Recipe by Olha
These are fussy and time consuming to make, but when cabbage is plentiful in early fall, gather some helping hands and make a big batch to store in the freezer. The ingredients look long but they mix together in one bowl, quickly. Delicious as a meal on their own, or as a side dish for festive meal, no one ever refuses Cabbage Rolls! Some Cabbage tricks for 1 large cabbage. To make cabbage rolls, you need to remove each cabbage leaf from the core. Not a simple task. But here are a few ways. 1. With small sharp knife, cut out cabbage core as deeply as you can. Set whole cabbage in large pot of boiling water and simmer till leaves are tender. Drain in colander and cut off leaves one by one. If some center leaves are still firm, return them to pot and simmer. Then repeat process. Slice the thick vein of the cabbage leaf to make it thin with the leaf. 2. Place whole head of cabbage in plastic bag into freezer at least 2 days, before preparing cabbage rolls. Remove from freezer night before. Remove from the plastic bag, place in colander and allow frozen head to thaw slowly. In the morning core cabbage and limp leaves will separate easily. Pat them dry. 3. Same method as in number 1 except you wrap head of cabbage in waxed paper and heat in microwave till leaves are limp, returning to heat again if inner ones are stubbornly firm. Now you are ready to begin!
- 2 lbs lean ground meat (use beef, veal or lamb or a mixture)
- 1⁄2 cup grated onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄2 cup raw rice
- 1⁄4 cup ketchup
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes (796 mL)
- 2 (11 ounce) cans tomato sauce & mushrooms (312 mL)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup lemon juice
Directions See How It's Made
- For the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Place 1 heaping tablespoons in center of each leaf, folding in end and sides and rolling up to form a snug roll. Continue till all filling and leaves are used. Shred smaller remaining leaves.
- For the sweet and sour sauce combine ingredients in small bowl. If you can't find mushroom tomato sauce, then use tomato sauce.
- In large pot or roasting pan, layer shredded cabbage (any leaves not suitable for filling), place stuffed cabbage rolls and sauce on top of shredded cabbage. Continue till all are in pot. Simmer for 2 hours on stove top tightly covered, or cook in preheated 275 oven for 2 hours. Yield: 30 Cabbage Rolls.
- THE MEATLESS WAY: Substitute 3 cups cooked mixed beans, peas and lentils as you like. ( A good combination is cooked garbanzos (chickpeas) and brown lentils). Use 1 cup raw rice. Crush them as you combine with other ingredients. Continue as above. Season to taste.
- HUNGARIAN LAYERED CABBAGE: Use SAVOY cabbage for this dish as it softens when cooked. In a baking pan layer cabbage leaves, meat filling, and sauce, ending with sauce on top. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 1 hour. Keep warm till serving, cut in squares to serve.
- THE MEATLESS WAY: Try this same method as for Hungarian Layered Cabbage using grated raw potatoes instead of meat filling. Season with finely minced browned onions, salt and pepper. Top casserole with sauce. Bake 1 hour.
- MIDDLE EAST CABBAGE ROLLS: Use ground lamb, COOKED rice, and season with allspice and cinnamon. Layer rolls with lemon juice flavored chicken broth instead of Sweet and Sour Sauce. Cook as in main recipe.
- To Life!