There are endless names for cabbage rolls, as well as endless recipes. John's mom has hers, she is polish. My mom has hers, she is German. Their recipes are very differnt but both very good.
I did a Google search a couple of years ago to come up with as many different versions of cabbage roll recipes as I could find. I took bits from all of them and this is what we came up with as our favorite. Feel free to add or delete anything you wish, make it your own. You do not necessarily need all of the spices I use, I found recipes that only used salt and pepper. We like lots of spices as you can see. Measurments are approximate, I rarely measure my spices.
1 large head of cabbage
Meat Filling Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 cup of cooked rice (brown or white, cooled)
1 medium onion and 1 green Bell Pepper, diced and sauteed in a small amount of oil until soft
1/2-1 teaspoon of the following spices (or more as desired)
- white pepper
- poultry seasoning
- celery salt
1 heaping tablespoon of dried parsley ( feel free to use fresh if you have it).
diced Garlic to taste, I think I put in about 3 teaspoons
Salt and Pepper to taste
One or a combination of the following for the sauce
- tomato juice
- condensed tomato soup
- diced tomatoes (canned)
A couple of bay leaves.
Fill a pot large enough to fit the head of cabbage about 1/2 way with water, place it on the stove on high, bringing it to a rolling boil. In the meantime, remove the stem of the cabbage with a sharp knife, discard.
Place the head of cabbage into the pot of boiling water and cover, allow it to cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, you should be able to carefully remove the outer layers using tongs, place them on a plate or in a bowl to cool. If you need to, you can place the lid back on the pot several times until you're able to remove the layers that you need easily.
Lay the leaves down one at a time on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, remove the main rib. Take care not to cut all the way through the leaf.
Set the cabbage leaves aside.
Place all of the ingredients for the meat stuffing into a large bowl. Mix well, using your hands.
Lay a prepared cabbage leaf out flat take a handful sized portion of the meat mixture and place it on the leaf near the end that was once attached to the cabbage stem.
Fold the leaf up on each side.
and then starting at the cut end roll it up.
Voila! One cabbage roll, repeat until you have used up all of the meat mixture.
Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down in your slow cooker or crockpot.
Cover with tomato juice, 1 can of tomato soup and a can of diced tomatoes (or whatever combination you prefer). Add a couple of bay leaves, cover and cook on low 8 hours.
This is what we're having for dinner so I'll have to take a photo of the completed cabbage rolls tonight.
Cabbage rolls also freeze wonderfully, I always make a double batch and freeze several meals worth for later. Here is what I put in the freezer yesterday.
Update as promised, dinner is served.