- 1 large head of cabbage (about 3 pounds)
- 1/2 pound good quality bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 large baking potato, peeled and finely grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Remove and discard the 3 or 4 toughest meter leaves of the cabbage. Cut out a deep core so that the leaves will separate. Place the head in a large pot of boiling water. As the leaves begin to loosen, remove the next 6 to 7 to a bowl. Keep boiling until another 10 leaves can be removed. Take out the head. Cook the 10 leaves until tender and translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Coarsely chop the first 6 to 7 outer leaves plus enough of the cabbage from the whole head to equal 6 cups (about 1 pound).
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Add the onion, chopped cabbage, caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until the cabbage begins to brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Add the potato and egg to the cabbage and mix well.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet, preferably nonstick. Cut away the thickest part of the ribs from the reserved cabbage leaves. Line the skillet with the leaves, placing the rib ends towards the center and letting the leaves overlap the side of the pan. Fill in the center with a whole leaf.
- Fill the leaves with the cabbage bacon mixture. Press to fill any pockets and smooth the top. Fold over the overhanging leaves. Lay additional leaves on top to completely cover.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of water around the edge of the pan. Cover and cook over moderate heat until browned on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Slide onto a plate. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Invert the pancake onto another plate and slide back into the skillet. Cook until browned on the second side, about 20 minutes. To serve, slide onto a plate and cut into wedges.
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