Recipe by Alan Leonetti
This is a dish from the Ukraine that was brought to the United States during the late 1800's or early 1900's by my maternal grandmother, Anna Buhal'tsev (Bell) Mersky, who came from Smela Gubernyia, which is near Cherkassy and Kiev in the Ukraine. It is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!
- 2 (16 ounce) cans jellied cranberry sauce (jelled not whole)
- 2 (16 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 cups tap water
- 1⁄4 cup warm water
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white raisins
- 2 heads green cabbage
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 3⁄4 cup raw rice
- 1 egg
- 3 saltine crackers (soaked & squeezed)
- 1 medium onion (grated)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- salt and pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- Combine the cranberry sauce, tomato sauce, 2 cups tap water and brown sugar and bring to boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and add white raisins.
- Simmer 5 minutes.
- Core the heads of cabbage and place into a large pot.
- Cover with boiling water.
- Cover the pot and cook 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from hot water.
- Then cover the cabbage with cold water and separate the leaves.
- You may have to replace the inner half of the cabbage into the hot water, in order to soften the rest of the leaves.
- When the rest of the cabbage is done, place that into the cold water and separate those leaves.
- In a mixing bowl place the raw ground meat, raw rice, 1 egg, 3 saltine crackers that are soaked and squeezed dry, graded onion, 1/4 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon ketchup, salt and pepper to taste.
- After mixing the meat mixture well, fill the cabbage leaves with the meat mixture, rolling them closed, and place the large golf ball sized balls into a deep roasting pan.
- Cover with the tomato sauce mixture.
- Cover the pan with the lid or with heavy duty aluminum foil and bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for 1 hour.
- Remove the cover and continue to bake at 375 degrees for an additional hour.
- You can either serve immediately or freeze until needed.