Stuffed cabbage rolls


A serving of Kåldomar

Stuffed cabbage rolls are a great Swedish classic often served as a midweek meal, but also served as part of a Christmas buffet. My wife was initially pretty sceptical about eating them, but was soon converted because they really do taste much better than they look!

They were first introduced into Sweden at the beginning of the 18th century after Karl XII invaded Turkey. His soldiers took stuffed vine leaves back to Sweden and replaced the vine leaves with cabbage leaves.

Traditionally kåldomar are served with a brown sauce/gravy, boiled new potatoes and lingonberry conserve. In the UK, where sauces are not as popular, the sauce might be best served separately in a gravy boat, so people can help themselves. John Duxbury


Recipe summary for kåldomar


• Kåldomar freeze well so make extra for a rainy day!

Roast beef

• Next time you cook roast beef make extra gravy and freeze some to use when you serve kåldomar.
• For vegetarians, replace the meat with fried onions, mushrooms and some grated Cheddar or Västerbottensost.


75 g (3 oz) long grain rice
240 ml (1 cup) milk
2   Savoy cabbages, about 500 g (1 lb) each
4 tbsp   butter
1   large onion,finely chopped
150 g (6 oz) pork mince
150 g (6 oz) beef mince
½ tsp   chopped fresh thyme
1   egg, lightly beaten
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp   golden (light) syrup


1. Put the rice in a saucepan and add the milk. Bring to the boil and cook until tender (see instructions on the packet for a guide to the time). Drain, fluff up with a fork and leave to cool.

2. Separate the cabbage into leaves and remove the hard stalks. Select 20 nice large leaves.

3. Blanch the leaves, a few at a time, for about one minute, in lightly salted boiling water. Drain well.

4. Fry the onion in 1 tbsp of butter until softened.

5. Put the rice, fried onion, pork mince, beef mince, thyme, beaten egg and seasoning in a large bowl. Mix to form a loose stuffing.

6. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas 6, fan 170°C).

7. Put 2 tbsp of the mixture into each leaf and wrap into parcels. Place in an ovenproof dish with the joins on the undersides. Drizzle over the syrup and dot with the remaining butter.

A dish of nicely browned kåldomar

8. Bake for about 40 minutes until coloured to your liking. I tend to like them well baked, as shown above, so I sometimes turn up the heat for the last 5 minutes or so. It's a bit like with toast: my wife likes her toast light brown, but I prefer my toast to be a nice dark brown, nearly burnt. Your call.

9. Serve with boiled new potatoes, lingonberry conserve and a jug of brown sauce/gravy.


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