butter for the tomato sauce – 1 tbsp.
- Almond flour for the tomato sauce – 1 tbsp.
- Bouquet garni spice blend for the tomato sauce – to taste
- Salt for the tomato sauce – 0.5 tsp.
- Lemon juice for the tomato sauce – 1 tsp.
- Sweetener for the tomato sauce – equivalent of 0.5 tsp. of sugar
- Cayenne pepper for the tomato sauce – 1 pinch
- Beef broth from poaching cabbage for the tomato sauce – 1.5 cup
- Worcestershire sauce for the tomato sauce – 1 tsp.
- Olive oil for glazing
Recipe Directions:Step 1
Prepare the cabbage: Rinse the cabbage head and remove outer leaves. Then, remove the cabbage core using a sharp knife. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and put the cabbage in. Keep it boiling for about 5-8 minutes water until the leaves can be easily unrolled without tearing. Then, drain and put the cabbage in very cold water to refresh. When the cabbage is cool to the touch, remove leaves, trim thick ribs, and place on a sheet pan lined with a kitchen towel. After that, finely chop the heart of the cabbage and set aside.
Now it’s time to prepare the stuffing. First, take care of the bacon. Dice it, put in a small saucepan heated with 2 cups of boiling water in it and blanch for about 3 minutes. After that, drain, dry and cook in a frying pan for a few minutes, then put on a plate covered with a paper towel.
In the frying pan on which bacon was cooked, sauté 1 medium onions in butter. Then season it with salt and pepper, add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Then set the onion aside to cool.
Wash and dry chard and finely chop it. Then blanch it in boiling water for about 4 minutes, drain and dry it, and set aside.
Blanch 2 tomatoes in boiling water for about 4 minutes, then peel them, seed, and dice. After that, set aside.
Place the rice in a strainer and dip it into a pot of lightly salted boiling water for a minute. Remove and set aside.
Combine in a large bowl: the ground meat, bacon, onions-garlic mixture, rice, tomatoes, chard, peas, parsley and chopped cabbage, then season the bowl content with salt and pepper.
Now, let’s assemble and cook the lou fassum: Line a 9.5” bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap. Place the largest cabbage leaf first and then add other large outer leaves in a circle, overlapping one another. Spread a layer of stuffing over the cabbage leaves.
Top the stuffing with another layer of leaves and repeat the process until all stuffing is used.
Pull the edges of the plastic wrap up and then twist to a cabbage head shape. If needed, add more plastic wrap. After that, freeze the stuffed cabbage for at least 1 hour for the stuffed cabbage to firm up or refrigerate it overnight.
When you are ready to cook the stuffed cabbage, spread a kitchen towel on the work table, cut cooking twine into strips 14” long, and lay the strips crossing each other over the towel. After this preparation is done, unwrap the stuffed cabbage and place it in the center of crossing twines. Then tie the stuffed cabbage with the twine.
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large Dutch oven, bring the beef stock, bay leaves, carrot, and thyme to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
Lift the stuffed cabbage using the kitchen towel and place it along with the towel into the Dutch oven. Spoon the hot beef stock over the stuffed cabbage.
Bring the stock to a boil, cover with a lid, and continue cooking in the oven for about 1.5 hours.
Finally, it’s time to make the tomato sauce: Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a medium saucepan, then add onions and carrots and sauté until onion is softened, but not browned.
Add the tomato purée, bouquet garni spice blend, sweetener, garlic and half a cup of cabbage poaching broth. Cook for about 20 minutes over low heat until vegetables soften, then remove from heat, discard bouquet garni and garlic and cool. Then blend the tomato mixture in a food processor until it becomes smooth.
Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the almond flour and cook roux for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly without letting it brown.
Slowly add 1 cup of poaching liquid from cooking the stuffed cabbage and cook until the mixture thickens. After that, add the roux, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to the tomato sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside. Warm the sauce up before using.
Let’s finish up the Lou Fassum: After cooking the stuffed cabbage for 1.5 hours, remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 15 minutes without opening the lid. Then, remove the lid and check the internal temperature. If it reached 150 F, remove the stuffed cabbage from the pot using the kitchen towel and drain on a cooling rack for half an hour.
Cut off the twine and glaze cabbage with olive oil. Slice into 8 portions. Serve hot or room temperature with the preheated tomato sauce. Bon appetite!
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