These delicious cabbage rolls are easy to make and are perfect for a cheap and cheerful, but comforting family meal; serve them with extra tomato sauce and mashed potatoes, or Polish style (Gołąbki) with sour cream and caraway seeds and freshly chopped dill tips.
1 Savoy cabbage (with 12 to 14 leaves separated)
450g high meat content sausages, skinned (or pork sausage meat for stuffing)
50g smoked lardons (very finely diced)
4 slices of stale bread (broken into bread crumbs and soaked in 2 tablespoons milk)
1 onion, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley or marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
butter to grease
150mls vegetable or chicken stock
100g grated extra mature Cheddar cheese
450ml Passata (or 450g tin chopped tomatoes mixed with 4 tablespoons water)
These delicious cabbage rolls are easy to make and are perfect for a cheap and cheerful, but comforting family meal; serve them with extra tomato sauce and mashed potatoes, or Polish style (Gołąbki) with sour cream and caraway seeds and freshly chopped dill tips. (Not suitable for freezing, but the rolls can be prepared in advance before cooking)
Cut out the thick middle core of the Savoy cabbage leaves, and blanch them in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes; drain the leaves, and plunge them into cold water straight away, then drain thoroughly; set aside until needed.
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4 and butter an enamel roasting pan that has a lid - I used a Falcon Enamel 30cm Oval Roaster; the lid is very important, as it stops the cabbage leaves drying our and creates a mini oven within the roaster, and the enamel is great for heat retention.
Mix the sausages/sausage meat and the smoked lardons with the soaked bread crumbs, onion, garlic, herbs and season with salt and pepper - you will need to season the stuffing mixture well, with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black or white pepper. Mix well with wet hands and form into 12 to 14 balls, enough for each cabbage leaf.
Spoon a third of the passata into the buttered roaster and then start to make the cabbage rolls; place a cabbage leaf on a board and fill each leaf with a stuffing ball, placing it in the centre of the leaves - fold the sides, top and bottom of the leaves over, and place the cabbage roll seam side down in the prepared roaster. Continue until all the leaves and the stuffing has been used.
Spoon the remaining passata over the top pf the cabbage leaves and pour the stock around the leaves. Scatter the grated cheese over the top, cover with the lid and bake in a pre-heated oven for between 50 minutes and 1 hour, until the sausage meat isn't pink. Take the lid off for the last 5 minutes to brown the cheese.
Serve immediately with mashed potatoes, or Polish style, with sour cream and fresh dill. You can also served these cabbage rolls with extra tomato sauce.
Not suitable for freezing, as the cabbage retains too much water.
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