Cabbage Rolls, Grandma's Recipe

Kathie Carr Recipe

By Kathie Carr kathiecc

30 Min
1 Hr 30 Min

Grandma didn't make these often but when she did we all loved them.

Old fashioned cabbage rolls take a lot of time and have to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours (depending on how many you cook and how closely they are packed into the pan), so don't plan on making them if you are in a hurry. This is a dish best made by a group or family together. You can set up an "assembly line" and make a big bunch. They freeze well so we think its worth the effort.

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8 large
whole cabbage leaves
1 large
sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 can(s)
(28 ounces) crushed tomatoes (grandma used home canned)
2 clove
garlic, minced
2 c
1 lb
lean ground beef
1 lb
bulk sausage
1/2 c
diced sweet onion
1 Tbsp
salt (less if you prefer)
1 tsp
1/2-1 tsp
garlic salt
1 large
egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c
tomato paste
1 1/2 c
cooked rice

Directions Step-By-Step

Steam or microwave the cabbage leaves until tender. Let cool. Cut out a 2- to 3-inch wedge of the tough stalk from the bottom of the leaves, taking care to leave the rest intact. Set aside.
Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with vegetable (I use olive) oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and toss to coat. Cover and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Add tomatoes, garlic cloves, and water. Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, stir together the ground beef, sausage, diced onions, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, tomato paste, and rice. Divide meat mixture into 8 portions.

Place each meat portion at the curled tip of a cabbage leaf. Fold the top of the leaf down over the stuffing, fold the sides of the cabbage leaves in toward the center, and roll up to enclose the filling.
Place cabbage rolls seam-side down in a deep, heavy pan, skillet, or Dutch oven. Top with the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat about 1 ½ hour. Depending on how close together the rolls are and how big your pan is these may take up to 2 ½ hours. If you double the recipe it is better to cook them in two batches. It is very important to be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef

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Susan Rogers MeemaRogers
Aug 13, 2012
I just love cabbage rolls and haven't had them nearly often enough! ;) I quit eating pork a couple of years ago. Do you think I could make this without that? And if so, what else do you think I might do to adjust the recipe? Thanks! And good luck with this recipe!
Kathie Carr kathiecc
Aug 16, 2012
I see no reason why you couldn't use ground turkey in this recipe instead of pork. We don't eat much pork but once in a while its good. I would like to know how it turns out if you try it with turkey (or even with all beef). I have never tried it that way but I don't think I would ajust the seasonings or anything else. Best wishes.