Beef Holishkes

Lisa Roukin (from 'My Relationship with Food') shares her family favourite - stuffed cabbage beef holishkes. A traditional Eastern European dish made grain free. 

This recipe makes enough for a crowd and, since they taste even better the next day and the day after, you’ll have tasty leftovers! If you have left over meat filling, roll it into small meatballs and place in the dish alongside the stuffed cabbage. You can also use Chinese or white cabbage if you prefer. Cooked stuffed cabbage will keep for a few months in the freezer, if they are well sealed.

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For the filling:
460g beef, minced

2 enchalion shallots, finely chopped

2 tbsp. The Groovy Food Company Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1 savoy cabbage

200g cauliflower (rice), processed

1 tbsp. The Groovy Food Company Coconut Flour 

1 tsp. The Groovy Food Company Coconut Sugar

1 egg, large

1 tsp. garlic puree


sea salt

white pepper


For the sauce:
170g tomato puree (double concentrated)

480ml cold water

½ lemon juice

70g The Groovy Food Company Coconut Sugar

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

herbamare or sea salt

white pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F, gas mark 3, 170°C (150°C fan-assisted).
  2. In a non-stick frying pan add the 2 tbsp. coconut or sunflower oil, sauté the finely chopped shallots until translucent. Add the garlic and continue sauté, season with sea salt and white pepper. Continue to cook shallots until softened but not coloured, about 4-5 minutes over a gentle heat. Place in a mixing bowl to cool.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cut out the core of the savoy cabbage and rinse the cabbage clean, discarding the outer layer, then immerse it into the large pot of boiling water and cook for 5-7 minutes until leaves are soft and pliable, but not overly soft. After a 5-7 minutes, using a fork you can start to lift out the outer layers, being careful not to tear them, then place directly into a bowl filled with ice cold water, drain each sheet on either a clean tea towel or kitchen paper towel to take off excess water. Keep the smaller leaves and the core for later.
  4. To make the filling, in a large mixing bowl add the shallots and minced beef. Season well with sea salt, black pepper and paprika.
  5. Add the beaten egg together with the coconut flour and coconut sugar and massage it in.
  6. Add the cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until you get a rice texture, then add the cauliflower to the meat. Mix well with your hands or wooden spoon so it’s all combined.
  7. To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan, add tomato paste, water, vinegar, lemon juice, coconut sugar and season with herbamare or sea salt and white pepper. Cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes.
  8. Divide your mixture into 12 equal sections on a plate. Place your leaves on a chopping board, pat with a paper towel to remove excess water. Shave down the tough, thick part of the stem at the base of each leaf, using a paring knife, being careful not to cut through the leaf itself, repeat the process with remaining leaves. Shred any extra leaves you have saved and the core and place on the base of your 30cm by 21cn rectangle casserole dish.
  9. To stuff the leaves, place a leaf on the cutting board, stem side closest to you, place one part of the divided mixture nearest to you, shape into a cylinder, fold the base of the leaf up and over the filling until its completely covered until the end, then tuck both open ends inside, the filling should be completely enclosed. Then place open side down in your dish. Keep all parcels on one layer and gently warm the sauce and pour over. Cover and place in the pre-heated oven for 1 ½ hours, then remove the cover increase the oven temperature 20 degrees high and cook for a further 20 minutes uncovered.
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