I've been making this recipe for at least 25 years, and each time I do I'm reminded of how good they are. I think what makes this recipe unique, which was given to me by a Hungarian man... from Hungary, is that a whole bag of undrained sauerkraut is used in the cooking process. Here's the recipe if you feel inclined to try it. I usually make a lot (#19) and freeze them 2 to each container, but certainly you can cut the recipe in half. It's a long process, so for me it's worth it to make a lot and freeze them.
One VERY large head of cabbage, cored
1 lb. each of ground lamb, veal and pork
1 cup uncooked Uncle Ben's Rice
2 eggs, beaten
2 large cans Hunts Tomato Puree
One large bag of barrel cured sauerkraut, with liquid
Boil the whole cabbage in salted water, removing each leaf as it softens up and return cabbage to boiling water to again soften remaining leaves until you have desired amount of softened cabbage.
While waiting for the cabbage to boil, in a large bowl, mix together the 3 meats, then add the eggs, rice (uncooked) salt and pepper, mix well.
When handling the cabbage leaf, use care not to tear it, shave down the rib of the cabbage so it's easier to fold. Place a handful of meat mixture that you rolled in your hand to the shape of a fat sausage into the bottom middle part of the cabbage leaf, fold one time, tuck over the sides and continue rolling so you have something that looks like an egg roll.
In a large pot pour enough of the tomatoe puree to just cover the bottom, add about 1c of the sauerkraut, mix in a little bit, add one layer of the cabbage rolls, pour the puree on top to cover and then again the sauerkraut, continue the process until the rolls are about 3-4 inches from the top of the pot, finish with the puree and sauerkraut. This can't be covered b/c you can't stir it, so I put a Corelle plate on top to keep the cabbage from floating to the top. It must be started off on a medium heat (never high), and when it comes to a simmer lower it to medium low... After you get it to a good steady simmer it needs to cook for about 3-4 hours.
This is a labor of love for it really is an all day process, but when you realize you will get many meals out of it depending on how many you make, it's worth the time and effort.
We like to serve it with hot sauce and sour cream, and a big salad. If you're not sure about the recipe make just a few to see if you and your family will like it before you invest time and money into an all day affair. Everyone I've served it to has enjoyed it immensely and if you try it, I hope you do too!
I also love to make stuffed cabbages. My mom made them exactly as you do, even using the plate while they cooked. Now I put mine in the crock pot. Sometimes I make unstuffed cabbages, putting chopped cabbage in first, then make large meatballs out of the meat mixture, and continue with the other ingredients. It sure speeds things up and they taste exactly the same.
Now I'm hungry for stuffed cabbages!
Thanks for posting this!
DH's Hungarian-born grandma always made pork roast and cabbage rolls for a New Year's Day family dinner. I knew some of the details of how she made them just by listening, but I failed to get the complete recipe before she passed away. I remember her telling about weighting them down with a plate.
To realize now how much I'd cherish the memory of actually watching her do it makes me sad that I never took the opportunity to.
This looks really good! And sometimes good recipes need time!
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Very similar to my mother's recipe except for the addition of the sauerkraut. I'm going to have to try that!
Does this hat make my butt look big?
Two very special women in my life, my former MIL and a lovely neighbor we grew up with, made the absolute best, melt-in-your mouth stuffed cabbage rolls I've ever had the pleasure of eating.
Sadly, both are gone now and no written recipes exist. Irene, our former neighbor, had Hungarian roots and made her cabbage rolls with sauerkraut: she taught my Mom how to cook them by "show and tell."
My former MIL Martha was of Russian-Jewish descent, so there was no pork in her recipe and no sour cream on the side. I think the secret was that she ground her own beef using an ancient meat grinder handed down from her grandmother. Martha used chuck roast and ground it rather coarsely which made for a toothsome texture.
I also love stuffed cabbage! I was wondering , what do you serve with the stuffed cabbage?
They are so rich, you don't need much else. Perhaps garlic bread.
When I make them, I stack the rolls and in between the layers, I put the saurkraut, and sliced Kielbasi sausage. I also take the left over cabbage leaves and slice them up and put that in too. I also use diluted Hunts puree. No lamb, just ground beef and pork.
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