This dish is a must for Christmas Day in many parts of the land.
- For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 3 scallions, white with about an inch of the dark green, sliced fine
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup mixed and snipped fresh parsley and dill
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large green cabbage
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
- For the avgolemono sauce:
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- Juice of 1 lemon
1. In the oil or butter, brown the pork in a heavy pan together with the scallions and onion. Add the rice and stir thoroughly. Add the broth, herbs, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer until rice is almost cooked, about 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the filling cool.
2. In a large pot, bring 8 quarts of water to a boil. Remove 2-3 outer leaves of the cabbage and reserve. Rinse the head of cabbage, cut around the hard core with a knife, remove the core, and discard it. With the stem side facing down, lower cabbage into the pot and boil for 15 minutes. Set a colander in the sink, very carefully remove the cabbage from the hot water, place it stem side up in the colander, and run lots of cold water over it. Gently separate the cabbage leaves; lay them out on a large platter.
3. Whip the egg and stir it into the cooled meat-rice filling. Place the reserved outer leaves on the bottom of a Dutch oven or a large frying pan with a lid. These extra leaves will protect the dolmddhes from scorching.
4. Now form the dolmddhes: With kitchen scissors trim the hard ribs of the cabbage leaves so that they are soft and pliable. Place each leaf in turn on a plate, scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling on its edge, and roll up like a cigar, folding first the bottom and then the two sides over the filling. The rolls will be about 2 1/2 inches long.
5. Place them seam down and side by side in tight rows in the pan lined with outer leaves. Pour over them butter, lemon juice, and water to cover; weigh down with an inverted plate.
6. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer, and cook for about i hour, adding water as needed. They should be left with a cup of broth.
7. For avgolemono: Dissolve cornstarch in 1 cup cold water. Whip the egg yolks in bowl, add the lemon juice, then cornstarch and water. Ladle hot broth into egg mixture. Pour avgolemono over dolmddhes; shake pan and serve immediately.
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