"Silverbeet is the workhorse of the vegetable patch. Come rain or shine, cabbage moths or blight, the silverbeet just keeps growing," says Paulette Whitney. "We grow a variety called fordhook giant with deep green leaves and thick white stems; each part of the plant is delicious. When I'd had my first baby and thought I'd die of starvation if I had to eat another bite of hospital food my mum arrived with a tray of these silverbeet rolls and I think they saved my life. A complete meal in one small dish."
- 50 gm (¼ cup) long-grain rice
- 2 bacon rashers, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 500 gm coarsely minced beef
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp thyme, plus extra leaves to serve
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- Leaves from 1 bunch of silverbeet (about 10) stalks removed (reserve stalks for another use, such as silverbeet gratin)
- 400 ml tomato passata
- 100 ml beef or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Steamed rice and chopped flat-leaf parsley (both optional), to serve
- 1Cook rice in a large saucepan of boiling water until par-boiled (5 minutes). Drain well and set aside.
- 2Add bacon and onion to a frying pan over medium heat and stir occasionally until fat renders and onion is softened (10-12 minutes). Add garlic, stir to combine, then cool completely. Add beef, egg, thyme, mustard, paprika and ½ cup cooked rice, season to taste and combine well, then refrigerate until required.
- 3Preheat oven to 180°C. Place silverbeet leaves in a large colander placed in the sink. Pour boiling water over the leaves, lifting them out of the colander with tongs as they collapse. Cool under cold running water, then gently squeeze out excess water. Cut larger leaves in half.
- 4Spread each leaf flat on a work surface, spoon about ¼-cup mince mixture onto the top of each leaf, then roll to enclose filling, tucking the sides over as you go. Transfer to a small roasting pan, seam-side down (the rolls should fit snugly). Combine passata, stock, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves in a jug, season to taste and pour it over rolls. Cover with foil and bake until cooked (50 minutes to 1 hour). Top with extra thyme or chopped parsley and serve with rice.
Drink suggestion: A pint of dark ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.