This week is Great British Beef Week and to mark the event I am cooking a different dish every night using our own beef.
Last night it was beef bourguignonne and tonight it’s beef stuffed cabbage rolls – it’s a new dish to me and one which may sound dubious to some but I have high hopes for it.
I’ve previously cooked Golabki – a Polish dish of cabbage rolls stuffed with pork, pearl barley, lemon zest and parsley. The rolls are cooked slowly in a rich tomato sauce and if you haven’t tried them they really are a delight.
Whilst planning our supper menu for the week, I convinced myself that beef stuffed cabbage rolls would work equally as well.
It uses that great beef staple – mince.
Now, I think mince is an underrated ingredient, it’s versatile and great for classics such as spaghetti bolognaise, chilli con carne and lasagne, but it can offer so much more. I often use it for homemade burgers, meatballs, tacos, cottage pie and bobotie.
Bobotie is South Africa’s national dish and is pretty similar to moussaka. It’s a mixture of curried meat and fruit with a creamy golden topping – it’s delicious!
Anyway, back to today – beef stuffed cabbage rolls. How were they, honestly?
The beef is mixed with cooked rice, onions, garlic, sage, thyme and egg to create a form of meat ball that is then steamed in a cabbage leaf. They are then combined with a tomato sauce and baked in the oven for a mere 10 minutes.
The combination of steaming and baking really does intensify the flavour of the beef in an astonishing way.
The beef added to the rice creates a rich, meaty filling which is offset by the freshness of the cabbage. The rich tomato sauce brings the dish together with its sweetness and clarity.