I swear every country has their own version of Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. In Russia they’re called Golubtsy, Sarma in the Balkans, Holubky in Slovakia and so on, I think you get the point. It’s extremely hard to pinpoint the origin of these delicious parcels of joy and no matter what I say there will be someone who disagrees. Instead of getting into all that let’s talk about how Cabbage Rolls are the perfect one pot weeknight dinner that is filling, full of flavour and healthy.
It all starts with caramelised carrot, onion and garlic which adds a deep rich flavour to the stuffing and sauce.
Half the caramelised veggies are mixed with some pork mince and rice and rolled into cabbage leaves to make Cabbage Rolls – side note: don’t the Cabbage Rolls sort of look like the heart, or that just me? Which is ironic because these babies make my heart full of happiness.
After the Cabbage Rolls have been rolled, place them into a big (huuuge) pot and cover with the caramelised vegetable mix and tomato sauce. You can use my homemade tomato sauce recipe to jam pack even more vegetables and flavour into this meal or store-bought.
Place onto the stove over medium heat to bubble away for an hour and a half. In the meantime grab yourself a glass of wine, a cup of tea or a joint and relax whilst rich aromas waft throughout the house.
When ready, serve with some fresh dill, a dollop of sour cream if that’s your thing and some fresh buttered bread. I love serving my Cabbage Rolls with Borsch for a truly comforting winter’s meal.
- 4 large carrots, grated
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp dill, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup rice
- 500 grams pork mince
- 1 green cabbage
- 1 cup tomato sauce/passata
Add the carrots, onion, garlic and olive oil into a pot over medium heat. Let cook stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until softened and caramelised. Once softened add dill, tomato paste, and salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Remove half the veggie mixture and set aside.
To the pot with the veggie mix add pork mince and rice. Mix everything until well combined.
Peel the cabbage leaves* apart, cut out the hard stem piece, will sort of look like a V. Place two tablespoons of meat mixture into the centre of the leaf. Fold the bottom of the cabbage leaf up and tuck in the sides and roll up like a burrito. Repeat until you're out of meat mixture.
In the same pot layer the cabbage rolls in, add the remaining vegetable mixture over the top and pour over the tomato sauce. Simmer on the stove with the lid on for an hour and a half.
When ready to serve sprinkle with fresh chopped dill and serve with fresh buttered bread.
* To make the cabbage leaves easy to peel, place in the freezer overnight and thaw before using. Alternatively, you can boil until soft.