These adorable little cabbage dolmas are stuffed with spiced ground beef and then simmered in a flavorful beef curry. This delicious and meaty dish is just one of more than 150 recipes in my friend Caitlin’s new cookbook, Mediterranean Paleo Cooking.
You may already know that Caitlin of Grass Fed Girl is a certified nutrition consultant (she’s also the author of this excellent Gelatin Treats ebook). Her other half, Nabil, happens to be a classically trained chef who grew up eating traditional North African food. I LOVE learning about food and through Nabil’s words, I’ve learned so much about Mediterranean cuisine. For example, these dolmas… I always assumed that dolmas were made with grape leaves. But as Nabil writes, “In the Middle East, dolma refers to a grape leaf stuffed with meat and rice, but in North Africa, it refers to a vegetable stuffed with beef and then slowly simmered in broth. Cabbage dolmas are a common savory dish in Algeria, as are dolmas made with zucchini and bell peppers.” See, now you know a little more about dolmas than you did before reading this! I could learn about different cuisines all day and not get bored.
Caitlin and Nabil decided to team up with Diane Sanflippo to bring this book to another level. Together, these three Paleo wizards created a cookbook that is useful for everyone, regardless of food restrictions. It includes meal plans for those on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol as well was recipe modifications for most recipes. Those on special diets (AIP, GAPS, SCD, low-carb, nut-free, egg-free) will have plenty of recipes to choose from; the hardest part will be choosing what to make first!
If you haven’t yet, you can buy your copy of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking here.
- 12 large cabbage leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter, ghee or coconut oil
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 1 medium white onion
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- fine sea salt and black pepper
- 4 cups beef broth
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Boil 3 cups of water in a steamer pot over medium heat. Steam the cabbage leaves for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft, and set them aside.
- In a large saute pan, melt the fat over medium heat. Add the stew meat to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, cinnamon sticks, and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook another 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
- Cover the mixture with the beef broth and bring to a boil with the lid on. Remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the stew meat is cooking, mix the stuffing ingredients together in a large bowl. Place ¼ cup of the stuffing mixture in the middle of a steamed cabbage leaf. Roll the leaf halfway, then tuck in the sides and finish rolling. Place the rolled leaf aside on a plate, seam side down. Repeat until all of the stuffing is used up.
- Using tongs, carefully add the stuffed cabbage leaves to the saute pan. Cover and simmer the cabbage rolls for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and top the dish with fresh cilantro to serve.