Sunday, 13 January 2013


I'm not sure how traditional this might be, but there are so many different versions of sarma (i.e. stuffed cabbage) that someone must do it this way. Trust me, it is amazing and worth the extra tedious steps I've added, just to make it more difficult. Start with a big head of cabbage. I had an oddly flat one with huge leaves. Cut out the core and boil it in salty water for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool and drain. Then take two should lamb chops and chop them up finely by hand. You don't want meat grinder texture, but a fine cut, with fat and all. Add salt, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, zaatar, a little sugar and mix up. Lay a large thigh shaped piece of lamb filling in each cabbage leaf, tuck in the sides and roll up. Put them in a clay casserole. Now the fun part. Add a little olive oil and wine, sprinkle with more zaatar, cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for two hours or longer. Then remove tin foil and continue to cook on the stove top so all the liquid is reduced. Keep spooning it over. I also added about a tablespoon of harissa to the liquid and kept spooning. Notice no rice or tomato. The filling becomes wonderfully tender. Serve with polenta. I'll bet they're even better today.

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