Josephine Gresko's Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Recipe by pittgal
READY IN: 3hrs 15mins
SERVES: 8-10
YIELD: 28 rolls




  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add a cabbage. Reduce heat slightly and blanch cabbage, turning a few times, about 5 minutes, until leaves begin loosening and look translucent.
  • With cabbage in water, use long-handled fork or tongs to pull off leaves as they loosen.
  • Remove what's left of cabbage and repeat with other cabbage.
  • Don't discard inner leaves or broken leaves. Reserve water.
  • Let cabbage cool.
  • In large bowl or tub, put ground beef, onion, celery, rice, eggs, parsley flakes, garlic salt, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  • Mix well with hands, adding 1/4 cup water if mixture feels "tight.".
  • With paring knife, trim thick cores from outer sides of cabbage leaves. Coarsely chop smaller leaves and cabbage bits; strew half in bottom of an 18-by-10-by-3-inch heavy-duty foil roasting pan.
  • Pour reserved cabbage water over sauerkraut in a colander to rinse more, if you like.
  • Drain well.
  • Strew half the kraut over cabbage in pan.
  • Pour in half the crushed tomatoes and 1 cup tomato juice.
  • Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
  • For rolls, shape about 1/4 cup meat into a sausage (not too tight) for a large leaf, less for a smaller leaf.
  • Put filling on the bottom of the leaf, and fold the bottom over the filling, pressing inches
  • Then fold in the sides, pressing and rolling, but not too tight, not worrying if a leaf breaks.
  • Filled leaves are placed seam-side down in pan, in even rows, 5 or 6 across, making 25 to 28 rolls.
  • Strew remaining chopped cabbage (chop any unused leaves) and sauerkraut over the rolls.
  • Top with remaining crushed tomatoes and tomato juice.
  • Salt and pepper generously.
  • Rinse crushed tomato can with about 1/2 can water.
  • Pour water over top; don't worry about mixing it.
  • Cover pan tightly with foil.
  • Bake in 325-degree oven 1 hour. (Check after 30 minutes to be sure it's bubbling. If not, turn oven to 350 degrees.).
  • After 1 hour, reduce temperature to 250 degrees. Bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, until rolls are tender and meat and rice fully cooked (cut open a roll to check).