Best Host - Cultural or Historic Series

Congratulations to Chef Walter Staib for receiving his fourth Emmy Award!

Ash Lawn-Highland

Our latest journey brought us to the homestead of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States!

James Madison's Montpelier

Learn about the feast Chef Staib created during our visit to Montpelier!

A Taste of History

Cooking in historic Pomona Hall!

Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage
From Dining at Monticello ©2005 edited by Damon Lee Fowler

This is one of the recipes copied out by Jefferson himself, originally entitled “A Cabbage Pudding.” Cooked whole and wrapped in a cloth, it does resemble the boiled puddings of the day. I have added illuminating details from Mary Randolph’s rendition, mixing some of the heart of the cabbage with the stuffing and serving it “whole with a little melted butter in the dish.” Since Jefferson only listed “sweet herbs,” I’ve chosen the herbs usually used with beef in the period. Originally, the beef was finely chopped by hand, not ground, but readers who are not as concerned for authenticity may substitute ground beef. At Monticello, they would most likely have used a tin-lined copper or iron pot – and may have cooked in on the stew stove. For home cooks today, a heavy-bottomed stewing pan or Dutch oven will answer. It’s a lovely recipe, and not as complicated as it looks.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • 8 ounces very lean beef sirloin, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces beef suet, finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, or summer savory or 2 teaspoons crumbled
  • dried herbs
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Salt
  • Whole black pepper in a pepper mill
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the outer green leaves of the cabbage, saving several of them if they are unblemished, & wash well under cold water. Slip the cabbage & any reserved pouter leaves into the pot, return it to a boil, & cook until the outer leaves soften & can be pulled back easily.

Lift the cabbage out of the water & drain in a colander, leaving the water in the pot. Carefully pull back two or three rows of the leaves, but leave them attached to the stem. Cut a large cross through the center, going all the way to the stem, but talking care not to puncture any of the outer leaves. Bend back the outer layers of the center and cut out the rest of it, leaving the outer layers attached to the base.

Finely chop the center portion of the cabbage and toss it in a large bowl with beef, suet & onion. Stir in the herbs, bread crumbs, & egg yolks & season liberally with salt & several grindings of pepper.

Spread a 14-inch-square of double-folded cheesecloth flat & place the cabbage in the center. Gently pull back the leaves and pack the stuffing into the center, being careful not to break the outer leaves. Fold the leaves back over the stuffing & wrap any reserved leaves around it so the cabbage appears whole. Fold the cloth over the cabbage, wrap it with twine, & knot it securely.

Bring the cooking liquid back to a boil. Carefully lower the cabbage into it, return to a boil, & lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer until the filling is fully cooked and the cabbage is tender, about 2 hours.

Lift the cabbage from the pot, draining well, & removed the cloth. Transfer to a warm serving platter & rub it with butter. Serve whole, cutting it into individual wedges at the table.

50 Responses to Stuffed Cabbage

  1. OMG Chef Staib!!! You rock!! I cannot wait to make this for my sister and her husband next Christmas!! They will not be able to stand it!! I will make this mashed potato recipe I know of with onion. it’s a celtic recipe, and I cannot remember the name of it!! Driving me crazy. Anyway you are the bomb!!!

    • Thanks for your enthusiasm and keep watching! Let us know how your recipes turn out.

    • I just saw this on a recap episode! It seems like the perfect recipe to forget technology and go back to basics. Going to try it this as for a President’s Day/ belated Valentine’s Day celebration. I like your idea for mashed, but will substitute a recipe for a garlic mashed white beans instead.

    • Cabbabe with Potatoes?….called CalConnan. obtw: tonight I’m fixing Cabbage using country pork (minced with sausage spices)…bon appetite….

