As a child we would go to my Grandma's house every Sunday for dinner and this was my favorite meal. I asked her how to make it and she never measured ingredients so it was hard for her to tell me. One day I went early to her house to watch her make it and after she did each ingredient, I measured it. Then I would go home and try on my own. It took a few tries to get it like she did, but I finally succeeded. Family and friends have made this and it has become a staple in their family too.
Few days prior to making buy a med to lg head of cabbage and freeze it. Defrost a day before using.
Seperate cabbage leaves and thin down the core on each leaf. Set leaves aside. Use unused cabbage to line bottom of pan.
Prepare pan by placing all unused cabbage on bottom. Add Large onion cut in to quarters.
Prepare meat for filling by placing 2 LBS of ground beef in bowl. Add 1 egg, 3/4 cup cooked rice, 1/2 grated onion, handful of flavored Italian breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Hold a cabbage leaf in your hand, thick side facing your wrist, and put in some of the meat mixture. Fold bottom of cabbage leaf into center forming a log and continue to roll until whole leaf is rolled. Push sides into roll to secure . Continue this with each cabbage leaf until all is used. If there is any left over cabbage, you can line pot with it or make cabbage soup with rest.(You'll need a recipie for that)
Place all cabbage rolls into pot. Add 1 large can crushed tomatoes and a large can of tomato paste to pot. Also add 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar. This makes for a sweet & sour sauce. (Depending on your taste you might want to add some salt to sauce). I don't. Cook for 3-3.5 hrs on low. Shake pan occasionally so cabbage won't stick. I recommend using a teflon pot.
I serve with Orzo(made with beef broth instead of water) mixed with diced fried onion and mushrooms and some sauce on top. Note: This dish is easier than it sounds . It also tastes better if served the next day. This allows the blending of all ingredients to merge. Many have asked me for this recipie and told me they loved it! It's up to you to try......let me know your results.