Cabbage Rolls Recipe

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Cabbage rolls

Cynthia Weaver


Jewish cooking is truly inspiring and my friend's mom and aunts prepared some of the most flavorful stuffed cabbage leaves I've ever had the pleasure to eat. I don't know what they called them, but I call them cabbage rolls.

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a group


1 Hr


2 Hr


Stove Top


1 large
head of green cabbage
1 1/2 lb
ground beef, turkey, veal, chicken in any combination you like
32 oz
tomato puree
8 oz
tomato sauce
2 large
yellow or white onions, chopped and sauteed
1 1/2 tsp
each, salt and pepper
1 tsp
paprika, sweet mild
1 half tsp
cloves of garlic (or powdered equivalent)
2 Tbsp
worcestershire sauce
eggs, beaten
1 c
bread crumbs, dry
1 box
stock - beef, chicken or vegetable (use 8 oz./1 c. to start, reserve the rest)


4 c
cooked rice, if desired
stock as needed

Directions Step-By-Step

Blanche the cabbage whole, with the core removed, in a large pot of boiling, salted water. The pot should be large enough to submerge the cabbage completely. I use a stock pot with the large strainer for easy removal of the cabbage. You want to boil the cabbage long enough to make the larger leaves malleable for rolling later but not fully cooked. When the water returns to boiling after submerging the head of cabbage, let it boil for 3 minutes and remove. Set aside to allow it to cool for handling.
Mix ground meats together with the onion (which has been sauteed in a pan with a some oil or other fat), and add salt and pepper, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce and beaten eggs. Set this aside.
Combine tomato puree and sauce in a large sauce pot. Add garlic (diced fresh or powdered), cumin and paprika. Heat on medium-low heat, covered.
Remove one leaf of cabbage at a time, shaving off the end portion of the large cabbage leaf stalk to make it more manageable, until the leaves are easily rolled without removing any of the stem. After prepping the leaves, place a generous tablespoonful of meat mixture inside the large end of the cabbage leaf and roll it up. Use a toothpick to skewer the roll together if needed. Decrease the amount of meat mixture as the leaves become smaller. Repeat until all the meat is used or you run out of cabbage leaves. Place each roll on a platter until ready to cook them all together; this will ensure even cooking.
When you have all your rolls done, place them gently into the tomato sauce you have cooking on the stove. Add stock or more sauce to the pot if needed to cover all the rolls and cover. Turn the heat up to medium and allow to simmer gently for 45 minutes. Check it frequently during cooking as you may need to add more liquid (sauce or stock or water). If the sauce begins boiling too hard, turn the heat down to medium low - you don't want the cabbage rolls to come apart or become too mushy. After 45 minutes, remove one of the larger rolls and check it to be sure it is fully cooked. (Use a meat thermometer or simply cut it in half and check it to be sure there is no pink color and that it is piping hot inside.)
To serve, remove from pan, place on a platter of heaped rice and drizzle sauce over the top (remove any toothpicks!). If serving as an appetizer or side, you may want to leave the toothpicks in and omit the drizzle of sauce for a neater presentation.

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