Beef Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in a red wine tomato sauce
- 1 small head green cabbage
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 14 oz. diced tomatoes
- 1/4 c. red wine
- 1 T. brown sugar
- 1 t. dried basil
- 1 t. salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1/2 of the sauteed vegetables from the sauce
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 c. cooked rice
- 2 T. cabbage roll sauce
- 1 T. hot sauce
- 1/2 t. salt
Preheat oven to 375.
Fill a large soup pot with water. Add 12-15 large cabbage leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and let dry. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of the cabbage cooking water.
heat the olive oil over med-high. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to brown and soften. Remove half of the vegetables from the pan and place in a glass mixing bowl. (This is for the filling.)
Back to the skillet, add the tomatoes and wine. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar, salt, and basil. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Add more cabbage water if you want a thinner sauce. (I used only 1 cup.) Pour the sauce back in the skillet to keep warm.
Add the ground beef and rice to the bowl with the reserved vegetables. Add 2 T. of the finished cabbage roll sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Use a fork or your clean hands to mix the filling well.
First spoon about 1/4 c. of the tomato sauce into a 5 qt dutch oven and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Place a cabbage leaf on the counter top with the inside facing up and put about 1/4 c. of the filling towards the stem end of the leaf. You will have to judge how much filling to use. Just ensure that it isn't so much that it squeezes out the side. Fold in both sides and starting with the stem end, roll the leaf around the filling. Place side-seam down in the dutch oven. repeat the process with the remaining leaves. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, and cover the pot with the lid. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the cabbage has softened and the meat is cooked through and no longer pink.
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