Kamis, 25 Oktober 2012

Finnish mince and cabbage gratin

Finnish mince and cabbage dish / Soome kapsa-hakklihavorm

You've already got the recipe for the Estonian cabbage and mince stew (recommended!), here's a Finnish version that's similar, yet totally different. Whereas Estonians like their mince and cabbage as a stew alongside some boiled carrots, the Finns throw in some rice (and syrup or honey - they've got a sweeter tooth!), layer it into a oven dish and bake it slowly until done.

Both are lovely. You could even make a large batch of the Estonian one, and use any leftovers for the Finnish version on the next day :)

The traditional condiment is lingonberry jam (you'll find a jar in your nearest IKEA store), but sour cream works just as well.

Finnish mince and cabbage gratin
(Kapsa-hakklihavorm riisiga)
Serves 6

150 ml short-grain "porridge" rice, uncooked
400 ml water
0.5 tsp salt

about 1 kg white cabbage, finely shredded
1 onion
400 g beef mince
1 tsp salt
0.25 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram
1-2 Tbsp sugar syrup or honey (or use cornsyrup, maple syrup or even agave nectar)
400 ml beef stock

Place rice, salt and water into a saucepan, bring into a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the rice has absorbed the water. Remove from the heat and put aside.
Chop the onion. Put beef mince and onion into a large and heavy frying pan and fry until slightly browned. Season with salt, pepper and marjoram, then add to the rice.
Add the cabbage to the frying pan, season with a bit of salt and heat, stirring regularly, until the cabbage is slightly coloured and "collapsed". Season with syrup, then combine with the rice and the fried minced beef.
Pour into a medium-sized oven casserole dish, pour beef stock on top.
Bake in a preheated 200 C oven for one hour to one hour and 15 minutes. Use your judgement and cover the dish with a piece of foil at the end, if necessary.