|Stuffed cabbage leaves|
This recipe is loosely based on the classic Greek dish dolmas, stuffed vine leaves. Vines, and by extension vine leaves, don’t tend to be a staple crop in Britain, although I daresay they are obtainable from specialist shops if you look hard enough. However, the handsome dark green Savoy cabbages make a satisfactory wrapping for the filling. This is a colourful, mildly spicy dish to cheer up a grey winter day, which is very convenient as Savoy cabbages are at their best in the middle of winter. Here’s the recipe.
Stuffed cabbage leaves (serves 2)
Approximately 12 oz (approximately 350 g) Savoy cabbage
8 oz (approx 220 g) lamb mince or beef mince
Half an onion
1 oz long-grain rice
2 Tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoon) chutney*
2 oz (approx 50 g) raisins
Half a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon (1 x 5 ml spoon) paprika
2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoon) cornflour
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet (or use leftover cooked rice).
Separate 8 large leaves from the cabbage, trying not to tear them (the odd rip doesn’t matter). Cut out the hard base of the stalk from each leaf, leaving a V-shaped slot.
Blanch the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain, then leave to cool.
Shred the remaining cabbage finely. Peel and chop the onion.
Fry the minced lamb or beef in olive oil over a medium heat until browned.
Add the onion and shredded cabbage, and fry gently for another few minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften and colour.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the cooked rice, chutney and raisins. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture between the 8 blanched cabbage leaves, and fold each leaf over the filling to make a parcel.
Put the parcels in a single layer in a casserole dish.
If the tomatoes are very coarse, or if you want a smooth sauce, liquidise the chopped tomatoes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, paprika and cornflour. Pour this over the cabbage parcels in the casserole.
Put a lid on the casserole and cook in a moderately hot oven at about 180 C for about 45 minutes, until the cabbage is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Serve with long-grain rice.
I don’t think this would freeze very well, although I’ve never tried.
*Home-made tomato chutney works well in this dish