This dish is not only beautiful, but can be made ahead of time, therefore being a great dish to serve for entertaining.
Olive oilfor sautéing and drizzling
1 1/2poundground venison
1 1/2quartscrushed tomatoes
3Tablespoonsflour mixed with 1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan. Sauté garlic for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, sugar,lemon juice and flour mixture to the pan and mix well. Heat until the mixture thickens and turn off the heat.
For the filling, place a skillet over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste and mix well.
In a large bowl, place ground venison, tomato mixture, rice, eggs, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and milk. Mix well.
Choose the largest cabbage leaves from your cabbage head. In a large stockpot bring water to a boil. Drop cabbage leaves into the water and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until pliable. Remove leaves from the pot and drain well. Place a about 1/4 cup of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place about 1/2 cup venison mixture into the center of the cabbage roll and roll the cabbage leaf from what was the stem over the mixture and enclose the mixture. Place the cabbage roll seam side down in the baking dish repeating with the other cabbage leaves. Place the cabbage rolls side by side in the dish. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the rolls.
Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls. Place the cabbage rolls in the oven for about 1 hour or until meat is cooked through.
Hint: Long grain rice can be substituted for short grain rice in this recipe, but I prefer the short grain because it is sticky and holds the roll together.