Serves: 8 Preparation time: 45 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour These are little meatballs stuffed with onions, garlic, barley and spices, wrapped in cabbage leaves, then baked in a tomato sauce. The acidity in the sauce cuts through the slightly fatty pork perfectly.
120g pearl barley 5 tbsp olive oil 2 medium onions, finely chopped 1 garlic bulb, peeled and chopped 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp crushed chilli 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked 600g pork mince Zest of 1 lemon Handful of parsley, finely chopped 1kg tomatoes, chopped 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 8 Savoy cabbage leaves, blanched for 2 minutes and refreshed in cold water Salt and pepper Sour cream and dill, to serve m ETHOD
1 Cook the pearl barley for 15 minutes in a pan of boiling salted water. Drain and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, and sweat the onions, 5 cloves of garlic, the fennel seeds, chilli and thyme for 20 minutes until soft and translucent. Add this to a bowl with the mince, pearl barley, lemon zest and parsley, and season. Mix with your hands.
2 In a pan, heat the remaining oil and garlic. As it starts to soften, add the tomatoes and vinegar and season. Reduce over a medium heat for 30 minutes. Blitz in a food processor.
3 To construct the golabki, take a cabbage leaf, pat it dry. Measure out 2-3 tbsp of the meat mix and form a patty. Put this at the stalk end of the leaf, and roll up the leaf carefully, folding the ends under to make a parcel. Repeat this with the rest of the cabbage and meat mixture.
4 Pour the tomato sauce into a heavy-based casserole. Arrange the cabbage parcels on top. Cover and cook gently for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and dill on top.