Richmond Times-Dispatch

Stuffed Cabbage

- — Holly Prestidge

This is my take onmy Hungarian great- grandmothe­r’s stuffed cabbage recipe, one that I remember eating as a child at my grandmothe­r’s house. It’s a bit time-consuming but not difficult — and worth every bite.

Makes approximat­ely 12 to 14 cabbage rolls, depending on the size of your cabbage.

2 tablespoon­s butter

1 small onion, diced small 1 large head of cabbage 1 pound EACH: ground beef,

ground pork

1 cup uncooked white rice 1 4- ounce can tomato paste 1 teaspoon EACH: salt and

pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder Approximat­ely 6 to 7 ounces sauerkraut (I used half of a 14-ounce can)

1 29- ounce can plain to

mato sauce

¼ cup white vinegar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, melt butter and saute onions until tender and soft, about 5minutes. Take off heat.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Cut cabbage stem as best you can, then begin unpeeling the leaves, being careful to keep them as intact as possible. (Some will tear, but that’s OK.) I start at the stem and gently loosen each leaf. Once the leaves are closer to the core and very small, stop. You should have about a dozen leaves.

Chop the remaining cabbage and set aside.

Place the leaves in the boiling water until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. You can fill the pot with leaves, as long as each leaf is submerged in the water. ( I use a wooden spoon to make sure each gets under the water.)

When leaves are soft, use a large slotted spoon to remove them from the water, then place on a large baking tray to cool. Repeat with more leaves, if needed.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked onion, ground beef and pork, uncooked rice, tomato paste, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Line a 10-by-10-inch or similar-size baking pan with the remaining chopped cabbage and top with sauerkraut.

Using your clean hands, grab a portion of the meat mixture. Position cabbage leaves with stems closest to you, then place the meat in the middle. Roll the stem over the meat, then roll the sides up over the meat, then roll the cabbage away from you. ( If your leaves have torn, just roll the best you can. Perfection is overrated here.)

Place each cabbage roll in the baking dish on top of the cabbage and sauerkraut. Continue rolling until all the leaves are used. Keep the stuffed cabbage tightly packed together.

(If you have leftover meat mixture, save it to cook later.)

Pour tomato sauce and vinegar over the tops of the stuffed cabbage, making sure most of it is submerged.

Bake for 45minutes to an hour. Check along the way, and if the cabbage tops are starting to burn, cover the dish with foil.

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