These Pork-Stuffed Collards with Tomato Sauce are from the cookbook, Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share, by Kristin Donnelly. They are loosely inspired by the stuffed cabbage served at the restaurant Veselka in New York City.
I used extra-large collard leaves and filled them with ½ cup of the pork mixture to make eight pork-stuffed collards.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- kosher salt (to taste)
- 1 cup uncooked red or brown short-grain rice
- 1 ½ pound collard greens
- 1 pound ground pork
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- zest of 1 small orange
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cup simple tomato sauce (see recpe: http://www.sippitysup.com/recipe/simple-tomato-sauce/)
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook until very soft, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. add 1 ½ to 2 cups water (check the package directions of the rice for the best guide) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is tender. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the collard greens and cook, in batches if necessary, until bright green, about 3 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and let cool. Trim off any tough stems and thick ribs, and pick out the 12 largest leaves or a 16 medium to small leaves to use for stuffing. Finely chop the remaining leaves.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled rice with the pork, the chopped collards, the allspice, orange zest, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees to 375 degrees F.
Working with one collard leaf at a time, arrange about ⅓ cup filling in the center of the larger leaves or ¼ cup filling for the smaller leaves. Fold the stem end over the filling, and then tuck in the sides. Roll the collard over to form a bundle, overlapping the ends to seal. Transfer, seam side down, to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Pour the tomato sauce over the stuffed leaves and then cover the dish.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the leaves are tender. Serve at or warm.
Potluck prep: The assembled pork-stuffed collards can be refrigerated overnight, then reheated gently in a 300 degree F. oven.