Leftover rice was the order of the day (portions are not my strong point) and I was thinking “Hey, we don’t have any gorgeously spiced, pork and rice filled cabbage rolls topped with a rich tomato sauce and lemon scented sour cream served on a bed of sweet potato mash on the blog”.  Ok so I didn’t quite think along those lines but I think you get the gist.  Give them a go……instant Food for Friends test kitchen hit!!

Prep time:  30 minutes              Cooking Time:   45 minutes           $  Low Budget

Serves 4

2 tbs of olive oil

8-10 savoy cabbage leaves (12 means you have lunch the next day…..Woo hoo!!)

500gm of pork mince

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 large brown onion, finely diced

1 tbs of caraway seeds

1 tbs of smoked paprika

Grated rind of 1 lemon

1 cup of cooked medium grain or short grain rice (any will do, I used arborio)

1/4 cup of raisins (optional)

2 tbs of chopped fresh continental parsley

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

For the Sauce:

1 tbs of olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely diced

1/4 cup of dry white wine

A pinch of cinnamon

500gm of tomato passata (pureed works best)

Sea salt and Cracked black pepper

For the Cream:

1 cup of sour cream

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Sea salt

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Sweet Potato mash to serve

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and after carefully removing the cabbage leaves, blanche them gently for approx 2 minutes just to tenderise them and make them easier to roll.  Refresh them in some cold water and using a pairing knife, remove the tough spine of the leaf by cutting a long “V” either side of it, about 2 inches long.

Heat a frypan and add the oil.  Lightly fry the onion and garlic until soft then add the paprika and caraway seeds.  Fry for about a minute or until aromatic.Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the pork mince, lemon zest, currants, rice, parsley and season well with salt and pepper.  Take your rings off and get your hands in there to combine the mixture really well.

Lay a cabbage leaf on a chopping board and place about a tablespoon and a half of mixture in the centre.  Fold in the sides of the cabbage leaves and then roll up into a tight little sausage. Place the roll, edge of the leaf side down in a medium sized baking dish and repeat with the remaining mixture until you have them all nice and neat and snug in the dish.

Heat a small saucepan and add the oil, garlic, cinnamon and lemon juice.  Cook for about a minute then add the wine and cook for a further 1-2 minutes before pouring in the passata, seasoning with salt and pepper and stirring really well to combine.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes before pouring over the cabbage rolls.  Give the dish a bit of a shake to enable the sauce to get right down between and under the rolls.  Pop in the oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until very firm to the touch.  Don’t worry if they get a little crispy on top, it’s all flavour.

While the rolls are cooking, combine the sour cream, lemon juice and sea salt in a small bowl.  Stir well and the mixture will be nice and runny. Add a little water if it stiffens up a little.

Place two cabbage rolls per person on a nice pile of sweet potato mash and ladle over some of the tomato sauce.  Drizzle over the sour cream mixture and sprinkle with parsley and a little black pepper and a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.