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Stuffed cabbage leaves, by Karen Mintzias
- 1 large onion; finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 kg ground beef or lamb
- ⅓ cup short-grain rice
- 1 tomato; peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp chopped dill or mint
- ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 freshly ground black pepper
- 24 cabbage leaves
- 1 salted water
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cups hot stock or water
- 1 salt
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2 eggs; separated
- 1 lemon (juice only)
- 1 chopped dill or parsley
- Gently fry onion in oil until soft.
- Mix into meat with rice, tomato, herbs and cinnamon, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide into 24 portions.
- Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes until softened.
- Drain and cut out thick centre of larger leaves (very large leaves may be cut in half).
- Place one portion of stuffing on base of leaf, turn up base, fold in sides and wrap firmly into a neat roll.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Place rolls close together, seam sides down, in a deep pan lined with trimmings from cabbage leaves.
- Add stock or water, butter, salt and pepper to taste.
- Invert a heavy plate on top of rolls and cover pan tightly.
- Simmer gently for 1½ hours.
- When cooked, drain off stock carefully into a small saucepan.
- Reduce to 1 1½ cups over heat and thicken with cornflour mixed to a paste with a little cold water.
- Let it boil 1 minute.
- Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff, add yolks and beat thoroughly.
- Gradually beat in lemon juice, then boiling stock.
- Return sauce to small pan, place over low heat and stir constantly until egg is cooked - do not boil.
- Arrange rolls on a heated serving dish and spoon some of the sauce over them.
- Garnish with chopped dill or parsley and serve remaining sauce separately.
- Serve with mashed potatoes.
- Note: grape vine leaves may be used instead of cabbage - about 40 will be required since they take less filling.