Stuffed Cabbage Rolls for a Comfy Winter Meal!




We are paying for last winters’ mild weather! 



There’s no avoiding winter here since we’re just 40 miles northwest of Chicago.  Winter barely started when Mother Nature wasted no time in putting us in the deep freeze and keeping us there for 2 weeks with highs in the single digits, not counting bone-chilling wind chills way below zero ~ it's about unbearable!  A warm-up is on the way today ~ that translates, SNOW!


All of this cold weather leads me to dishes like this stuffed cabbage leaves, a great comforting winter dish!




I have a ton of food memories from when I was growing up, but stuffed cabbage rolls isn't one of them.  I don’t recall ever eating them back then, and Bill says the same.     

While the direct origin of cabbage rolls cannot be certain, its lineage can be traced back some 2,000 years ago to Jewish cooking, according to Gil Marks, author of the 2010 Encyclopedia of Jewish Food.  Cabbage is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is referred to in the Talmud, he says where the rabbis praise the cabbage for “sustenance.”  Though no one knows where the tradition of filling leaves originates, it appears in cultures around the world stretching from Europe and the Middle East to the jungles of the Amazon.

For example, the following names and some of the differences in their recipes…

Jewish “holishkls” is served during the fall harvest festival.  The dish is made with raisins, brown sugar, lemon and tomato for a sweet and sour taste.

Lithuanians call it “balandeliai,” translating to “little doves.”

Ukrainian “holubtsi” is made with sauerkraut, and usually no meat, served with perogie.

The Polish version is “golabki,” meaning “little pigeon feet” and served with sauerkraut and sweet paprika.

Finland’s version is “kaalikaaryle,” and the cabbage rolls are browned before brazing.  

But today in America, it is just simply stuffed cabbage, the exemplary comfort food that makes a complete meal.

Here’s the version we eat:  a savory meat and rice filling wrapped up in tender cabbage leaves that’s slow-baked in a sweet-sour tomato sauce.





While these cabbage rolls are pretty tasty straight out of the oven, there even better the next day, so here’s hoping you’ll be lucky enough to enjoy the leftovers, should you try this recipe!




Yield: 6 servings

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

These cabbage rolls are stuffed with lean ground beef and lean ground pork and rice. It's a comforting winter dish!
prep time: 30 MINScook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cabbage
  • For the Filling:
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Instructions:

For the Cabbage:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, remove 10 to 12 whole outer leaves from the cabbage by cutting them off the core. (Reserve the remaining cabbage for another use.) Add the leaves to the boiling water and blanch until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the leaves to a colander to drain.

Make the Filling:
Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl.  Scoop out approximately 1/3 cup of meat mixture and form into a log shape.
Place filling in a cabbage leaf close to the core. Fold once, then grab both side and fold in, like a burrito.  If the leaves are too small, overlap 2 leaves.
Arrange cabbage rolls snugly next to each other in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Make the Sauce:
Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour evenly over the cabbage roll.
Cover with foil and bake for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until meat is cooked through.




Enjoy!





36 comments:

  1. Very comforting and delicious! Stay warm, Pam.

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    1. Thanks, Angie! Great meal for cold weather!

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  2. As it turned out, my great aunt was married to a Hungarian guy and she became proficient at cabbage rolls so I had some very good ones as a kid. Yours look delicious and maybe will inspire us to make some.

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    1. Hi Larry! Lucky you! I hope you like these, should you try them. Thanks!

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  3. Pam, I love cabbage rolls but I rarely get to eat them. My better half doesn't like them and we just don't have any ethnic restaurants around here that serve them. FYI...still almost no snow here in East Tennessee this year but it has been a lot colder than last year. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dave! Hope you find a restaurant that serves them in your area. Stay warm! Snow later this week here, I guess. Thanks for the visit!

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  4. Nice recipe!

    I'm intrigued by your mention of stuffed cabbage rolls in the Amazon jungle. I'm mostly aware of the Eastern European versions -- Jewish, Ukranian, Polish, Hungarian, etc as you summarized, but it seems to be a very versatile plant that grows in many climates and conditions.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mae! Evidently, it was minced meat in palm cabbage leaves, who knows? Yes, I would think most areas of the world have a version of this. Take care

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  5. Same here a day of respite from the cold as of today...but snow. A very hardy dish for sure for this weather. I have only made them once I think. Time to change that.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Evelyne! Yes, it's great for a cold day! Hope it warms up your way soon!

