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These are filled with the filling my mother used, but the leaves are from my mother in law. There is a nice tang to this cabbage roll, and a bit nicer texture to the filling. It also doesn't have a "dirty rice" look. I hope you all like it.
- Core and soak the cabbage leaves, rinse them well and cut them to 5"X5" squares, or similar size triangles.
- Prepare the rice according to instructions, but use slightly less water and cook to al dente.
- Chop the bacon and saute until lightly browned, but not crisp.
- Add the chopped onion to the bacon and continue cooking until limp and transluscent.
- Season the rice with granulated garlic and season salt.
- Season the bacon and onion with a small amount of salt and pepper.
- Add the bacon and onion mixture to the rice and blend well. You can add a bit of the bacon fat as this helps hold the rice together.
- When the rice has cooled slightly (or overnight if you are soaking the cabbage leaves overnight) you may begin making the rolls.
- I try to keep the rolls to about a 3 bite size, and line them up tightly in a loaf pan.
- I like to make two layers, and then cover all with some of the spare leaves.
- Pour tomato juice or soup over all.
- Sprinkle slightly with salt and pepper.
- Bake at 300F for 2 hours to fully cook the leaves.
I loved this recipe! It was easy to make and delicious. The cured pork is what made these cabbage rolls so good. I actually used steamed fresh green cabbage and minced leftover holiday ham -- and it still came out great (though I'm sure it's even better with brined cabbage and cured bacon). The short grain rice gave this the perfect texture for the filling. I'll definitely be making again. Thanks for a real winner, winner Ukraine dinner, less2saw!