Stuffed Lebanese Cabbage with Rice and Beef in Lemon Juice

Before I start I should warn you. Do not attempt to cook this recipe when you are hungry because it is not an easy to cook recipe. I made this mistake on Sunday and then we had to make an emergency salad as we were too hungry while the cabbage was boiling away.

However the taste of the  rice and beef cooked wrapped in cabbage leaves and slow cooked in a garlic lemon sauce is completely worth the effort.


  • 1 Cabbage
  • 1 pack of lean mince beef
  • 1 cup of rice ( I used Basmati but you can use long grain rice)
  • 5 heads of garlic
  • 4 lemons, freshly squeezed (but you can cheat with bought lemon juice)
  • 1tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp all spice, 1 tsp ground coriander, fresh parsley,
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

1. Remove the stem of the cabbage. To do that you have to dig a hole in the bottom like in the picture below. Use a strong knife to do so.

2. Place the cabbage in a large pot and cook it for 10 minutes or until the leaves are starting to soften (they do not have to be 100% cooked but soft enough to role them.)

3. Take the cabbage and peel of the leaves.

4. In a bowl mix together the meat, the rice, and the spices.

5. Then spread the mixture on the cabbage leaves and start rolling them up, quite tightly so they do not fall apart.

5. In a separate frying pan fry 5-6 chopped or crushed garlic cloves until they are slightly brown.

6. In the meantime layer the cabbage roles in a large pot. You may have more than one layer. Place some fresh garlic cloves between each one of the layers.

7. Pour over the lemon juice and then top it up with water so it covers the cabbage.

8. Lastly cover it with a heavy plate (otherwise they may get loose) and cook for 1 1/2 hours on a low heat.

carving out the stem of the cabbage
Mixing the rice, meat and spices
Mixing the rice, meat and spices
stuffed cabbage
Now the fun begins
The lemon juice and garlic give this recipe it’s flavor
stuffed lebanese cabbage
The plate makes sure that the cabbage rolls stay tight.

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