These are like no cabbage rolls I have ever tasted. The sauce is deliciously sweet and sour. The difference is the unexpected ingredients: carrot, raisins, wine and lemon juice. Yum! I will never try another cabbage roll recipe.
The first time I made this recipe, I didn't use savoy cabbage. The recipe turned out OK, but on my second attempt, I discovered savoy cabbage is far easier to work with and fits in my Dutch oven better. It's the kind with the crinkly leaves. I use the same pot to soften the leaves as I do to cook the cabbage rolls, my Dutch oven.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it cooks in only one-and-a-half hours. I polled my family members about their recipes and it seems they cook them for two to three hours in the oven. This recipe also calls for eight gingersnaps and 2 chunks of sour salt in the sauce, but I didn't add any. I couldn't imagine having cookie bits in the sauce and I don't own any sour salt (pickling salt) so I substituted regular table salt. Also, I used red wine instead of white, because that's what I had open.
Ingredients:Inspiration: Joy of Cooking
For the Rolls:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup white rice
1/2 cup water
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head savoy cabbage
salt and pepper
For the Sauce:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Juice of a large lemon
Salt to taste
1 cup vegetable juice, or water
- Bring a big pot of water to boil with 1 1/2 tbsp of salt.
- Meanwhile, mix together ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, rice, water, carrot, onion, and garlic. (I use my electric mixer.)
- Cut out the stem of the cabbage. Add the cabbage to boiling water, stem side down, and boil until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse the cabbage under cold water to cool it off.
- Place an 1-inch thick chunk of the meat stuffing in the hollow of the leaf. Wrap it like a burrito. Wrap it loosely, as the rice will expand.
- Place each roll into the bottom of dutch oven, stacking them as needed.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions and brown.
- Add the wine and simmer for five minutes on low heat.
- Add the tomatoes, water, raisins, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil.
- Pour sauce over cabbage rolls in the Dutch oven. Add vegetable juice until the rolls are submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Shake the pan every 30 minutes to prevent sticking.