Jul 15, 2015

Cabbage rolls

My grocery shopping is an impromptu exercise; I've given up on lists completely. Instead, I scout for appearance and prices, getting what I fancy most on the day.

Admittedly, there are a few problems with this frivolous approach. Aside from at times forgetting the essentials, you could also end up with some surprising vittles in your pantry.

Letting loose in my latest spree left me with a sizable cabbage in my trolley. That could only mean an afternoon of rolling, poaching and stuffing. 

Sorry if I am boring you. I completely understand if your desire is to get to the cabbage folding exercise of your own. It's worth it. Now, down to the meaty, saucy bits, the recipe below covers them all.

Cabbage rolls are very popular in Eastern Europe. No celebration is complete without them on the table. Even though they might not look it, they are very easy to make. A little time is needed to do the rolling and stuffing, but if you've got some spare hands around, and a glass of wine, this can be a bit of fun as well.

I have used meat in this recipe, but equally, vegetables can be used instead; some sautéed carrots with lemon and marjoram for example.

1 whole white cabbage
200g long grain rice
2 large onions
1 carrot
1 egg
1kg mince (beef, pork, veal)
parsley to add to the minced mixture
olive oil
salt, pepper

Tomato sauce
200g Tomato paste
4 table spoons of Sour Cream
Vegetable stock reserved from poaching cabbage

Use the knife to cut the cabbage cob out. Let the whole cabbage boil for a few minutes, take it out and let it cool down. Reserve the water for your sauce later on.

Cook the rice just a little, as it will be cooked again in the cabbage and set aside. Brown off the onions and shredded carrots in some olive oil. Mix the mince, egg, rice and onion/carrot mixture together.

Take cabbage leaves apart gently, take care not to brake them. Cut out any think white veins. Cut any small or broken leaves and place at the bottom of your pot.

Place about a tablespoon of your mince mixture on each cabbage leave; wrap the leave around to form a little parcel. Place the parcels in your pot.

Mix your reserved cabbage stock, tomato paste and sour cream to create a sauce. Gently pour this over the cabbage leaves to cover them completely. Gently simmer for 1 1/2. Serve with some sour cream on the side.

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