Stuffed Cabbage Rolls or Dolma is a very popular Eastern European dish.
Every country, and I believe every household has their own way of cooking dolma. I have made various versions, where they were cooked stuffed with turkey and vegetables in tomato sauce, and in passata stuffed with pork. It’s one of the recipes where it’s fun to unleash your creative kitchen genius and have fun.
Preparation time 1 hour
Cooking time 1 hour 30 minutes
1 whole cabbage
500g beef mince
500g pork mince
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 chilli, chopped ( optional )
1 cup finely chopped herbs such as parsley, coriander, chives, dill
1/2 cup medium grain brown rice, rinsed thoroughly
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
50g butter or less depending on the fat content of the mince meat
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2-4 tbsp tomato paste
1 ( 400g ) can crushed or diced tomatoes
3 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
Using a sharp knife remove 7-10cm of the cabbage core out.
Place the cabbage into a large sauce pan top side down and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, then turn the heat off and carefully turn the cabbage top side up.
Cover with a lid and let sit for a few minutes, then remove from water and set aside to cool.
Remove the leaves one at a time.
With a sharp knife shave the thick stem parts off.
In a large bowl mix minced pork, beef, chilli, rice, onion, garlic and herbs together. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Place one cabbage leaf on top of the working bench put a good handful of mince mixture closer to the stem end and roll into a log-like shape.
Repeat with the rest of the leaves.
Place cabbage rolls into a cast iron pot or any other lidded casserole pot.
Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Add onion and cook till fragrant and lightly browned, then add tomato paste and cook for a further 2-3 minutes stirring continuously to avoid tomato paste from burning.
Add crushed tomatoes and simmer over a low heat for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Pour stock over cabbage rolls, then pour cooked tomatoes evenly over the top.
Add a few springs of herbs and a bay leaf.
Bring to boil over a medium heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes.