Cabbage rolls are filled with a rice and lamb mixture. The secret is to try to select cabbages that are flat and round as generally they have fewer crinkled leaves which are difficult to roll. Pack the rolls tightly in the pot before cooking, otherwise they tend to unravel while cooking. When making rolls, it is a good idea to make double portions, as they freeze well. This filling can also be used for grape leaves or stuffed vegetables, both very popular in the Wickedfood Cooking School Middle Eastern cooking class.


1 cabbage
8 cloves garlic, smashed
Dried mint
1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 cups long-grained rice, washed and parboiled
400g minced lamb or beef
1 t fresh black pepper
1 t ground allspice
±3 t salt
±1/2 T butter

  • Remove the core of the cabbage by cutting as deep as possible into it. Place the cabbage in a large pot, hollowed out section down and pour boiling water over. Bring back to the boil and simmer for ±7 minutes. Drain and then carefully peel away the leaves, placing them in a colander to drain.
  • Set 4 or 5 of the outside leaves aside to line the bottom of the pot. Spread the other leaves on a chopping board, removing the tough centre stalks and trimming into ±8 x 11cm rectangles.


  • Place all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Line the bottom of a large pot with the reserved whole leaves
  • Place 1 small T of filling along the top quarter of a cabbage leaf allowing a little space on each side and then roll up into a tight cigar, folding in the sides.
  • Once rolled, place into the prepared pot, seam side down. Continue until all the mixture is used up. Stuff any gaps with cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with mint and lemon juice
  • Place any leftover bones on top, then place a plate on top of the bones, to hold the rolls in place, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 1 hour.

Makes ±30 rolls.

Tip – form any leftover stuffing into small meatballs and fry. Serve as part of a Mezze platter.

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Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252

Wickedfood Cooking School runs Johannesburg cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios in Johannesburg. Cooking classes are run in the mornings and evenings 6 days a week. The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these classes are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.