This recipe has been in my family for years and is scaled to feed a large group of people (the whole family and extended family). My grandmother "bubba" would make these for special holidays such as Christmas and Easter and we would all savor every single morsel of them. These are awesome with a nice loaf of dark rye bread and some mashed potatoes. So invite your whole family and the neighbors, or make the whole batch and freeze some for later! These freeze great in tupperware containers, and make a great last minute supper when reheated! Yummm!
1Get a big stock pot started to boil on the stove, and add just a pinch of salt.
While you are waiting for water to boil, wash and remove the core from two heads of cabbage.
Once your water is boiling, add 1 head of cabbage to the boiling water let cabbage boil until the leaves begin to loosen and fall of easily from the head. Use a sturdy set of tongs or a long meat fork to start pulling them off as they are cooked and place them in a colander to cool. Keep pulling the leaves off one by one until you get to the really small leaves, because you only want leaves that are large enough to fill with meat. I save the rest of the small head in the fridge to use for Haluski later.
After you are finished with the first head, repeat with the second. Save your cabbage water as you will use this for flavor later.
2Now you will prepare the filling :}
First you will prepare the minute rice according to the directions cooking the ENTIRE box. Yes, the entire box. Trust me on this.
While rice is cooking you can put your ground meat in a large mixing bowl, and dice your onions to add to the meat.
Add your cooked rice to the bowl after it has cooled a bit because you are going to mix this with your hands. Mix meat, onions, and rice until completely combined and add salt and pepper to taste. (My grandmother never measures..just a generous pinch of each)
3Now it is time to fill and roll your cabbages. Everyone in my family has their own technique, but I will try to walk you through my easy method.
1. Get a cooled cabbage leaf and lay it flat on your
workspace. Use a small sharp knife to "fillet" off
the tough vein that you will find running through
the center of it.
2. Grab a hand full of your meat filling about the
size of a large egg and place on the leaf near the
bottom. (you will be rolling from the bottom up)
3. Roll up filling in leaf about half-way and then
you are going to fold in the left side and right
sides of the cabbage to "tuck it in".
4. Roll up all of the way and start stacking these
babies on a tray. Keep filling and rolling until
you have used all of your leaves.
5. Any left over filling can be rolled into a ball
place in the roaster to cook. We call these
porcupine balls. Usually the kids who don't like
cabbage will eat these :}
4Now it is time to put it ALL together to bake. This recipe is extensive...but it is WORTH THE TIME!
You will need a large roasting pan or a large electric roaster.
1. Open, drain,and,rinse your sauerkraut with water.
2. Slice your kielbassi into 1/2 inch slices.
3. Open your cans of tomato soup crushed tomatoes and
mix them in a pitcher or something with a lip as
you will be pouring this mixture into the roaster.
Add 5 cups of your saved cabbage water to this mix.
Use a spoon to stir this mix together.
4. Pour just enough of your tomato mixture into the
bottom of the roasting pan to create a nice base
for your cabbage rolls.
5. Layer your cabbage rolls neatly into the roaster.
6. Sprinkle some sauerkraut and kielbassi on top of
the cabbage rolls, and pour some tomato mix on top
7. Continue with another layer of cabbage, kraut,
kielbassi and sauce.
8. Keep up this layering process until you have used
all of your cabbage rolls. If you have leftover
sauce, generously pour the remaining over the
5Make sure that your oven or roaster has been preheated to 350 degrees. Cover your roaster with a layer of foil to keep in the moisture first and then a lid.
Now cook for about 2hr. and 30 min. and prepare for your house to smell WONDERFUL!.