I didn’t feel great today so I’m not sure why I selected this recipe from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book other than perhaps because it seems like comfort food. Mrs. D. Forsyth’s recipe for Cabbage Patties sounds like I could end up with cabbage rolls, a food unfamiliar to me in childhood but which I’ve grown to appreciate over the years. I am always wary of them since the sauce and filling differ greatly among cooks. I’ve never made them so preparing Cabbage Patties will be another adventure.
I removed the rough outer leaves of a head of cabbage and then took a few of the leaves from the next layer. I filled a pot with salt water and once it was boiling I lay the leaves in to soften. This was a guess on my part and I wasn’t sure how long to leave them in the water. I’m not fond of the tough leaves on some cabbage rolls so I decided to ensure my leaves were soft. I removed the leaves and let them drain. The recipe calls for “forcemeat”. This is essentially any ground meat that can be shaped. It is a very old term used from medieval times until today.
I chose to use some filling from a prepared sausage rather than grind and season my own “forcemeat”. I lay the leaves out and put some sausage meat on each leaf. I folded the end of the leaf neatly and then began to roll from the wider sides until they looked like cabbage rolls. I skipped the toothpick since they seemed to be holding together.
I melted a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan and added about 1/2 a cup of water before setting in the cabbage rolls. I put a lid on and left them to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. I didn’t check them during that period and they ended up nice and crispy so I turned them and left them to cook for another 10 minutes. I removed them once both sides looked done. It was now time to taste.
Augusta Clothilde Mylius married David Forsyth just after Christmas in 1882. They had two children and her husband was a well-known science teacher in the high school in Berlin Ontario. He was born in Scotland while her roots were in Germany. Augusta’s father was a local doctor born in Germany but her mother’s family had been in the area for several generations. This is probably something Mrs. Forsyth grew up eating and continued to make for her own family even though they could likely afford more expensive food.
I love Cabbage Patties. The outside is nicely crisp from the butter (what could be better) and there is no nasty tomato sauce. The best part was knowing what I would find inside! This is a great recipe since you can fill the cabbage patties with whatever suits your taste. I’m sure my vegetarian friends can even find a suitable filling. I will definitely keep this recipe handy. Cabbage roll connoisseurs, how do these cabbage patties measure up to your favourite version?
Take large perfect cabbage leaves and scald them in salt water to wilt them, place a heaping spoonful of forcemeat or any well seasoned hashed meat, pork sausage filling is very nice upon it, fold in the sides and roll up fastening the end with a toothpick; place in frying pan with butter and dripping and a very little stock or water, cover and set on back of stove to simmer, turn occasionally, and when nearly done remove cover and let liquid evaporate;they must be a nice brown when finished; care must be taken not to break them in turning. Serve on shallow dish or platter.