Malaga

What is your fav comfort food? I have a bunch of them. However, to find one that warms me and my hubby up was a hard task, but I finally did, with this stuffed cabbage.

I’m Brazilian and he’s Hungarian, so either I cook some traditional dish from my country or he chooses to make a Hungarian recipe.

A few weeks ago, I promised him to prepare dinner. By accident, I’ve found a comfort food for both of us: stuffed cabbage. It is a delicious and curious discovery, even though the recipe is not Brazilian, nor Hungarian.

The history behind the origin of this stuffed cabbage recipe has its controversies. The dish might have been created in Eastern Europe or in the Middle East. No matter what is the real origin, it has travelled around the world by the hands of immigrants.

In Hungary, it’s a heavy combination of cabbage leaves and fatty pork mince. My mum in Brazil usually does it in a lighter way, mixing meat mince, coloured veggies and rice into a tomato sauce fully rich of flavours. I followed my mum recipe, for sure! 

Tomato sauce fully rich of flavours.

Mum’s stuffed cabbage

Ingredients

For the sauce

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

½ large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 can crushed tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

2 tsp. dried oregano

Salt

Pepper

Marjoram

Oregano

Red chilli flakes

Parsley

For the cabbage rolls

15 cabbage leaves

400gr. ground beef or mix the beef and pork

1 cup uncooked white rice

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 red bell pepper finely chopped

1 yellow bell pepper finely chopped

Salt

Pepper

Method

For the sauce

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomato and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Pour over tomato sauce, cook over lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of marjoram, oregano and red chilli flakes.

For the rolls

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch cabbage leaves until tender and flexible, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Make filling: In a large bowl, mix ground meats, 1 cup sauce, rice, carrot, bell peppers, onion, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a paring knife, cut out the hard triangular rib from each cabbage leaf. Place about 1 tbsp filling into one end of each leaf, then roll up, tucking in the sides as you roll.

Place rolls seam side-down into the sauce in a large pot. Cover the pot and cook over lower heat for 1 hour 30 minutes, until rice and meat are cooked through. Sprinkle parsley before serving.

More delicious recipes from Ronia!