Lahanadolmathes (Greek Christmas Cabbage Rolls)
Makes 35 to 40 cabbage rolls
The pig harvest coincides with the holiday season in Greece, so pork is plentiful and usually on the holiday table, traditionally as pork and rice stuffed cabbage leaves.
For the rice
- 1 cup (200 g) Arborio or short-grain rice
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, leaves only, chopped
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) black pepper
- 2 cups (480 ml) water or chicken or vegetable broth
For the cabbage rolls
- 2 Napa cabbages, trimmed, cored, and leaves pulled apart
- Salt and pepper, as needed
- 2 pounds (0.9 kg) ground pork
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 sprigs fresh dill, stripped for leaves tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
For the Avgolemono Sauce
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable broth
- 7 ounces (210 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) corn starch
- Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme water oven to 183F/84C.
- In a large (gallon/3.8 liter) zip-closure cooking pouch, combine the rice, onions, carrots, celery leaves, water, salt and pepper. Use the displacement method (Archimedes’ Principle) to remove the air and zip the seal.
- Submerge in the water oven to cook for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, on the stovetop, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt. Add the cabbage leaves and cook for 2 minutes, until they become bright green and softened.
- Remove the leaves and chill them in ice water to arrest the cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Remove the rice pouch from the water oven and reduce the temperature to 140F/60C. Add ice or cold water to speed the temperature drop.
- In a bowl, season the ground pork with salt and pepper. Add the cooked rice, beaten eggs, dill, and olive oil and knead to mix thoroughly.
- Form the meat mixture into about 35 to 40 balls.
- Lay the softened cabbage leaves out flat and position a ball of the meat mixture into the lower center of each one. Fold the sides of the leaf toward the center over the meat; fold the bottom of the leaf over the meat and then roll to the top. Set aside and repeat with all the leaves.
- Put the rolls in a single layer into one or more large cooking pouches . Using the Gentle/Moist settings of the vacuum sealer to seal the pouch(es).
- Submerge the pouch(es) in the water oven to cook for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the Avgolemono Sauce.
- In a pot over medium heat, whisk the eggs with the water.
- Whisk in the lemon juice and cornstarch.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Keep warm. (An easy way to keep the sauce warm is to transfer it to a small zip-closure cooking pouch, remove the air with your hands, zip the seal and put into the water oven while the cabbage rolls are cooking.)
- Remove the rolls from the water oven, gently transfer them to a serving platter, and drizzle liberally with the Avgolemono Sauce.
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