Juliann's StoryI have told you all about my Mexican grandmother, Maria and her wonderful recipes. Now I am going to tell you about my other grandmother, Julia, My dad's mother. She was born in Budapest Hungary. She would always have a most delicious meal or dessert on the stove or in the oven. She like my grandmother, Maria, was an excellant cook. One of my favorite dishes was her Stuffed cabbage rolls or as she called them Pigs in The Blanket. She taught me some wonderful dishes. She knew I loved to watch her cook. Here is her recipe. LOL
lean ground pork
long grain raw rice
fresh garlic mashed or put through a garlic press
sweet vidalia onion diced small
cans (28 ounces each) whole canned tomatoes mashed down with a fork
sauerkraut rinsed, do not use canned sauerkraut
4 or 5 slice
salt pork, or thick bacon rendered down first.
very large whole cabbage, cabbage shoud be smooth no tears
ground black pepper
1Fill very large heavy pot with about 16 ounces of water. Add a few grains of salt to the water put on stove to boil. Take large head cabbage and cut the core leval so the cabbage will stay sitting core side down in the pot. Cover and steam for about five minutes. Remove cabbage from the pot onto a large baking pan, like a lasagna pan. Slowly remove the leaves whole making sure not to tear them. This takes a while do all the cabbage like this when you get to some of the leaves that are hard again put cabbage head back into the pot and steam for about four minutes more until leaves start to soften. Again remove head to the large pan careful not to burn yourself. Remove the leaves very gently so they do not tear. Do not throw the large outer leaves nor the small leaves (inner part) of the cabbage away. Save them when you have taken all of the leaves off set them all aside. Leaves should be pliable and soft enough to roll around a ball of ground meat.
2Next take your salt pork or you can use thick bacon if you dont have salt pork and render down in a large heavy pot. When the salt pork or bacon gets crisp remove from the pot to a seperate dish. In the rendered fat left in the pot add one of the diced onions and the mashed garlic saute until the onion is limp. Now add the mashed tomatos and the tomato juice. Now add the tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, the peppercorns and the bay leaves. Simmer this sauce with the broken down tomatos in it for 5 minutes. While the sauce simmers go to the next step.
3In a large bowl combine and mix both of the ground meats. Add remaining diced onion, the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, ground black pepper, raw rice, and the eggs. Mix well with your hands so as to incorporate everything very well. Let sit for a bit about five minutes. While the meat is resting open package of sauerkraut put in a colander or strainer and rinse under cool water. Leave over a bowl so the sauerkraut drains well.
4Now take your meat and and roll about the size of a meatball in your palm, next take a cabbage leaf and put the meat at the base of the cabbage leaf and flatten the meat ball so it looks more like a sausage and roll the cabbage leaf around the meat. Continue to roll around the meat and then if the sides are to long take a knife and cut the sides down a little and then tuck each side of the cabbage leaf into the roll. Set the rolls in a pan seam side down. Do all of them like this until you have used all of the ground meat and used all of the cabbage leaves. There is always all the little ends that you cut off put them aside and the large outer leaves that you have saved and the inner small cabbage leaves.
5Now you are going to assemble everything together. In a very large cooking pot. First get two ladlefuls of sauce and pour into the bottom of the pot. Begin to lay your little cabbage rolls all around on top of the sauce. Next get a handfull of the sauerkraut and sprinke over the cabbage rolls. Now get the crispy salt pork or bacon and lay the pieces over the cabbage rolls. Now get two more laddles of sauce and pour over the bacon and cabbage rolls. Now take more cabbage rolls and lay across the other rolls using them all. Now take some more of the saurkraut and sprinke over the cabbage rolls. Add another two ladlefulls of sauce over the rest of the rolls and take all of the pieces of cut up cabbage pieces and sprinkle over the rolls. Now take the the small cabbage leaves and cover all of the rolls. Put some more sauce over them and finally take the large outer leaves cover the small leaves if there is any sauce left pour over the top. Cover with a tight lid and over a low flame cook for two and half hours. do not uncover or disturb while cooking. After the time has passed check one cabbage roll cut in half if the rice is cooked cabbage rolls are done.
6Sometimes my grandmother Julia would slice up delicious Hungarian sausage and cook it in the pot with the cabbage rolls. It is very hard to find hungarian sausage around here if you can find it it gives the pigs a wonderful flavor. Serve with crusty bread and cold beer. Delicious. Enjoy