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Lamb and Feta Stuffed Cabbage

Adapted from Fine Cooking issue 115

Ingredients
1 large head green cabbage (about 3 lb.), outer leaves discarded, cored
1 lb. ground lamb
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large egg
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup short-grain rice, such as Arborio
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup ouzo or samba

Instructions
Place a whole cabbage into a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for about 4 minutes. The outer leaves of the cabbage should be bright green and beginning to pull away. Using tongs, carefully remove outer leaves and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with a kitchen towel. As the cabbage continues to boil, remove leaves in layers until entire cabbage is cooked. This should take about 15-20 minutes total. Allow cabbage leaves to cool.

Combine lamb, onion, egg, feta, rice, parsley, oregano, lemon juice, cumin, fennel, 2-1/2 tsp salt and one tsp of pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix gently.

Remove hard ribs from cabbage leaves. Large leaves can be cut in half lengthwise.

Poor a small amount of olive oil into a large Dutch oven and brush to coat the bottom. Lay cabbage leaves out flat on a spacious work surface. Put 1 1/2 Tbsp of lamb mixture on a leaf that runs lengthwise away from you. Fold the long sides in toward the lamb and roll away from you to enclose the meat. Place Roll into dutch oven with the seam facing down. Repeat with cabbage and filling and arrange in a single layer on the bottom of the pot, fitting rolls snuggly against one another. Place a looser second layer on top if necessary.

In a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, broth and ouzo. Poor over rolls. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cover. Cook 60-90 minutes or until rice filling is tender. Throughout the cooking process, shake the pot occasionally to prevent sticking.