Yemista Me Lahano (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves)

Course : Greek
Serves: 6
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1 large onion -- finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 kilogram ground beef or lamb
1/3 cup short grain rice
1 medium tomato -- peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped dill or mint
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 medium cabbage leaves
1 cup salted water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups hot stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 large eggs -- separated
1 medium lemon -- (juice only)
1 teaspoon chopped dill or parsley

Preparation / Directions:

Serves: 6 Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours Gently fry onion in oil until soft. Mix into meat with rice, tomato, herbs and cinnamon, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into 24 portions. Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes until softened. Drain and cut out thick center of larger leaves (very large leaves may be cut in half). Place one portion of stuffing on base of leaf, turn up base, fold in sides and wrap firmly into a neat roll. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place rolls close together, seam sides down, in a deep pan lined with trimmings from cabbage leaves. Add stock or water, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Invert a heavy plate on top of rolls and cover pan tightly. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. When cooked, drain off stock carefully into a small saucepan. Reduce to 1 1 1/2 cups over heat and thicken with corn starch mixed to a paste with a little cold water. Let it boil 1 minute. Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff, add yolks and beat thoroughly. Gradually beat in lemon juice, then boiling stock. Return sauce to small pan, place over low heat and stir constantly until egg is cooked - do not boil. Arrange rolls on a heated serving dish and spoon some of the sauce over them. Garnish with chopped dill or parsley and serve remaining sauce separately. Serve with mashed potatoes. Note: Grape vine leaves may be used instead of cabbage - about 40 will be required since they take less filling.

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