Lamb and Pinenut Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

From issue #8.
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Lamb and Pinenut Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

Serves: 8


1 savoy cabbage

500 grams lamb mince
1 small onion, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon paprika 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon ground chilli 1⁄4 cup toasted pinenuts
1⁄2 cup long grain rice, washed and drained
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

1x 400 gram tin Italian tomatoes, crushed
1 cup stock or water 2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses – optional
3 cloves garlic, crushed 2 teaspoons dried mint


Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Remove any damaged leaves from the cabbage, cut out the thick core and discard. Gently peel off the leaves, keeping them whole. Cook for 8 minutes, drain, refresh and drain again. You may have to do this in several batches.

Filling: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
Lay the leaves out on the bench with the smooth side down. Cut out the thick stem from each leaf and cut the large leaves in half. Place a heaped tablespoon of filling along one edge and loosely roll up, tucking in the sides. (The filling won’t fall out as the parcels are packed close together for cooking). Continue until all the filling is used up.

Sauce: Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and season.

Assembly: Line the bottom of a wide heavy-based saucepan with some of the remaining blanched cabbage leaves. Lay the cabbage parcels in the pan, packing them in tightly. Spoon over some of the sauce. Repeat with the remaining cabbage and sauce.

Squeeze over the juice of 1⁄2 a lemon and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Place a heat-proof plate upside down on top of the parcels.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer. A simmer mat is excellent for long slow cooking.

Cook for 40 minutes then rest for 20 minutes before serving. This allows them to firm up and absorb a lot of the juices in the pot. The rolls can be made ahead and gently re-heated if desired.

To serve: Carefully lift out the rolls and place in a wide shallow dish. Spoon over any juices. Serves 8