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  6. I love stuffed cabbage rolls. Your version looks delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Me too, Gerlinde! Thanks and take care.

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  7. I love cabbage rolls, my grandmother would ask what I wanted for my birthday and I always answered cabbage rolls...they were the best. I make them but mine are not the sweet version but rather made with the addition of sauerkraut juice like she did. :)

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    Replies
    1. Lucky you, Karen! I need to try them sauerkraut, sounds good to me! That would be a good birthday dinner for sure! ☺

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  8. Great post, Pam.

    I am part Jewish, Ukraine, Polish and Hungarian and we had cabbage rolls all the time but I never ate them or made them until I became an adult and could make them without meat.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Ivy! Oh, I bet they were good, but I get what you're saying about the meat and your allergies. Hope all is well, take care!

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    2. Stuffed cabbage rolls have always been a family favorite for us! My mother-in-law was from Poland! My son-in-law is from Chicago and his parents have said how dreadfully cold it has been. Stay warm. I love the comfort food, Pam.


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    3. Hi Carrie! So you know how delicious they are for sure, lucky you! Chicago definitely gets its share of winter weather! Take care and have a great 2018!

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  9. We make stuffed cabbage rolls in Greece too with beef, rice and herbs and spices and bath them in avgolemono sauce! It is one of my favorite dishes! I love your version Pam, they look absolutely mouthwatering! Happy New Year my dear friend!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katerina! I'm sure your version is very good! I had to Google avgolemono and see it's an egg-lemon sauce. That has to be delicious with the stuffed cabbage rolls! And a great Happy New Year to you, my dear friend! Take care

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  10. It's odd, I never had stuffed cabbage rolls growing up either. Nor did Mrs KR. So we have to make up for lost time! And make a double batch of these. :-) Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, John! Kind of funny so many of us didn't eat this growing up. Have a great 2018!

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  11. We never had stuffed cabbages growing up either but I absolutely love them now, especially this version. Wow, that is really some cold weather you live in. The coldest I've ever been in is 17 degrees and I thought that was bone chilling.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cheri! You too! Maybe that's why we have like them now! It's 45° today but very windy, so it feels like 30, better than the last couple of weeks for sure! Take care

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  12. I'm jewish and born and raised in East Europe (Romania). So, stuffed cabbage leaves rolls and stuffed wine leaves rolls were a weekly dish in my parents' house, usually accompanied by polenta side dish. More or less the same recipe as yours, without the pork meat and without the milk.

    I used to make them, but not as often, as it involves a bit of work and time. Now, being in my third age, I seldom make them as they are irresistible, I could 'swalow' one after another, and I have to watch my diet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Duta! Ah, and bet the ones made in your parents' house were very delicious. Polenta side dish sounds great for the cabbage rolls. I don't make them very often, but we really enjoy them when I do. Hope you're having a great start to 2018! Take care

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  13. This sounds a lot like my mom's recipe, except she didn't add pork. I don't know why I've never made them---it's a delicious comfort food. You've inspired me!

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    Replies
    1. Great, Liz! Hope you like this version! Take care

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  14. Oh Pam.....I wondered just how bad your weather has been. Pretty datgum COLD!!! Your family is very Blessed to have such a wonderful cook that can keep those hot meals coming, with temps like you all have had. Comfort food is all I think about when it's cold outside. Stay warm my friend.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, that's why it's so easy to put weight on in the winter! ☺ We keep cranking out hot comfy meals! Actually, it warmed up a little the past couple of days, but rain in the forecast for this afternoon, turning to snow late and back down to 15°. Hope all is well your way, Shug! Take care

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  15. Yum! Cabbage Rolls are on the top of my list next week - my husband adores them. I had a aunt who made these all the time. Yummy :)

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    1. Hi Tricia! Woo hoo, he will be happy then! Bet your aunts' version was really good. Thanks for the visit! Take care

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  16. Mmmmm sounds good to me. Sorry I have not been well and am way behind!!!Belated happy New Year Diane

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Diane, but sorry to hear you're not well. Hope you are on the mend soon! Wishing you the best in 2018! Take care

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  17. Lovely! My Mother always did them and I always love to eat them

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  18. I love cabbage but have never made stuffed cabbage rolls! With the weather we've been having, I need to finally give them a try. They look delicious, Pam!

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