For the sauce


  • STEP 1

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the cabbage leaves for 4-5 mins until just softened and pliable. Drain and leave to cool slightly.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, mix the rice, onion, beef mince, herbs, garlic, rosemary, egg and tomato purée together in a large bowl using your hands.

  • STEP 3

    Working with one cabbage leaf at a time, cut away any bits of the hard core. Divide the filling between the leaves, placing a spoonful in the middle of each. Roll or fold the leaf around the filling to enclose and transfer the rolls a plate – don’t worry if you can see the filling poking through any tears as it will be covered with sauce, but do try to roll the leaves tightly. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  • STEP 4

    For the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat and fry the onions and carrots, covered, for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until soft but not golden. Stir in the garlic, cumin (if using) and tomato purée, and cook for 1 min more. Add the tomatoes and thyme, stir and season well with salt and black pepper. Cook for 5-10 mins more to thicken slightly.

  • STEP 5

    Spoon a layer of the sauce into a roasting tin or ovenproof pan that will hold all the cabbage rolls snugly. Arrange the rolls in a single layer, then spoon over the remaining sauce. Bake for 35-40 mins until the rolls are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling at the edges.

Recipe tip

Use the leftover cabbage to make a Christmas side, or as a base for Boxing Day coleslaw.

Goes well with


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