One of the foods that I regret I didn't make more often this winter is these Stuffed Cabbage Rolls In Egg & Lemon Sauce. It's really one of the best, Greek wintry comfort foods.
These cabbage rolls are filled with ground beef, rice, and fresh herbs. Slowly cooked with extra virgin oil olive oil, and served with a creamy egg & lemon sauce. It's one of those foods that are very fulfilling yet feel very light and nourishing.
In Greece, we call them "Lahanodolmades" (lahano=cabbage, dolmades=rolls), with "Avgolemono" (avgo=egg, lemono=lemon).
The Egg & Lemon sauce (which I must say we love to use in making soups and stews in Greece), goes amazingly well with the flavor of boiled cabbage. Believe me and you won't be able to stop dipping bread in this sauce, it's so yummy!
This dish is very similar to the Traditional Greek Youvarlakia Avgolemono (Meatball Soup With Rice, Egg & Lemon).
How To Make Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe In Egg-Lemon Sauce (Lahanodolmades Avgolemono)
For The Filling:
- 800 grams ground beef
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 80 grams leek chopped
- ½ small onion chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoons short grain rice
- a handful of fresh dill chopped
- a handful of fresh parsley chopped
For The Cabbage Rolls:
- 1 large cabbage about 1,5 - 2 kg
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
For The Egg-Lemon Sauce:
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 medium-sized eggs
- 1 lemon juiced
For The Filling:
- Heat a good splash of olive oil in frying pan over high heat. Add the onions and leek and cook until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add the remaining ingredients for the filling along with the cooked onions and leek. Knead mixture very well and set aside.
Prepare The Cabbage:
- Remove the stem of the cabbage with a sharp knife creating a small hole.
- Place the cabbage in a cooking pot with the hole downwards.
- Half fill the pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Boil the cabbage for 5-7 minutes. Then turn it upside down and boil for another 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from pot and set aside to cool.
- NOTE: Do not throw away the water in which you boiled the cabbage in. Just set the pot aside until you finish rolling all the cabbage leaves. The leaves in the heart of the cabbage might need some extra boiling as the may be hard still.
- Once the cabbage is cool enough to handle, start removing the outer leaves.
- Use a few leaves that are too small or broken to use for rolling, to cover the bottom of a cooking pot.
For The Cabbage Rolls:
- Take a large cabbage leaf (it should be soft enough to roll otherwise dip it in the boiling water for a minute or two). Remove the harder part from the bottom of the leaf, making a V incision. Cut the leaf in half.
- Add a piece of the mince filling (about a tablespoon) on the cut end of the cabbage leaf.
- Fold the cabbage envelope-like, and start rolling upwards.
- Add the cabbage roll in the cooking pot, seam side down over the cabbage leaves.
- Continue process until you roll all the filling. Making sure you place all the rolls in the pot very close to each other so they won't unfold while cooking.
- Pour the cabbage water (from the pot in which you boiled the leaves ) over the rolls. It should slightly cover the rolls. Otherwise, add a bit more water. Pour in the 150 ml of olive.
- Add an inverted plate on top of the rolls, to keep them down while cooking. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once it starts to boil reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Drain the liquid from the pot by holding the plate to keep the rolls in place. Be careful though as the plate will be very hot and you'll need a heat resistant glove.
For The Egg &Lemon Sauce:
- In a small cooking pot whisk together the flour and olive oil.
- Heat over high heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes and add the drained liquid.
- Whisk until slightly creamy. Remove from heat. If it's too thick add a little bit of water.
- In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs. Add the creamy sauce to the eggs. Very slowly (threadlike) while whisking constantly.
- Whisk the lemon juice into the sauce and pour it over the cabbage rolls. Shake the pot with the cabbage rolls, for the sauce to spread evenly.
- Ready to serve!
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