Culinary Q

Q as in "cue" as in "to prompt." A recipe is only the beginning…

Stuffed Cabbage

The one other time I attempted making stuffed cabbage, I ended up with a bit of a mess because I didn’t know the trick to geting the cabbage leaves off the head intact and also pliable enough to roll and stay rolled.  But, this time – success!

I started with this Stuffed Cabbage recipe from Allrecipe.com, but, I made some changes, as noted.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 medium head cabbage
* water to cover
* 1 pound ground beef  [I used 2/3 beef to 1/3 pork.  Farmland grinds them together for you if you ask, but you have to order at least 1.5 lbs, total. I got 2 lbs total and froze the other lb for a later date.]
* 1 cup cooked rice
* garlic powder to taste [1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic and 1 tablspoon chopped fresh parsley]
* 1 egg
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can tomato juice [a 26 oz jar of pasta sauce in lieu of the rest of the ingredients, except for a bit of water to cover.]
* 1 tablespoon vinegar
* 1 tablespoon white sugar
* water to cover

DIRECTIONS

1. Place the head of cabbage in a large pot over high heat and add water to cover. Boil cabbage for 15 minutes, or until it is pliable and soft. Drain and allow to cool completely. Remove the hard outer vein from the leaves.
2. In a separate large bowl, combine the beef, rice, garlic powder and the egg, mixing well. Place a small amount, about the size of your palm, into the center of a cabbage leaf and fold leaf over, tucking in the sides of the leaf to keep meat mixture inside.
3. Pile up the filled leaves in a large pot, putting the larger leaves on the bottom. Add the tomato juice, vinegar and sugar and enough water to cover. Simmer over medium low heat for about 60 minutes. (Note: Keep an eye on them, making sure the bottom of leaves do not burn.)

The instructions for getting the cabbage leaves off really works.

the one cabbage from my garden

the one cabbage from my garden

First, I cored the cabbage.  Not a major operation, but just some of the inner stem.

kind of hard to see, but some of the core removed

kind of hard to see, but I removed some of the core

Next, I brought a pot of water to boil and gently place the cabbage in the pot.  Within a minute or two, the leaves started getting really loose.

peelaway1

peelaway

I kept carefully peeling off the leaves as they loosend and, once I had about 14 leaves peeled off, I removed the rest of the cabbage and let the removed leaves simmer for another 5 minutes.  Then I drained and rinsed them in cold water.

In the meantime, I had to cook some rice.  I was disappointed that I had not thought to put the rice on sooner because I wanted to use brown rice and that takes longer than white rice.  But, I then noticed that there were microwave instructions on the long-grain brown rice package.   (Obviously not Lundberg brand – at least I can’t imagine they have microwave instrcutions on their rice.  I’ll have to double check one of these days.)

Anyway, I decided to try microwaving the rice.  Click HERE for the instructions I used.

Here is the deal.  It was passable for use in stuffed cabbage and the stuffed eggplant I make a few days later, but it really didn’t cook much more quickly than if I had cooked it stovetop.  And DO NOT microwave brown rice for use as a side dish!!!!  YUCK!  The texture is awful.

Okay, back to the stuffed cabbage.  After cooling the cabbage and mixing up the meat with the other stuffing ingredients, I put it all together. As noted in the recipe, just a plam-full is enough for each roll.

palmfull

Then, roll away!

roll1

roll2

roll3

rolled

manyrolls

And here they are, ready to go into the pot.  By the way, that god-awful looking cookie tray and that scratched up red plastic thing is my “raw meat” cutting board.  I really need to get a regular board to dedicate to raw meat! But, in the meantime, it works and contains any straying liquids.  BOB, don’t read this!  Bob is is friend of mine who is vegetarian.  For a vegetarian option, tempeh, bulgar wheat, and/or ground/finely chopped seitan (wheat gluten) would be excellent in a stuffed cabbage.

The final step is to coat the bottom of a big pot (I used my 6 quart dutch oven) with a thin layer of sauce/juice, add the cabbage rolls, cover with sauce/juice, and add a bit of water if you need to have the liquid cover, or just about cover the cabbage rolls.

simmering

Then, simmer for an hour or so until tender.

I was pleased with the results, although both my husband and I noted that these were not like our Mom’s.  I will try it with the tomato juice/vinegar/sugar next time – unless I borrow back my Mom’s recipe box from my sister-in-law Lorraine and try my Mom’s recipe first.  (We take turns having the recipe box at each of our homes.) I am pretty sure her “Glopskies” had stewed tomatoes in them.  Hey Lori – remember Glopskies?  (Long story….BUT, that reminds me, I need to get the “girls” together to make what my Mom called Chris Chickies, a Polish version of bow pastries. )

ANYWAY – this is a great basic recipe for stuffed cabbage.  And the possible variations are endless for all, whether you are omnivore or vegetarian. A winner, all around.

[Disclaimer – I am way too tired to proofread this.  Please ignore typos unless they could cause an grievous error in the kitchen.  🙂 ]

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3 comments on “Stuffed Cabbage

  1. yvonne
    10/05/2009

    I’ve become devoted to my rice cooker. I used to scoff at rice cookers thinking I knew how to cook rice and very rarely messed it up. Once I tried a rice cooker, I was sold. It’s especially good for cooking brown rice. I cook two cups of raw brown rice every week in the cooker and then cool it and leave it in the fridge. It reheats easily in the micorwave. I also use it cold on salads. Anyway, with the rice cooker I can have perfect brown rice in about 45 mins. (for the two cup portion, probably less time for smaller quantities). I have an Aroma brand cooker bought at Costco for around $25.

    Your recipe looks good although I do not like stuffed cabbage.

  2. Susan Calabrese
    09/06/2011

    Great receipe. The tip for getting the cabbage leaves off works really well. I used homemade pasta sauce from the garden for the liquid and I cooked it in the oven at 375 for an hour. I used my dutch oven. I did use a mixture of ground beef and pork and I used Basmati rice because I did not have brown rice. I think would prefer using brown rice or some other grain next time. I will for sure be making this again!

    • Wendy Dennis
      09/06/2011

      Glad you liked it! 🙂

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This entry was posted on 10/02/2009 by in Beef, Entree, Pork.
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