    • Artie Bell

      Love your show, I’m not a venison fan, but would love to see more beef recipes, dumplings, gravy. Reminds me of my grandma’s cooking. If I ever get up your way your restaurant will be on must do list. Thanks again Artie, Austin Texas

  2. Don Miller

    I must try this recipe I saw the episode on TV and thought that sounds interesting. I love cabbage and I usually make cabbage rolls, but a full head of cabbage, that’s different. Thank you

  3. Heather Hubert

    I saw the show for the first time today and thought this dish just looked beautiful. I cannot wait to try it out!

  4. Cynthia

    Tis looks like the first recipe, I’m looking for the second one with the bacon on top and that’s a little less time consuming.

  5. bill canavan

    Can you please provide recipe for Lafayette’s
    TRIPE SOUP ? Thank You ?

  6. nona

    I did try it, I used ground chuck, the cabbage was ez for me, but be careful, hot, I did all the rest the same way..I must tell you it was soooooooooooooo good.

  7. Loyal McAvoy

    I absolutely love your show; I wasn’t aware that the cooking from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was so sophisticated until I started watching your program.

    I have a question, you have mentioned a mariner’s ketchup (ketchup) with fish sauce and anchovies; do you have a recipe for this?

    Thanks, keep up the great work!

    Loyal McAvoy


  8. Dianna Harrison

    I just saw your show for the first time and was completely interested in trying the fried asparagus and the wholde stuffed cabbage. I plan to try both. They look delicious – both of them.
    I have made stuffed cabbage leaves before, but this is so elegant and different that I can’t wait to try it.

  9. Douglas E. Dahms

    I am permanently disabled and I really love your show and I pray for your continued success… Like others on here though I would love to know what the recipe for the special ketchup that you talk about and use on the show to add great flavor to many of your dishes. PLEASE let me know how to make it so that I can enjoy it as much as you seem to…….. THANK YOU & GOD BLESS you and yours………

  10. Connie Roose

    Yesterday, 12/29/12, and would like to know where, exactly, can I find the recipes for New England cooking in cast iron cookware in fireplace. In particular…oxtail soup/lentils and standing rib roast, frenched.

    Thank you.

  11. Lisa-Marie Haugmoen

    Herr Staib,
    Please,could you send me your catsup recipe you talk about and use so much on your show? I would love to make some for private use.
    I am so inspired by your show and I love seeing the skill you have and learning from your historical tidbits you share with us.
    I love to cook in the old manner as well. Everything from scratch.
    Thank you and keep up the good work and stay in good health!

  12. ernie orsak

    please provide me the recipes for the January 26, 2013 show aired on our local cable, i cant seem to find them on your webb site. also i am interested in purchasing your cookbook, where can it be found. You have. in my humble opinion, the greatest cooking show of all time!!

  13. Pete

    Really Enjoy Your Show But I Am Hard Of Hearing and Have A Difficult Time With Accents. One Show I Watched Seemed To Have Some Closed Captioning. Comcast Said To Notify RLTV. If It Is Available I Would Like To Know What To Do To Receive It. Thank You In Advance.

  14. Marc Hutton

    I am a big fan of you and your show Chef Staib and own all of your cookbooks. I have even made my wife a fan of your show as well. I was going a little crazy trying to find this recipe in cookbooks and I am glad to see that you posted it here. Could I also get a copy of your catsup recipe as well? Also we just finished watching the episode where you made Beef Olive. I can’t seem to locate it in your books. I would love to have that recipe as well. I make your Sally Lunn bread recipe every week for the family and everyone just loves it. Just as you mentioned in the Beef Olive episode we also use the stale leftovers to make our own breadcrumbs with and they are certainly better than anything you can buy in the story.

  15. Carol Stewart-Cooper

    I am so thrilled to have discovered you and your wonderful show, – I enjoy it every day. I love the old recipes and your show is such a wonderful tutorial for cooking skills as well as U.S. history. I can hardly wait to get your cookbook!!!

