Duck Confit and Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls

From Glen Manzer

2015 Nov/Dec


  • 2 heads sour cabbage (save the unusable leaves for pierogis)*
  • 1 lb. raw roasted buckwheat
  • sea salt
  • butter
  • 2 onions, minced, divided
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 lb. wild black trumpet mushrooms (or your favourite), cleaned and chopped, divided
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 confit duck legs, shredded*
  • splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 1 large can of whole tomatoes
  • 2 T. fresh oregano


From the sour cabbage heads, remove the intact ‘nice’ looking leaves, slice out the thick rib.

Put the buckwheat in a pot and cover it with twice as much water, a sprinkle of salt and a touch of butter. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer on low for 20 minutes until cooked.

To make the filling: in a hot skillet add butter, half the onion, carrot, half the mushrooms and sauté. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly caramelized, then fold in the duck confit. Cool, then stir the cooked buckwheat and duck mixture together.

To make the sauce: put some olive oil, the rest of the onion and the garlic into a pot and sauté until just cooked. Add the rest of the mushrooms and continue cooking at a slow simmer. Turn the heat up, deglaze with the red wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and break them up while stirring. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Simmer for fifteen minutes, or until somewhat thickened.

Take one of the sour cabbage leaves, place some filling at the bottom of the leaf – as much or as little as you like, but my grandmother made them quite small. Fold in the side edges and roll up over the filling. Continue with the rest of the cabbage leaves and filling.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with some of the sauce, place the cabbage rolls on top and cover with more sauce. Bake for 1 hour.

To serve: serve the cabbage rolls with a fresh herb of your choice – dill was my family favourite – and sour cream or crème fraîche. But never, ever ketchup!

* Find sour cabbage at the Superstores in the produce section. Find duck confit at Bite, Mercato, The Cookbook Co. and Save-On-Foods.