Stuffed Cabbage With Moroccan Beef Filling
1 medium-size green cabbage
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Remove the tough
outer leaves of the cabbage and slice off the top inch. Place the cabbage in
the boiling water and blanch for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the
onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and beef
and cook until the beef is browned, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the
apricots, pine nuts, lemon zest, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the center of the cabbage, from the
top, to create a “bowl” by cutting into the head with a sharp paring knife
to loosen the tightly packed inner leaves, and then scooping them out with a
sharp spoon. Finely chop these leaves and stir them into the meat mixture.
Add the egg and mix well.
Carefully fold back the outer leaves. Fill the cavity with some of the
meat mixture and spread the remaining filling between the leaves. Fold the
leaves back to re-form the cabbage and tie with string to secure it. Place
the cabbage in a small roasting pan and add 1/2 cup water. Cover with
aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until the leaves are
tender, about 20 minutes more. Place the cabbage on a platter, remove the
string and serve.
YIELD Four servings