Thursday, October 25, 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.


Katarina said...

This gratin is a childhood memory for me! Delicious!

kat said...

oh! I love cabbage. I will have to make this soon!
Love your site!!

liisamarja said...

it's cabbage season! just made some cabbage rolls, i've started to use pearl barley instead of rice, more "local" and more fibre, and cooks faster...

and you're right, cabbage casserola absolutely needs syrup!

Jael said...

Yummy,kaalilaatikko! I love that but these days without meat.