My Grannie Lee made these frequently when I was growing up. We had these anytime we had a large family gathering.
My Grannie Lee lived next door to a Hungarian lady who taught her how to make these cabbage rolls.
I know these are a little labor intensive, but they make a huge batch, and freeze very well.
1Wash cabbage, and run a sharp knife all around the core. Put one of the heads of cabbage in a large bowl, add 1/2 cup water, cover loosely with plastic wrap and put in microwave. Cook on high to start maybe 6 minutes.
2It works better if you put the core side down into water. Save the inner leaves that are too small and bits and pieces. You will use these later.
3Steam repeatedly, until you have removed all the cabbage leaves. You will have to steam a little, remove a few leaves, cover and repeat until all leaves are free.
4In a large bowl combine the meats, shortning, rice,1/3 cup puree,and salt and pepper. That's your filling
5You might have to remove some of the larger thicker veins in some of the cabbage leaves.
6In each leaf put some filling at the thick end in the middle about 1 inch from the end.
7Fold end over filling, tuck both sides up around filling, and roll.Repeat until all leaves are used
8In a large roaster, spray with non stick spray, and place a layer of unused pieces of cabbage, that will prevent the rolls from sticking.
9Put a layer of cabbage rolls to cover bottom, cover with half the sauerkraut and all the tomatoes.
10Add another layer of cabbage rolls, cover with rest of sauerkraut, and spread the puree over the top.
11Too many rolls? Just make 2 layers then and finish with sauerkraut and puree.
12Add water just until you see it come up on sides of pan.
13Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 4 hours.
14You should make these the day before you need them.Next day bake at 350 degrees until hot maybe 1 1/2 hours.
15The sauerkraut is served on the side, and all you need is bread and butter with this.