DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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26 October 2011

Stuffed cabbage rolls

I have another recipe for you today - stuffed cabbage rolls. These rolls can be stuffed with any ingredient that takes your fancy. I used pork belly, quinoa and vegetables, it could just as easily have been beef mince (ground beef), brown rice and vegetables or a vegetarian version with rice and vegetables. You could use kale or silverbeet (chard) leaves instead of cabbage. Use what you have on hand and what you know your family will enjoy. This is one of those recipes that can be adapted easily and may just become a family favouite. If you get the stuffing right, you'll be making this meal for many years to come.

I used quinoa in these cabbage rolls, though I usually make it with brown rice. I have to tell you the quinoa was not as tasty as the rice, it was okay, but I won't use it again in this dish. The nutty taste of brown rice goes extremely well with the hearty flavours of the cabbage and vegetables. Also, I generally use minced pork that I buy at the butcher, however, I had some pork belly in the freezer that was pretty tough and I didn't want to roast it. I trimmed off the fat, put it through the food processor and got some nice lean mince. But as I say, use whatever your family likes or what you have on hand.

This is what I used:

  • About ¾ of a whole cabbage
  • Half kilo pork mince  (one pound ground pork)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • tablespoon paprika
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • handful of parsley, chopped
METHOD
Take the core out of the cabbage and carefully remove the leaves without breaking them. You'll need about 12 full leaves. Fill up a frying pan with hot water, bring to the boil, place the cabbage leaves in the boiling water and leave for a few minutes. You want them to be wilted but still green. Remove the cabbage, place on a plate to drain and put to one side.




Brown the pork mince in a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil. Make sure it takes on a lot of brown colour without burning, this is what adds flavour to the dish.


Add the vegetables and spices then add the quinoa to the meat and vegetables, mix and stir well.  Keep the pan on the stove, you'll use it again to cook the stuffed rolls.

Now it's time to fill the cabbage leaves. Take one of the cooled wilted leaves and place two heaped tablespoons of the stuffing on the leaf. Turn the sides in first, then roll it up fairly tightly. They won't need to be secured with toothpicks or string, they will stay firmly rolled as long as you're gentle with them.




When all the leaves are rolled, make a light gravy in the same frying pan the meat and vegetables were cooked in. To do this add 2 tablespoons plain flour, salt and pepper and brown this in the frying pan. If you need to add a little bit more olive oil, do it. The flour should not be dry, it should be like a thin paste.  When this is brown, add two cups of cold water and stir well. Bring to the boil, making sure you scrape all the brown bits off the pan - these add a lot of flavour.


Place all the rolls in this gravy, put the lid on the pan and simmer in the oven or on the stove top for 15 minutes.

Serve with steamed potatoes, carrots and pumpkin and the gravy.

There will probably be stuffing left over. If so, it's delicious the next day for lunch wrapped in a crisp lettuce leaf.

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe; it's a good one for cold nights. The trick to this, and most recipes, is to modify it to suit your taste, what you have growing in the backyard and what you have in the fridge.



28 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post Rhonda- I've often wondered about stuffed cabbage leaves- I shall give them a go (minus the quinoa though as I'm not too keen- I shall replace with buckwheat or couscous or something similar)

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  2. Simply Delicious - Deliciously Simple!

    Cheers!

    Jeanneke.

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  3. Yum! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I make a similar Vietnamese dish here in winter--Stuffed cabbage rolls in broth. They're wrapped just like yours and each tied with a wilted green onion. I love making them; it's like wrapping up a tasty little present.

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  4. Mmmmmmm............ it smells excellent! Such a good smell that arrives in Sicily!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Clara.

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  5. I used to make these years ago, when my kids were small. Haven`t done them for ages. You have given me insentive to have a go again!

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  6. I can't believe how your posts always seem to be just right for me. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed with housework, you write something that boosts me and changes my mindset. Today, after I have been thinking and talking to people about recipes for cabbage for a week, you give me the perfect recipe! We have cabbage in the garden ready to go. I can't wait to try this recipe! Thank you.

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  7. Thank you for this recipe Rhonda..was actually going to ask you for this one when i saw the photo the other day! We have so much cabbage to use at the moment and i was running out of ideas...i think the brown rice would be lovely...such a nutty flavour and so filling.Hopefully the family like them too!
    Jode x

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  8. It just occured to me that i forgot to ask whether you par cook your brown rice first Rhonda? It takes quite awhile to cook so just wondering whether better to boil a little first?Thank you...sorry for double post.
    Jode x

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  9. Yummmmm thanks for this recipe Rhonda I'm going to give it a go this week.

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  10. Yum! Will be adding this to the menu plan this fortnight

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  11. I've been wanting to make cabbage rolls but have been a bit shy. After seeing your pictures I know I can do this. What I don't know...how do you think it'll be with purple cabbage? The green cabbage in our garden is no where near ready and I still have 4 purple(red) heads that need to be used. I'm afraid to try. I suppose I can give it a "go" but hate the thought of possibly "wasting" a perfectly good head.

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  12. We love these. I will try a version of your recipe next time to change things up a bit. Yesterday when I saw the picture of it my mouth watered! I made a note to get the cabbage out and have it soon! I know of no restaurant here that has them on the menu. You have to come to the family table and have it at home. Yummm! Sarah

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  13. Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try as I love cabbage rolls!

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  14. Jode, cook the brown rice first love.

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  15. Oh this looks so good. I hope my cabbages make it so I can use this recipe. thanks for sharing :)

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  16. Oh, Rhonda those look so mouthwatering! I'm seriously salivating...

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  17. If you make this for a crowd, you can use green and red cabbage. Of course, both loose a bit of their colour, but it still looks great. I like to make them with Savoy cabbage whenever I get one.

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  18. O wow - that looks scrumptious. I'll need to keep this recipe in mind.

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  19. One hint if your rolls do fall apart is to use uncooked spaghetti in place of a toothpick. When the rolls are cooked the spaghetti is soft and delicious - much safer than a toothpick!

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  20. I am from the southern part of West Virginia in the US and this is the "good luck" dish we have every New Year's Day. Some families add a coin to one of the cabbage rolls for some lucky family member to find. We've never done that, however. My recipe is a bit different. I use white rice and cook the cabbage rolls in tomato juice. My mom also adds a three bean salad to the meal that is as much of a tradition as the cabbage rolls. Mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls complete the meal. Delicious! And lucky! :)

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  21. Oooh lovely. Thank you so much Rhonda. As I am on my own here, can I make quite a few of them a freeze some for another couple of meals?

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  22. I love cabbage and will definitely try this recipe - thanks, Rhonda!

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  23. I'm going to bookmark this one. I once had some Romanian cabbage rolls at a fete that were absolutely delicious. They had a tasty sauce with it like yours, and I think your recipe is very similar.

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  24. These look awesome. This was a family favorite when I was growing up. By the way, I enjoy your blog and have added it to my blog roll.

    Laurel
    http://www.abundantempress.blogspot.com

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  25. I made this for the family last night and it was a surprise delight! Surprise because even my kids liked it and ate the cabbage. I made this using half pork and half ground elk. This will be a repeat recipe all winter long -- thanks & love your blog btw.

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  26. A version of Sarmale. Yummy Yummy

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  27. If you freeze the cabbage overnight, and then thaw the next day, you don't need to steam the leaves. They are perfect to use. I just cut out the core when it has defrosted.

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