This is one of my favourite recipes, I've cooked them for nearly all my pop-ups and people love them. They are great days after they've been made. If you have left over cut off's from the cabbage leaves and left over rice mix you can saute the cabbage in a little oil, add the rice mix and make a pilaf. Enjoy making these, they take a while but they're worth it. Email through any questions or pictures of what you've made!
This recipe makes 16 small rolls - enough as a snack for 5-6 or meal for 3-4.
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
250g lamb mince, I use coarsely minced lamb shoulder with lots of fat in it.
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cup Passata or diced toms
Rind of one orange
2 cinnamon sticks
Pepper and salt
1/2 cup currents
1 cup of finely chopped herbs, a mix of mint, parsley and dill
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 a large cabbage
3.5 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
To cook cabbage, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cut out the core of your cabbage and place it in the boiling water. As your leaves become tender they should fall away from the rest of your cabbage. You want them to be cooked enough that they are able to be rolled without snapping. Take leaves out of water as they become tender, and place to one side to cool.
In a heavy based saucepan, sauté your diced onion in a little olive oil and a pinch of salt until translucent. Once completely translucent, add in your garlic and sauté until aromatic. Add in mince and brown before adding tomato paste. Fry off tomato paste for a few minuets, then add aromatics. Deglaze with red wine, reducing until there is almost no liquid left then add tomatoes and water. Simmer over a low heat until the sauce has come together and more of the liquid is evaporated. Should take about 40 minuets.
Mix your rice, currents, fresh herbs, juice from one lemon and a glug of olive oil into your meat mix. Season with salt and pepper.
Take your cabbage leaves, and organise into size. Big leaves will need to be cut in half, it’s best if the vein of the leaf can be removed as it tends to take a long time to cook because it’s so thick. Use any left over bits to line a saucepan that is deep enough to fit all your rolls with.
Take each leaf and spread flat, place a heaped tablespoon of the rice mix down the e
nd of the leaf closest to you, fold in the sides of the leaves and roll the cabbage up. Place the rolls seam side down in the pan. Repeat with remaining cabbage making sure all the rolls fit snuggly together in the pan. If there is gaps around the rolls, fill it with extra leaves to prevent the rolls from opening while they are cooking. Once all the mix is finished, weigh down your cabbage rolls with an upside down plate. Mix up your stock with lemon juice, olive oil and salt, checking for seasoning and then pour over the rolls, and put on stove over a medium flame. The liquid should come up just over the plate, top it up with water if it doesn’t. Bring rolls to a boil then turn the flame down so they are cooking on a simmer. They should take around 40mins- an hour. They should be very tender, the rice totally cooked through. Once cooked leave to cool in the pot, this will help them keep their shape. Serve warm or at room temperature with yogurt.