Stuffed cabbage rolls are an Eastern European winter comfort food tradition for very good reason. They take a little time to prepare so perhaps one to save for the weekend but they’re worth the effort of channelling your inner Hungarian grandmother as they’re cheap to make and are hearty, warming and a delicious crowd-pleaser. Substitute the pork or beef mince for cooked green lentils for a vegetarian version.
1/3 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
15 outer leaves from 1 Savoy cabbage
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp caraway or cumin seeds
550 g pork or beef mince
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp sweet paprika
½ cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
salt flakes & freshly cracked black pepper
350 g sauerkraut
500 ml hot water
2 tbsp tomato paste
sour cream, to served
- Preheat oven to 200˚C.
- Bring the rice, water and ½ tsp salt to the boil and then simmer with the lid on for 5 – 8 minutes until tender. Leave to cool.
- Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, rinse under cold water and then lay out on a tea towel to dry.
- Saute the onion, garlic and 1 tsp caraway or cumin seeds until softened. Leave to cool a little before mixing with the pork mince, cooked rice, eggs, paprika, half the parsley and seasoning until well combined.
- Cut the thick rib out of each cabbage leaf before filling with 2 tablespoons of the mince mixture and rolling into a tight bundle.
- Lay the sauerkraut over the base of a heavy ovenproof pot and tightly pack the cabbage rolls on top.
- Mix the 500 ml water and tomato paste and pour over the top. Scatter with remaining caraway or cumin seeds and bake with the lid on for 40 – 50 minutes. Serve garnished with remaining parsley, freshly cracked black pepper and sour cream.