1 large head green cabbage, at room temperature
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb or beef
1 cup short-grain rice, washed and drained (medium grain rice can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups water (divided)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
Separate leaves from head of cabbage carefully. Drop leaves, a few at a time, into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until limp, about 5 minutes. Drain. Cut leaves in half; remove and discard center ribs. Set aside.
Combine all remaining ingredients except 1 cup water, garlic and lemon juice.
Place 1 tablespoon of mixture on each leaf and roll up, tucking in sides to contain filling.
Combine remaining ingredients. Pack finished rolls, flap side down and close together, making layers, in a Dutch oven; sprinkling each layer with the mixture.
Invert a heavy heatproof plate over the rolls. Cover pan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook 40 to 60 minutes. Makes about 5 servings.