Lebanese Cabbage Rolls

¾ cup cooked rice
1t salt
1T soft butter
¼ t black pepper
¼ t cinnamon
1/8 t allspice
1 small can tomato sauce
1lb GRM awesome hamburger (browned)
For the Rolls:
1 large head of cabbage
1T salt
3 peeled garlic cloves
6oz can tomato paste
1c boiling water
1/3 to ½ cup fresh lemon juice (not concentrate)
Dash of cinnamon
To Make the Filling:
Mix rice, butter, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Mix in GRM awesome hamburger and tomato sauce. Add water a little at a time so that the filling is sticky/pliable. Taste, add more salt, cinnamon, or allspice if needed.
For the Rolls:
Bring enough water to cover the cabbage head to a boil with 1T of salt. Cut out the core from the cabbage, making sure you go deep enough (this helps when you are separating the leaves when cooking). Place cabbage, core end down, in boiling water. Cook about 4 minutes then use tongs to pull leaves off one at a time as they wilt and place on paper towels. This takes a few minutes but be patient and don’t tear your leaves. This is experience talking here.
After you’ve cooked and separated the leaves, cut the large ones in half down the center rib. The smaller leaves you may have to shave the center rib with the tip of your knife, this makes them roll evenly. The leaves should be about the size of your hand.
Line your baking dish with the ragged leaves you aren’t using to roll. This keeps your rolls from burning. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on the leaf, fold in side edges and then roll up nice and tight (like a burrito or a cigar) and lay neatly in rows and layers. Tuck the garlic cloves randomly between rolls.
For the sauce:
Combine tomato paste, boiling water and lemon juice. Add a dash of cinnamon and salt to taste. You can also add more lemon if you like it tart. Pour over rolls to cover. Cover with extra leaves to keep the rolls from drying out.
Cover and bake in preheated 300 degree oven for about an hour. Remove top leaves before serving.
Hope you enjoy!!
Bettye and Greg Chalk

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