Former chef de cuisine of internationally acclaimed restaurant Blue Hill Stone Barns, Michael Gallina will soon be opening his own vegetable-forward, farmer driven, wood fire focused restaurant Vicia in St. Louis, Missouri this fall. Here, we have an exclusive recipe courtesy of the chef and GoWhisk – Charred Cabbage with Charcuterie and Sauerkraut.
“Working with fire is one of my favorite ways to cook. But really letting the fire touch the ingredients and transform them unlocks a whole new flavor and texture.
Cooking directly in the coals is a primal way to think about cooking, and I’ve really been inspired by the cuisine I experienced while in Argentina where char is celebrated. When I first played around with the cabbage I loved how the outer shell burnt to a crisp, but the inside steamed and stayed perfectly white – but with all the flavor of the smoke.
Utilizing pig fat is another way to impart a meaty flavor, but really making this dish about the cabbage. The tartness of the sauerkraut cream contrasted with the salty charcuterie is the perfect balance of flavors.” –Michael Gallina
⅔ cup sauerkraut liquid (approximate yield from 24-ounce container of sauerkraut)
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
In a small pot, add the sauerkraut liquid.
Bring the sauerkrat liquid up to a boil over medium heat and allow to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the cooled sauerkraut liquid, the sour cream and the lemon juice. Season with kosher salt to taste.
The sour cream sauce can be made a day ahead of time and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
1 cup lard (about 6½ ounces)
½ bunch of thyme (about ½ ounce)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 head of green cabbage (about 3 pounds), any discolored outer leaves discarded
Freshly cracked black pepper
1½ ounces speck or culatello (or substitute prosciutto), thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC) with the rack positioned to the middle.
In a large skillet with high sides or a dutch oven, heat the lard over medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Remove the skillet off the heat. Carefully add the garlic cloves and the thyme.
Allow the garlic and the thyme to infuse the lard, about 20 minutes.
Using tongs, discard the garlic and the thyme.
Meanwhile, prepare the grill of medium-high heat, (for charcoal grill, create a shallow bed of charcoal, banked to one side, eventually allowing the coals to turn ash-white and eventually into embers; for a gas grill, leave on or two of the burners off).
Add the cabbage to the skillet.
Season the cabbage liberally with the kosher salt and the black pepper. Spoon some of the melted lard all over the cabbage.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast until the cabbage is cooked through, about 1 hour 30 minutes, basting the cabbage every 15 minutes.
Remove the cabbage from the skillet.
Carefully transfer the lard to a heat-proof container and set aside.
Transfer the cabbage to the prepared grill, close to the embers turning often, until the sides begin to char and black all over, 5 to 7 minutes. (If using a gas grill, place the cabbage on one of the burners that is turned off but close to the heat).
Remove the cabbage from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Preheat the broiler.
Once the cabbage is cool enough to handle, cut the cabbage into 1-inch rounds, then cut lengthwise into 2-inch pieces.
On a baking sheet, place the cabbage pieces. Brush the cabbage with some of the remaining lard and season with the kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
Lay pieces of the speck (or charcuterie of your choosing) over the cabbage pieces.
Transfer the baking sheet to the broiler and allow the fat from the charctuerie to melt slightly, about 1 minute.
Transfer the cabbage to a large platter and serve with the sauerkraut cream.