December 8, 2013

Delicious, Nostalgic Red Cabbage Rolls

About 4 or 5 years ago at my best friends house, her mother (who is an incredible cook as it is) served me red cabbage rolls. But instead of the mushy, tomato-sauce drowned rolls I'd had at Middle Eastern restaurants in the past - these rolls were heavenly. The cabbage was still firm, the beef exquisite. There were fresh vegetables and a slightly sweet taste. They were delicious.

Now, while this is a variation of her original recipe, it is still just as good.

Red Cabbage Rolls

You Will Need:

  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 (red, yellow or white) regular onions (or 1/4 cup onion powder), diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh/canned/dried mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp paprika 
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend (or 1 tbsp worth of basil, oregano and thyme)
  • Bacon grease for greasing the pan (if you don't have any, shortening will work)

If your ground beef is frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted before starting.

Fill a large soup pot with water and some salt. Heat to boiling, and add the whole cabbage. Parboil for about 5 minutes. Do not over boil, your leaves will disintegrate. Carefully remove the cabbage head from the boiling water - do not drain. Cut off the flexible leaves at the base, one by one, pealing the thick stem off for easier rolling. Be careful to keep the leaves whole. Set them aside. 

When you reach the stiff inner leaves, return the cabbage head to the pot and boil for another 5 minutes. Remove again, do not drain, and peel off the remaining leaves. 

In a small pot, combine 1 cup of dry white rice and 1 cup of water. Add a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Let simmer until water is completely absorbed, approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, onion, garlic, mushroom, Worcetershire, cooled rice, tomato paste, tomato, eggs, paprika, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. The best mixing is done with bare hands, but if you don't like that a wooden spoon works adequately. 

When everything is thoroughly mixed, take 1 large 13x9 inch glass baking pan. Grease with the bacon grease, thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Take your cabbage leaves, and fill them with the hamburger mixture, rolling them. Place them in your greased glass baking pan. When done, pour 1 cup of the reserved cabbage boiling water in, then cover with tinfoil.

Bake for 1 hour. Then, remove the tinfoil and bake for another 20 minutes. There will still be some fluid left in the pan.

These are best served with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, but I like them with ketchup.

Enjoy. )

Important Note: DO NOT put more water in your glass pan. It will shatter. Once the initial water is added, while your glass pan is still cool, do not add more. Ever.

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