Crockpot Lebanese Mishi Malfoof/Malfouf (Stuffed Cabbage)
photo by ValFosburgh
- Ready In:
- 1 medium-large head green cabbage
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 3 teaspoons allspice
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 head garlic (roughly 15 cloves) or 4 -5 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- Prepare Cabbage: Wash and dry the cabbage, then wrap it tightly with Saran wrap. Place wrapped cabbage in tied grocery or ziploc bag and then freeze for 3 days.
- Remove cabbage from freezer the 1-2 days prior to using. The cabbage will still appear “frozen” after 1 day, so you can run under water to de-ice and loosen and separate the leaves for stuffing.
- Remove large vein from leaves (V-notch) and cut them in half to ready for stuffing.
- Take 5-6 of the smallest, inner-core leaves and flatten out and place them on the bottom of the crockpot as a barrier for the bottom layer of rolled leaves, covering the entire bottom.
- Prepare “Sauce”: Saute garlic in olive oil until lightly brown and soft over medium heat.
- Add water and lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt and stir for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in pan.
- Prepare stuffing (mishi): Rince rice in fine colander and place in large bowl.
- Add 2 tsp salt and all of the allspice to rice and mix well. If using, add chopped onion and mix well.
- Add meat to rice mixture and mix with hands until rice and seasonings are thoroughly incorporated.
- Stuff the cabbage: take roughly 1/4 cup of meat/rice mixture and place on stem side of cabbage leaves and roll semi-loosely to allow room for rice to expand during cooking. Meat should not leak out the sides and should be fairly contained by the rolled cabbage.
- Neatly organize each roll into the crockpot, leaving no room in a layer, but not packing so tightly that there is no room for rice expansion. After the first layer is done, pour about ½ the sauce over that layer. Sprinkle with 1T of dried mint.
- Add the second layer of cabbage and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with remaining mint.
- Cook on low: Make sure water “barely covers” the top of the cabbage - add more water, if needed, to cover. Place a small, round, flat microwave and heat-safe plate on top to keep the cabbage in place and to help them stay rolled.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
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