This weeks recipe was chosen by Keely Marie. She has hosted a Food Matters Project before, the Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables (her version; our version was the Vegetable & Bean Casserole). This time around she has chosen Mark Bittman’s version of Rolled Cabbage. Check out Keely Marie’s Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, and also take a look what other participants made.
We’ve moved into our new house, but there are many boxes which are still unpacked. Therefore, I was unable to find my copy of Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook. As we have been searching for the pizza cutter and our wooden spoons, I made my own version of stuffed cabbage.
Fortunately, thanks to my Polish heritage, I knew exactly what I wanted to put in these, and how I wanted to cook them. This version is not like my Mom’s, or traditionally Polish- I’m saving that for another blog post. Until then, enjoy these- they are very filling after a busy day of unpacking and organizing.
Rice & Lamb Stuffed Cabbage
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled & grated
4 small turnips, peeled & grated
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 small turnips, peeled & chopped
2 32oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 head of green cabbage
To make the stuffing, cook the rice per package instructions. Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a bowl.
In a large saucepan, heat up the olive oil. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until it is translucent. Next, add in the garlic, carrots and turnips and cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, add in the ground lamb, and saute until the meat is cooked, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the stuffing to the bowl filled with rice, stir all of the ingredients together.
To make the sauce, mix together the onion, garlic, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Then add the ingredients into a saucepan, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for at least 20 minutes. Stir the sauce every couple of minutes.
As the meat mixture is cooling off, and the sauce is cooking, prepare the cabbage. Cut out the stem from the inside of the cabbage. Then peel off each cabbage leaf from the head. Once you have all of your leaves, begin to boil a large pot of water. Once there is a rolling boil, add 2 leaves into the pot at a time, and cook them for about 1-2 minutes. Carefully remove the leaves from the water, transfer them to a colander, then rinse with cold water. Repeat with the remaining leaves, gently squeezing out the excess water.
Finally, lay a cabbage leaf on the work surface, with the edge side facing you. Then add in a couple of spoonfuls of the stuffing (rice, veggies, meat) into the middle of the leaf. Next, fold the outside edges in, and roll away from you. This technique should be very similar to rolling a burrito. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place each of the cabbage rolls, seam side down, into an oven-proof dish. Pour the tomato sauce over all of the cabbage rolls. Then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Pull it out of the oven, and serve!