A Middle Eastern specialty, these Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are made with beef, rice, lemon, and garlic.
Stuffed cabbage rolls are prepared around the world using many different ingredients and cooking methods. The popular Hungarian or Polish versions are often prepared in a sweet tomato sauce. Today I am sharing the Lebanese version which isn’t sweet at all. Rather, they are loaded with lemon, garlic, and mint. Imagine that?
We typically use beef in our rolls but of course, the customary filling would be ground lamb. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is with half beef and half lamb. My mother will even toss in a few lamb bones to the cooking liquid for added flavor. (Did I lose you at lamb bone?) Don’t worry – my version doesn’t include them.
I won’t lie – it takes a little bit of time to pull apart the cabbage leaves, boil them, let them cool, etc. However, if you are anything like me, a few minutes of mindless repetitive work is actually quite soothing. Cooking is my daily stress reliever and when I have a lazy Sunday with an afternoon free to cook, this is just the sort of meal I like to prepare for my family. The end result will be well worth the wait.
And the best part? They taste even better the next day. Nothing says “Happy Monday” like coming home from a busy day of work to find that dinner is already done. Serve it with a Syrian salad and you are well on your way to a healthy and nutritious dinner that is a far cry from Taco Tuesday.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The rice goes in raw.
Your fork is waiting.
Lebanese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Bring a large pot of water (or chicken broth) to a boil.
- Cut cabbage in half and remove tough inner core. Carefully remove as many outer leaves as possible and set aside.
- When water or broth has come to a boil, use tongs to immerse cabbage leaves into the liquid.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender; set aside to cool.
- Drain liquid from the pot and set aside to use when cooking stuffed cabbage leaves.
- In a medium bowl, combine sirloin, rice, salt, pepper, lemon juice, cinnamon and half of the garlic.
- Working one leaf at a time, place 1-2 tablespoons of meat mixture in the middle and roll until meat is covered with cabbage.
- Place stuffed cabbage rolls in the same pot you used to cook the leaves and line them up close together, alternating direction with each layer. Continue until leaves are gone.
- If you have any extra meat mixture, roll them into tiny meatballs and add them on top of the stuffed rolls.
- Cover stuffed cabbage with water – about ½ in above top layer.
- Throw in dried mint and remaining 2 crushed garlic cloves.
- Squeeze any leftover lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Take a small plate and turn it upside down and place on top of rolls.Push down to ensure all rolls are submersed in liquid.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until meat is fully cooked through. Serve with plain yogurt.