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Meat Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

A Lebanese dish, easy to prepare, roll and cook. It is served as a main dish. 


Ingredients:  5 servings

25 big size cabbage leaves (from a 2 kg white cabbage)

For filling

500 g ground lamb or beef

1½ cups short grain (Egyptian rice)

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon salt

For Sauce

8 garlic cloves, peeled

4 cups water

7 tablespoons lemon juice

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon dried and finely crumbled mint leaves

1½ teaspoons salt

1.      Boil leaves in batches in salted boiling water one minute or till tender, remove with a slotted spoon to cold water.  Drain.

2.      Cut ribs and place them in the base of a medium size pot.  Cut leaves to medium size squares.

3.      Place leaves on work surface, shiny side down.

4.      Mix stuffing ingredients and place about 1 tablespoon on one end of each square and roll like a cigarette.  Place rolls on top of the ribs alternating with the 8 garlic cloves.

5.      Mix 4 cups of water with lemon juice, crushed garlic, dried mint and salt.  Pour over the rolls in the pot.   

6.      Place a plate on top of rolls with a heavy weight to keep them in place while being cooked.  Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer about one hour or till liquid evaporates and little is left.

7.      Remove weight and plate, turn rolls to a serving platter and serve hot with radish and Arabic flat bread.


For leftover stuffing; stuff tomatoes and cook them with the cabbage rolls. Some like to serve the dish with yogurt on the side.

The dish may be cooked a day ahead and reheated with little water over low heat.

© 2005 Cooking Courses Marlene Matar