Make Ahead

Braised lamb in cabbage leaves

August  5, 2012
0 Ratings
Author Notes

Lamb braised with woodsy spices, wrapped in cabbage leaves, and drizzled with an herb cream sauce. —fiveandspice

  • Makes about 16 rolls
  • Braised lamb
  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder (bone in) cut into about 8 chunks
  • 5-7 ramps cleaned and minced (or 2 shallots)
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 7 black peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • Cabbage rolls and cream sauce
  • 8 (or so) large savoy cabbage leaves, sliced in half (along the center rib) and ribs removed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped chervil (wild or gardened) or parsley (chopped basically to a paste)
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • braised lamb (from above)
In This Recipe
  1. Braised lamb
  2. Sprinkle the lamb generously with salt. In a Dutch oven brown the lamb in batches then transfer to a plate.
  3. In the fat remaining in the pot, brown the ramps over medium-high heat. Then, stir in the spices. Return the lamb to the pot along with any juices that have accumulated. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot tightly and transfer to a 325F oven. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, or until the lamb is extremely tender. Remove from the oven. Refrigerate overnight, then scoop off the hardened fat and reheat gently in the oven.
  1. Cabbage rolls and cream sauce
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and blanch for about 3-4 minutes, until tender. Remove from the water and transfer to paper towels to dry.
  3. In a small pot, melt the butter until foaming, add the shallot and cook until softened. Then, stir in the cream and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer the cream for a couple of minutes, then stir in the chervil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. In each half cabbage leaf, place a spoonful of braised lamb. Roll the cabbage leaf tightly around the lamb in a shape that is flat on one end and comes to a sort of point on the other end. Arrange each cabbage roll on a plate. Drizzle with warm chervil cream and serve.

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.