“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.” - Paul Prudhomme
With Autumn upon us and with the temperatures getting lower, we have been enjoying heavier, heartier food that warms us in the cold and dark evenings. This recipe is one that has many traditional variants in many cuisines. Cabbage rolls is a dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. It is common to the cuisines of the Balkans, Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe, as well as West Asia. Meat fillings are traditional in Europe, often beef, lamb, or pork seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. Grains such as rice and barley, eggs, mushrooms, and vegetables are often included. Pickled cabbage leaves are often used for wrapping, particularly in Southeastern Europe. This is a Greek recipe and the dish is called Lahanodolmáddes.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g beef mince
1 cup parboiled calrose rice
Salt, pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400g can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
12-14 large savoy cabbage leaves, bases trimmed (use the inner tender leaves)
6 savoy cabbage leaves (use the outer tougher leaves)
500 mL beef stock
Lemon juice or home-made tomato sauce for serving.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender. Add mince. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add spices and stir through. Add wine, tomato paste and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in parsley and parboiled rice. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add four of the inner cabbage leaves to the pan. Cook until just softened. Refresh in a bowl of cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the tough part of the stem in a V-shape and discard stem. Divide the leaf into two pieces. Repeat process with remaining inner leaves.
Finally boil the remaining outer leaves. Use these outer leaves to line the base of a large saucepan. Drizzle olive oil on top of the leaves.
Place one of the boiled inner cabbage leaves on a flat surface. Place 1/4 cup mince mixture at stem end of leaf. Fold edges in and roll up firmly to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining leaves and mince mixture.
Place cabbage parcels, seam side down, in prepared lined saucepan, making sure they abut onto one another with no space between them. Repeat in layers with remaining parcels. Cover with the remaining boiled outer cabbage leaves and drizzle a little olive oil on top. Cover leaves with a heavy plain ceramic dinner plate. Add the beef stock.
Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, checking that the stock doesn't all evaporate away. A few mL of stock should be left behind in the pan when ready.
Remove plate and discard outer cabbage leaves before serving.
Serve lemon juice and heated tomato sauce on side for those who wish to drizzle either of these on top of the rolls just before eating.
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