Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls “Malfouf”


Non- Stuffing:
1 small green cabbage (pick one with tender leaves)
1 tbsp salt
water- for blanching cabbage leaves
2 garlic cloves, halved or sliced
Stuffing Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground  beef- I use 90 % lean
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup medium grain rice- soaked, rinsed and drained 
4 ripe tomatoes- Diced


To prepare cabbage for wrapping:
Cut the cabbage in half and remove about 25 cabbage leaves. Choose tender leaves to make wrapping easier. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water for about 8 mins or until tender, but not too soft. Drain in a colander and set aside.
To make the stuffing:
In a large mixing bowl, add all the stuffing ingredients (ground beef, rice, salt, spices, butter, and diced tomatoes). Mix thoroughly until fully combined.
The Cabbage Rolling Process:
Lay each cabbage leaf on a smooth surface. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of stuffing to each leaf, depending on the size. Spread the stuffing across the leaf leaving 1/2 an inch of space on both edges. Roll the cabbage leaf around the meat mixture, leaving both edges of the roll open. Place the roll in a large greased pot. Repeat with remaining meat mixture and cabbage leaves. Getting rolls ready for cooking: Add garlic cloves on top of the rolled cabbages.  Add water, just enough to cover the cabbage rolls. Thin tomato paste in 1/2 cup of warm water or add one small can of tomato sauce and top it to cover all the cabbage rolls. sprinkle little bit of salt. Cover the pot and cook over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 45-55 mins or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked through. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon juice and enjoy.