Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cabbage Rolls

There are many different versions of cabbage rolls out there. I make cabbage rolls much like those that my mom made...and we had frequently when I was growing up.  Cabbage and beef were staples at our place!  We celebrated my dad's birthday recently...and had an old-fashioned dinner together with family.  I brought cabbage rolls, or 'hallapse' as we used to call simplified version.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • two slices bread, soaked in water and then squeezed
  • 1 medium potato, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans tomato soup, divided
  • 2/3 cup long grain white rice, un-cooked
  • 2 medium heads Savoy cabbage* 
  • tomato juice
  1. Place ground beef in large mixing bowl. 
  2. Combine eggs, soaked bread, potato, onion, salt, pepper and one tin of tomato soup in blender. Process until completely smooth.
  3. Add pureed mixture to mixing bowl...along with the rice.
  4. Using your hands, mix well.
  5. Remove leaves from head of cabbage and place in large microwavable bowl. Add several tablespoons water, cover and microwave for several minutes on high, just to soften the leaves a bit.  Savoy cabbage is most flexible, and doesn't require much steaming.
  6. Form meatballs with about 1/4 cup of meat mixture. Place on center of a cabbage leaf and  roll up cabbage to enclose. Fit cabbage rolls snugly in the bottom of a roaster.
  7. Combine remaining can of tomato soup with 1 can of water.  Pour over the cabbage rolls.
  8. Cover and bake at 350°F for about 2 hours. 
  9. Check on cabbage rolls part-way through baking time and add tomato juice if  more liquids are required.
  10. Before serving, combine tomato sauce (drained from pan) with 1/2 cup sour cream and heat through.  Serve over cabbage rolls.
*If not using Savoy cabbage, I prefer to freeze the entire head in advance and then remove the leaves one at a time from the partially defrosted head of cabbage.

The cooked cabbage rolls freeze well.  Package in meal-size portions to freeze.  Thaw and re-heat in the oven or microwave.