Thursday, November 20

Stuffed Cabbage in Spicy Tomato Sauce

One of the highlights of the holiday season as a child was my Aunt Dolores's cabbage rolls. I never really thought about what was in them and didn't care. All that mattered is that they were delicious!
However, when I was in high school I went on a vegetarian kick and my mom informed me that I could no longer eat them because they had meat in them. What?! It's the only time I remember thinking "this whole vegetarian thing is bs." (Though I did stick it out for a few more years!)

These rolls are not the quickest or easiest thing to prepare so you may want to save them for a special occasion. The original recipe includes instructions for homemade tomato sauce but, trust me, you won't have time. If you do insist upon making your own feel free to google the recipe as I don't want to stress everyone else out!

They keep and reheat well so feel free to make the whole recipe even if you're cooking for one or two.

1 large head of cabbage
12 oz ground chuck
12 oz ground pork
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp hot paprika
3 cups spicy tomato sauce

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cabbage head and cook until outer leaves are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Peel outer layers of leaves and drain. Return remaining cabbage to water, and repeat until all leaves are cooked and removed. Pat each leaf dry with a kitchen towel. Select 12 large light green leaves.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using 2 forks, gently stir together beef, pork, rice, onion, parsley, paprika and 1 tbsp salt.
Working with one leaf at a time, slightly trim thick part of rib with a paring knife, leaving leaf intact. Arrange about 1/2 cup filling (less for smaller leaves) in center of each leaf. Fold stem end of cabbage over filling. Fold in sides of cabbage. Carefully roll cabbage over to form a package, overlapping ends to seal. Transfer each, seam side down, to a large, shallow baking dish.
Spread sauce over stuffed cabbage leaves. Cover with parchment-lined foil and bake until cooked through and cabbage is tender, about 1 hour.

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