Filled cabbage rolls have resurfaced again on my blog. This time they have been filled with mince meat instead of Maltese cheese (or ricotta) and fennel seeds. I have also cooked them in a tomato sauce (I cooked the tomato sauce separately when I made the Maltese cheese filled cabbage rolls).
I have to admit I have cheated a little this time. I bought ready cooked cabbage leaves from the local Turkish shop. It was a little easier than preparing the cabbage leaves myself, although I do think they taste better if prepared fresh. If you would like to use fresh cabbage leaves then refer to my other recipe for cabbage rolls which provides instructions on steaming the leaves for use. I had prepared the mince mixture when I made my initial cabbage rolls on the blog and had placed it in the freezer. Ready for when I needed it. It was quick to prepare.
I have used fennel seeds to enhance the flavour of the mince. Fennel seeds are used quite frequently in Maltese cooking and fennel grows wild in Malta.
- 1 large jar of cooked cabbage leaves
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 500 grams mince meat (use pork, or beef, or a combination)
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 large jar of passata
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Fry the onion for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the mince and fry for a further 10 minutes or until browned.
- Add in the garlic and tomato paste and fry for 1 minute.
- Remove from the pan and mix in the cheese and egg.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- In the same pan add in some olive oil.
- Take one cabbage leaf and place about 1 tablespoon of mince mixture onto the edge. Roll the sides over the mixture and then roll the remaining leaf around the mixture to form a cylindrical shape. Place into the pan.
- Continue to do this until all cabbage leaves are used (about 15) and the cabbage rolls have filled the pan. It is fine if you have to create an extra layer.
- Add in the passata over the cabbage rolls. Season with some more salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low heat. Simmer for about an hour.