  16. Can’t wait to try. Looks absolutely delicious

  17. Sandra Lind

    I simply adore your show…dont change a thing about it, its rustic, earthy, wonderfully put together and has a homespun feeling. Will tell family and friends to watch you.!!! Cant wait till I move into my new place so I can cook those delicious meals you make. very informative also about the foods/veggies used….love to learn about the foods I cook. DONT STOP!!!!! Love it.

  18. Felicia

    Please my I have your ketchup recipes, it not only sounds interesting but delicious. I love your show. It’s informational, it’s one of a kind. Thank you for that!

  19. Mikel Rubiano

    Dry breadcrumbs are made from dry bread which has been baked or toasted to remove most remaining moisture, and may even have a sandy or even powdery texture. Bread crumbs are most easily produced by pulverizing slices of bread in a food processor, using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs. A grater or similar tool will also do.’

    Our very own web-site

  20. Maurita Speas

    It is difficult to trace the exact history of cabbage, but it was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC. By the Middle Ages it was a prominent part of European cuisine, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century. Cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of the plants’ life cycles, but those intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year, and must be kept separated from other cole crops to prevent cross pollination. ”

    Please do go and visit our favorite blog

  21. Amanda Noboa

    I love the show specially your recipes Chef Staib.. I will like to get the recipes for the cod fish you cook in the Bahamas with coconut milk and the Lobster,scallops and shripm pie. i will like to share those recipes with my husband that is a chef.. thanks


    Love your recipes. In this one above at the end it says to serve whole but in the video (as on the show) it looks like you are serving it sliced in half, then the butter and parley are dribbled over it. I can’t wait to try this.

  23. pat

    Can’t wait to try this! Being Polish, stuffed cabbage is a traditional dish, and always one which gave me a hard time…all those little packets of cabbage and stuffing! This looks easy enough for even me to try!! Thank you!

  24. Linda

    I’m grateful for the intertwined U.S.history lesson in your shows! Q. Were German veal recipes part of Colonial America? If so, please include in your next season :) I have dined at your restaurant in Philly with my 2 sons (17 & 22 yrs.) We totally enjoyed the rabbit, duck & schnitzel…the atmosphere was enchanting, too!

  25. Phoebe Jenny

    Saw part of your show on RLTV last night and was intrigued by the lentil salad with dijon mustard dressing. Do you have the recipe available? I really enjoyed the show and will be sure to watch it in the future. Keep up the good work!

  26. Edward Yungaitis

    i recently watched your tv show cooking a boiled dinner and venison stew. i have not been able to pick it up on the internet. can you help? thanks ed.

  27. Victoria

    My boss referred me to watch your show Fruit of New Mexico as he knows my love for cooking and he likes to keep me enthused for peppers (He owns EDCO Food Products, Inc.-We sell Kosher Pepper and pickle products from MX). I have to say I’m in Love with the way you cook! Fresh from scratch is always my favorite way to go. I will definetly be making the salsa and stuffed cabbage for my Holiday; as we have a few secret German family passed recipes on my moms side. Also, I am saving the coffee braised shank for my family. I will be watching the rest of your shows from now on!

  28. Alice Rion

    Love your show I have just started watching it, You are great keep up the good work and keep the show rolling, I”m cooking the cabbage tonight can”t wait till it get done. God Bless You

  29. I would like a recipe i saw on the show….braised oxtail – how can i get this?

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  31. sarah

    My moth-in-law had this on the other night, and it was Monticello. I went there two years ago, it was the most amazing place I have ever been to. I love Thomas Jefferson. Great show!

  32. Emily Guimares-Gauthier

    I just caught the end of your show and I want to make your cabbage and Asparagus!! But i missed the recipe for the batter for the asparagus!! I need it !!! My Kids and Husband Love Asparagus!! Love your show I am now Hooked!

  33. Thomas Farkas

    Chef Staib, could you please tell me where on the web I can find the following items that you use on the show. Spider pans, cutlery, and the bottles used for cream etc.

  34. Tom Horness

    Hello, I would like to try and make the “catsup” recipe you showed from the 18th century with anchovies.

    Where could I find it please?

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