Stuffed cabbage is considered a peasant food and a firm favourite throughout Eastern Europe. It's a very tasty dish, yet it's not one that's cooked often in England. As it is cheap to make, easy to prepare and its flavour can be enhanced by all manner of different herbs and spices, it really is a great autumn dish, particularly as there are some splendid cabbages available at the moment.

To serve four you will need: One medium-sized cabbage (Savoy is good, but any kind will do) One onion - chopped fine Small bunch mixed herbs - chopped fine 2lb (900g) sausage meat One egg Two bay leaves Two cloves garlic Salt and freshly-ground black peppercorns to season For the cooking liquor 4pts (2 litres) chicken stock Small bunch fresh herbs and a bay leaf Two cloves garlic Method: Carefully cut off all leaves from the base, discarding the tough outer leaves and leaving the very heart of the cabbage intact Boil up a large pot of salted water, immerse the leaves in this and boil them for just half a minute. Remove leaves from the pot, refresh in cold water, then pat them dry Mix together the sausage meat, chopped herbs, onion, garlic and egg together in large bowl, and season Lay the cabbage leaves on flat surface and spread each leaf with the mince mixture Reconstruct the cabbage by pressing the small leaves to the heart of the cabbage, then begin pressing the larger leaves on to them until you have a cabbage shape once more Tie the whole thing in shape with string and place into a large pot containing the cooking liquor, herbs, bay leaves and garlic Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and then reduce heat and allow to cook very gently for about an hour-and-a-quarter, carefully turning the whole cabbage halfway through When cooked, remove from pot, cut away the string, cut the cabbage into portions and serve each one in a soup bowl with a generous amount of the cooking liquor.

NOTE: If you wish, you can add a few peeled waxy potatoes to the stock half-an-hour before end of cooking time, to give a complete meal in one pot.