Updated: Jan 16
Stuffed Cabbage with beef, rice, and herbs served with a spicy tomato sauce: A Dominican take on the Middle Eastern Mahshi Malfouf.
How do I describe this dish? Aromatic, succulent, exotic and full of flavor! One of my favorite dishes ever!
Originally from the Middle East it has made its way to Europe and the Caribbean, out of all places!
Every year for the Holidays, mom makes these stuffed cabbage rolls...and they never disappoint! The herbs make this dish a hit... and when served with the spicy tomato sauce it becomes the ultimate meal!
Everyone has their own version of Niño Envuelto. I have taken my mom's recipe and mine and combined them into one spectacular dish.
Served alone or as a side dish, these stuffed cabbage rolls are meant to please everyone at the table. Traditionally they are made with lamb but in the Caribbean they prefer to use beef because it is more readily available.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves up to 10 people
Don't be afraid of making these. I promise they will be a hit. Be careful when dipping the cabbage leaves in the hot water!
For the Rolls
1 large sized cabbage
1 pound of lean ground beef
2 cups of uncooked parboiled rice
1 large onion (finely diced)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
For the Tomato Sauce
3 28 Oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 1/5 cup of chopped cilantro
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of sugar
Enough water to cover the Niños Envuelto
Method 1: Making the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Mix the ground beef, uncooked rice, diced onion, minced garlic, chopped parsley and cilantro, ground cinnamon or cloves and salt and pepper all together and set aside.
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage (set aside for later use) and carefully remove the stem of the cabbage with a knife. Separate the individual leaves and set aside.
In a large cooking pot, bring 8 to 10 cups of water to a boil.
Remove pot from heat source and submerge 2 to 4 leaves at a time in the hot water.
Once the cabbage leaf has become pliable, remove from hot water and add one spoonful of the beef and rice mixture to the center and fold the cabbage leaf to form a roll as shown in the picture below. Repeat the process until all leaves have been utilized. Dispose of the hot water the done.
Method 2: Cooking the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in the tomato sauce
Mix all the tomato sauce ingredients and set aside. Do not add water at this point. That will be later.
in the large cooking pot, and at the bottom, place all the outer leaves removed earlier from the cabbage.
Gently place all the stuffed cabbage leaves on top to the outer leaves, creating one layer at the time.
Add one cup of the sauce between the layers. Repeat process until all the stuffed cabbage rolls have been placed neatly in the pot.
Add the rest of the sauce and enough water to cover the rolls at least 3 inches.
cover the top rolls with a piece of aluminum foil. Cover with a lid.
Place large pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!!!
Crock Pot Method
If you would like to use a crock pot to make this, just follow the previous instructions. This is an alternate way to make this dish but requires a bit more cooking time.
Follow Steps 1-5 of Method 1.
Follow Steps 1-5 of Method 2.
Allow to cook at medium heat for 5 hours.