Golubtsi (or Russian Cabbage Rolls)

golubciGolubtsi are rolls based mainly on meat, rice, vegetables, wrapped in a cabbage leaf and then left to cook in a pan.

They represent an interesting appetizer typical of Russian cuisine and in particular Belarusian and Ukrainian.

The preparation is quite simple and does not require ingredients that are difficult to find.

Ingredients for Golubtsi
1 Cabbage
500 gr of Minced Meat (Pork and Beef)
1 tuft of Aromatic Herbs
1 medium Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
1 large Carrot
0,5-0,75 cups of Rice
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of Tomato Sauce

Ingredients for the sauce (in which we will cook the golubtsi)
2 tablespoons of Tomato Sauce
3-4 tablespoons of Sour Cream (smetana)
200-500 ml of water or Vegetable Broth.

The first step necessary for preparation is to cook the whole cabbage in a pot until its leaves soften.
In the meantime, cook the rice that you will use later to fill the golubtsi halfway through in salted water.
Grate the carrot with the appropriate grater and finely chop the onion before frying them in a pan.
In a bowl of adequate size, pour the finely chopped aromatic herbs, the two crushed cloves of garlic, the fried onion and carrot, the minced meat, salt, pepper and a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce.
Stir until you get a homogeneous mixture. Take the cabbage, remove the leaves without damaging them and possibly deprive them of the hardest part at the base.
In the center of each leaf, pour two tablespoons of filling and wrap it up to form a bundle (golubtsi) about 12 x 3 centimeters thick and about 2 centimeters thick that you will keep closed with the help of toothpicks that you will remove gently before serving the dish.
Briefly fry the golubtsi in a non-stick pan and pour the sauce ingredients over them until they are completely covered. Season with salt, pepper and cook, still in the pan and with the lid, for another 30-40 min.
When cooked, turn off the heat and let it rest for about ten minutes. Golubtsi should be served accompanied with sour cream and a sprinkling of aromatic herbs.

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