These tasty cabbage rolls are real comfort food on a cold winter night. In Poland they're called Golabki and are simmered in a flavourful tomato-sour cream sauce while in Greece they're known as Lahanodolmathes and smothered in a lemon sauce. They're considered peasant food because both cabbage and rice are relatively cheap.
While they take some to prepare, I can guarantee the results are well worth the effort.
This recipe first appeared in my Seasonal Entertaining cookbook.
- Prep Time : 50 minutes
- Cook Time : 1h 30 min
- Yield : 8
- large cabbage - 1
- onion - 1, peeled and diced
- carrot - peeled and diced
- celery stalk - 1, diced
- garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- vegetable oil - 1 -2 tablespoons
- pork and beef mince - 750g
- cooked rice (preferably brown) - 1 cup
- ground cumin - 1 teaspoon
- mild paprika - 1 teaspoon, peeled and grated
- salt and pepper - to taste
- fresh parsley - 2 - 3 tablespoons, washed and chopped
- watercress - 1 -2 tablespoons, chopped (optional)
- lemon - 1/2, juice and zest
- organic or free range egg - 1, beaten with a pinch of salt
- unsalted butter - 60g, peeled
- Tomato-Sour Cream Topping
- plain flour - 1 tablespoon
- ripe egg tomatoes - 1 cup, peeled and finely chopped
- dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- bay leaf
- sour cream or plain yogurt - 3/4 cup
Separate the leaves carefully from the cabbage and choose 16 large large ones: Trim hard stalks at the bottom. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, throw in the leaves and blanch for a few minutes. Remove and refresh under cold water. Spread the leaves out on clean tea towels or paper towels to dry.
In a frying pan, sweat the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in the oil until soft.
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced).
Place the meat in a bowl and mix in the rice, spices, fresh herbs, lemon juice and zest and egg. Season to taste. Add the cooked onion mixture and combine well. Spoon mixture evenly onto each cabbage leaf. Roll up, tucking in the sides, and secure with toothpicks.
Melt the butter in the frying pan and lightly brown the cabbage rolls, a few at a time, until golden all over, turning occasionally. Transfer the rolls to a baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer.
For the Topping: Stir the flour into the pan juices, adding a little wine if needed. Bring to simmering point and stir well. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and remaining wine and simmer gently for a few minutes. Add the sour cream or yoghurt and stir until well combined. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for an hour.