Adrian Richardson: These are another of my Nonna Yole’s specialties and they’re equally delicious made with vine leaves. You can serve them warm or cold with a big dollop of yoghurt. Nonna always used to make her own yoghurt, strain it overnight to thicken, and flavour it with sweet new-season garlic from her garden.
Note: Cabbage rolls have been around for many years and appear in many cultures. Pork, rice and cabbage are transformed into a fabulous comfort food which is both cheap to make and good for you. As an alternative to the yoghurt, top them with some Italian tomato sauce (sugo or passata).
Time: 1 hour
1 savoy cabbage
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g pork, finely minced
2 cups long grain rice
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons dried mint
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, juiced
With a small sharp knife, slice out the core of the cabbage. Carefully separate the leaves and blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute. Using a colander, rinse in cold water and drain then place them on a tea towel and pat dry.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, and sweat over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the minced pork and sauté over a medium heat until the pork starts to colour. Add the rice to the pan and stir well. Add 1 cup of stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the herbs, season with salt and pepper and tip mixture onto a shallow tray to cool.
Arrange the larger, tougher outer cabbage leaves in the bottom of a casserole dish. Lay the remaining leaves out on your work surface. Cut the stalk out in a V shape. Take 2 generous tablespoons of the cooled stuffing mixture and place on a prepared leaf, just above the incision. Roll up and over once, then fold in the sides and continue to roll up to form a neat package. Repeat until all the cabbage leaves and stuffing mixture are used up.
Place the cabbage rolls in the casserole dish, packing them tightly together. Season generously then pour on the remaining stock. Cover the casserole and cook over a low heat, or in a 175ºC oven, for 20 minutes. When cooked, pour on the lemon juice. Serve the cabbage rolls straight away, or leave them to cool. Serve with garlicky strained yoghurt.
Recipe taken from Meat by Adrian Richardson
Meat is a comprehensive cookbook with great tips and information on processing meat, the different cuts, preparation and storage methods and delicious recipes. Meat will illuminate and educate keen home cooks who would like to learn more about the meat we eat; where it comes from and various ways to use different meats. It is also a solid collection of recipes, including sauces, stocks and other meaty basics.
You can buy Meat at cooked.com.
Published by Hardie Grant Books.