Now that there is a slight chill back in the air I immediately start thinking of comfort food dishes. This stuffed cabbage recipe certainly fits the bill. I made it a few times last year and have now arrived at the perfect combination of ingredients for this recipe. Perfect for me, that is! Not sure how much weight that carries considering I’m Italian and this is a Polish/Hungarian dish. On that note, I will mention that my fiance is Ukranian and absolutely loves them!
Rolling up the leaves does require some time. I happen to love doing it, I find it fun. As you will see from the recipe below, this makes roughly 20 rolls! Since it’s just the two of us, we can eat this for dinner twice during the week as well as bring them for lunch almost everyday. So that’s what we’ve been doing. And no, we’re not sick of them yet!
To be honest, they get better as the days go on.
Here’s what you will need to serve 6-8 people (roughly 20 cabbage rolls)…
1 large dutch oven
Savoy Cabbage – 2 medium or large heads
2 lbs chop meat (sirloin & pork)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt & pepper
2 28 oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes
2 cans low-sodium tomato juice (soda can size)
2 large spanish onions, sliced
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
The cabbage: There are 2 ways you can tackle the head of cabbage. First option is to remove the core (I find this difficult to do) and place the entire head of cabbage in a large pot of boiling water. As the leaves soften they will start to break away from the head. With tongs gently remove each leaf, one at a time, as it softens. Lay on a tray to cool.
The other method is to turn the cabbage upside down and gently cut eat piece off near the core. Once you slice through the first leaf, gently pull the leaf away from the head of cabbage. Place each leaf in a large pot of boiling water until softened. Lay on a tray to cool.
For the sauce, pour the whole, peeled tomatoes into a food processor and pulse until broken up. Pour into a bowl and add the cans of tomato juice. Add salt & pepper to taste.
To make the meat mixture, simply add the brown rice, onions, garlic, parsley and 1-2 ladles of the sauce to the chop meat and mix well. I like to use a combination of sirloin and pork for the filling. You can always add veal to this as well.
Now for the fun part. Assembling! Ok, lay one cabbage leaf down and cut the end portion of the core out. Place a small palmful of meat onto the leaf and roll. I like to fold the sides in first and then roll up. It’s best to use all the large leaves from the cabbage, it gets difficult to roll the smaller ones. That’s why I suggest to buy 2 heads of cabbage.
In the bottom of a large dutch oven place one layer of flat cabbage leaves, overlapping slightly. Spread some sliced onions over the cabbage leaves. Lay each stuffed cabbage roll, seam side down, in a single layer, on top of the onions. Pour a few ladles of sauce over the cabbages. Place another layer of sliced onions. Now for the 2nd layer, go ahead and place the rolled up cabbages in another single layer, pour a few ladles of sauce over the cabbages, now some more onions. You get the picture. Continue until all your stuffed cabbages are in the pot. I usually get 3 layers in my big pot. This is what my 2nd layer looked like…
Let me take a moment here to state how much I love this red Le Creuset pot (above). Love. Cooks soups, stews and stuffed cabbage like a dream. Cleans beautifully. Love. Ok, moving on…
Pour any and all remaining sauce over the top of the last layer. If all cabbages are not submerged in liquid, add water to the pot until they are submerged. If you have any leftover cabbage, you can thinly slice (shred) some leaves and place on top of the rolls. Place a lid on the pot and put in the oven. Bake for roughly 2.5 to 3 hours.
Low. And. Slow. Then, you will be rewarded with this…