Cabbage Rolls Meet Jamie’s 15 minute Meatballs

So I’ve been a little absent lately.  Turns out, the 416expat and I have added a Brit to our bunch.  She has taken up quite a bit of our time and attention over the past month.  A huge thank you goes to our friends in London who have kept us well stocked with food.  Seriously, without them, we would likely have starved.  She’s kept us that busy.  

Now that we’re emerging from our sleep-deprived state, I’m gingerly entering the kitchen again.  Aided and inspired by my one-handed blog skimming finds, I dared to embark on a new adventure.  Cabbage rolls.  Seriously.  Ok, I was mostly inspired by the fact we had an entire cabbage in our fridge leftover from other baby related things and I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  Enter SmittenKitchen.  She blogged about Italian Cabbage Rolls earlier this month.  She got me thinking about what else I could stuff in a cabbage roll.  Turns out, you can put just about anything in there!  For this recipe I married the Lamb Meatball recipe from Jamie’s 15 minute meals, with Smitten Kitchen’s Italian meatball recipe.  Please please please see SmittenKitchen’s post (linked above) for beautiful pictures illustrating the steps.  Here’s what I did (sans pictures)…

Spicy Lamb Cabbage Rolls 

1 savoy cabbage 
400g lamb mince
200g quinoa
2/3c milk
2tsp garam masala
salt and pepper
1 jar passata
2 tsp harissa paste

Cabbage – Remove the outer gross cabbage leaves.  Carefully separate 12 leaves, trying your hardest not to rip the leaves.  Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.  Blanch the leaves for 30-60 seconds.  Spread the leaves out on kitchen towel to dry.  

Filling – Combine the lamb mince, quinoa, milk, garam masala and seasoning.  Form the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball or ping pong ball.  Place the ball onto the cabbage leaf and roll up.  I placed the ball at the base of the cabbage leaf, rolled it over slightly, then folded the left and right sides in over the ball, then finished rolling the ball.  Did that make sense?  Smitten Kitchen suggests using a toothpick to secure the cabbage roll however I got away without.  

Bring a jar of passata to a gentle boil in a large dutch oven or a deep saute pan with a lid.  Add the harissa and stir to combine.  Gently place the cabbage rolls in the pan.  Cover and cook at a gentle simmer for 25 minutes.  Next turn the cabbage rolls over, and cook for an additional 25 minutes, again with the lid on.  Finally, remove the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!