Cabbage Roll Newbie
On a whim I decided to try my hand at making cabbage rolls like my Polish neighbour used to make when I was a little girl. Cabbage rolls are not a dish that I have made on my own so a little research was needed to find a suitable recipe that would taste authentic. I found three that sounded promising but they all used canned tomato soup, of which I am not a fan. After consulting some friends for their sauce tips and family recipes I settled on a large can of tomato juice and a jar of passata (pureed tomatoes) to take the place of the tomato soup.
Babcia Knows Best
I am compelled to give you fair warning at this point , it is a long , labour intensive process. You will want to clear the better part of an afternoon or enlist help from family or friends. Preparation is the key to success but also the part that takes the longest. I now understand why the Polish Babcia’s would gather together and make a day of it, many hands make light work.The steps laid out in the recipe will help you organize the process if you are a #CabbageRollNewbie like me.
Do you have a favorite cabbage roll recipe or a secret that your Babcia shared to make the most tasty rolls? Share it with me in the comments, I would love to know.
- 1 large head of cabbage
- 1 ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 cup minced bacon
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1-24oz jar tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
- 1- 1.36 litres can tomato juice
- 1 tablespoon of corn syrup(optional)
- Step 1 - Boiling the cabbage leaves.Fill a large pot or stock pot with water and set it to boil. Cut the core out of your cabbage and place it whole into the boiling water.As the cabbage starts to cook the leaves will loosen and you can start to peel the outerleaves off the head.
- They only need to cook about 5 minutes, as the loosened leaves are ready remove them from the water and set on a clean cloth to cool.repeat the process of loosening the outer leaves till you have the whole cabbage separated.
- After they are cooled you can cut the thicker stems out, if the leaves are very large you can slice them in half.Any leftover cabbage leaves can be placed in the bottom of your baking pan to be cooked with the rolls.
- Step 2- Cook and cool your rice according to the package directions.
- Step 3-Sauté the onions, garlic, green pepper and bacon with the butter until the onions are soft and translucent. Set aside to cool .
- Step 4- In a large bowl assemble your cooked and cooled rice,sauteed mixture, salt, pepper, paprika,oregano, chopped parsley, ground beef and pork and eggs.Mix using hands or large spoon until well combined.
- Step 5-Prepare a large, deep baking pan, roaster or two 13x9 baking dishes by laying any extra cabbage leaves in the bottom.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 6-Making the rolls, take one cabbage leaf and place about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of filling at the end of a leaf and start to roll the leaf around the filling tucking in the edges as you roll.Place the roll in the baking pan making sure they are snuggly placed beside eachother to stop them from opening up while cooking.
- Step 7 -Mix tomato juice and tomato passata together in a large jug or bowl, add a tablespoon of corn syrup, salt and pepper to taste.Pour over the cabbage rolls so that it fully covers the cabbage. Cover and bake for 2hrs.
- Serve with sour cream on the side and mashed potatoes or perigois, shish kebabs or pork cutlets.
- Leftovers can be reheated and taste so much better or you can freeze them in individual portions to enjoy for a quick weeknight meal.