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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Recipe Round Up : Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

Some of you may have grown up eating stuffed cabbage leaves, but you probably didn't eat them the way I did. I've heard of Eastern European versions with a kind of sweet and sour sauce and some other kinds that are mostly filled with rice or other starch. Not so with these, these are leaves wrapped around meat. And they are delicious hot, room temperature or cold. We usually make one and a half times or twice this amount.

This is the filling and method I use for waraq 'ounab (grape leaves) as well, with the exception that I don't core and steam the grape leaves. You can fill and make the rolls (of this or the grape leaves) and place them in a slow cooker with the sauce and lemon juice and water as well to cook.

2 pound head of cabbage
2 pounds ground beef or lamb
1 bunch parsley
1 large onion
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 1/2 + 1 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup basmati rice (or other medium to long grain rice)
28 ounces tomato sauce or puree
juice of one lemon

Core cabbage, and place in steamer insert above about an inch or two of water, in a medium to large pot. Cover pot and steam for about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

Gently peel leaves off head and trim the thick ribs in the middle. You can discard those parts, or chop them finely and make a relish with hot peppers and garlic, all sautéed in olive oil with a little salt. My mother used to do that with either red serranos or jalapenos, depending on what we had. You can add some chopped tomatoes, too.

Puree parsley, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Mix this in with the meat and 1 cup of rice. Shape the meat into long, little ovals, to fit the cabbage, and fold in the sides, then roll up to form a package. Set these in the bottom of a large, heavy pot on the stove. If there is any remaining meat mixture form into small to medium football shaped meatballs. Place the kofta into the pot on top of the cabbage rolls. In the rare chance that there is some cabbage remaining, just put them flat on top of the other cabbage rolls in the pot. Pour tomato sauce over the top, along with an equal amount of water (rinse down the sides of the can and fill with water), remaining salt, and the juice of one lemon. Invert a small plate over the top of the food and cover with a lid. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 45 minutes, or until meat is cooked and rice is soft.

Serve with rice, spooning sauce over, harissa, if you like it, and make a salad.

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Love this! I was meal planning today & have some goat to use up. Yum!
Did you try it? How was it?

I imagine goat meat would work quite nicely in this dish.
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