Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls are excellent. They are savoury, meaty, vegetal and subtly sweet.  Not only is this dish tasty but it is so appealing to the eye. A beautiful roll covered in tomato sauce looks lovely when plated and is a greater pleasure when eaten. All you need are cabbage leaves along with ground meat and a few other additions.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

1 large white cabbage
Olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
½ cup mushrooms, finely chopped
2 pounds ground meat of choice (beef, turkey, chicken or pork is fine)
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of red chilli flakes
1 cup chicken broth/stock
Salt and pepper to taste

With a sharp knife carefully core the cabbage. Once this is done place the cabbage into a large pot. Cover the cabbage with water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the leaves are pliable and tender.

When the cabbage is cooked, drain and remove it from the pot. Once cool enough to be handled remove the leaves and lay them flat. Allow to cool for a few additional minutes.

As the cabbage leaves are cooling add about a tablespoon of oil to a large pan.

Heat over medium and sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and mushrooms until softened. Once this is done add the ground meat and brown. As the meat is browning preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC/Gas Mark 4 and grease a large baking dish with olive oil. When the meat is cooked the filling is done.

Now that you have the filling add about 2 tablespoons in the centre of each cabbage leaf, fold in the sides and roll. If the leaves are too thin use two per roll (just make sure to align the spines). Once the rolls are done place them in an even layer in the non-stick baking dish.

In a medium saucepan add the tomato sauce, tomato puree, brown sugar, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and chicken broth/stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Once seasoned bring the sauce to a quick and pour this over the cabbage rolls.

Now just cover the dish with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. After this time uncover and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.