Cabbage Rolls with Beef
(Etli Lahana Sarmasi)
1 small white Cabbage*
250 gr medium or regular ground beef
3/4 cup rice, washed and drained
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped or grated
1 1/2 tbsp red pepper paste
3 tbsp crushed tomatoes, in a can
3 tbsp butter, diced
1/2 lemon juice
1 tsp crushed pepper
Fill a large pot halfway with water and boil. Cut off the leaves and boil for about 4-5 minutes and drain.
Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl with a tablespoon. Cut off the hard part at the centre of the leaves (core) (picture). Cut the leaves in medium sizes to fill them. Use a teaspoon to put filling on each leaf (picture). First fold over the top, then the two sides (picture) and roll to close it up (picture).
Line up all the rolls in a medium sized pot, without big holes in between. Cut the butter in small pieces and place on top. Put a small plate upside down over the rolls - this is to prevent the rolls from unfolding while being cooked. Then pour enough hot water mixed with crushed tomato into the pot from the side. Cook over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes with the lid covered. If necessary, add a little more hot water.
After the Rolls are cooked, lift the plate with a fork. Sprinkle crushed pepper and squeeze lemon juice all over. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve it with lemon wedges.
* Use the left cabbage to make Turkish Cabbage Salad
- Tomato Soup with Cream, Cigarette Borek and Mosaic Cake.