Golubtsy ... Wrapped in Spring Greens

Golubtsy, a Russian peasant dish which is so good it deserves to be eaten by Royalty!

Simply put, it's minced pork in cabbage leaves. I like to keep the pork part as simple as possible and so I tend to just spice the pork with cayenne pepper and paprika - more paprika than cayenne pepper. I also used some asofiteda.

No cooking ... just mix the ingredients cold.

The pork stuffing often bulked with rice, but no need here - just use a lot of spiced pork.

Rather than cabbage, I used spring greens. At their peak, these spring greens were long, vibrant and not too stalky. The trick is to snip out enough woody stalk so that you can roll up the leaves easily, but leave enough to give it some strength.

Wilt the leaves in hot water and wrap around the spiced pork, packing the parcels neatly into an ovenproof dish topped up with chicken stock.

Cook for a couple of hours at 180C (so, erm ... 350F? 375F?) ... ish ... it's not like the exact temperature really matters.

Meanwhile, make up a sauce.

I like finely chopped onions, garlic and a can of peeled plum tomato with some chilli and a lot of parsley.

Cook this down so it is not wet. I also blended the sauce so that it was really smooth.

Last, grated some carrot and cucumber, and shred some spring onion. Mix with some chopped dill.

Hungry? Serve up!

Spread out the tomato sauce onto a plate and place the Golubtsi one by one onto the plate. Surround with the grated carrot and cucumber.

Cover with a good glob of Smetana!

This is a soured cream, fattier and creamier than regular soured cream, so perhaps just mix in a good tablespoon of double cream into a regular soured cream if you can't find the genuine article.