Vita's Stuffed Cabbage
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
- 1 whole head cabbage, about 4 lbs.
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 finely chopped large onion
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and coarsely ground
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp sour salt (citric acid)
- 1 cup dark raisins
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 lbs. ground beef chuck & sirlion
- 1 large grated onion
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp. raw rice
- 1 Tbsp. matzoh meal
- 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp.pepper
1. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 20 leaves.
2. When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a pairing knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through.
3. To make the sauce: Place tomatoes and their juices in a medium-large saucepan. Crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in onion, apple, lime juice, white and brown sugars, sour salt, raisins, kosher salt and pepper, and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes longer. Add more sugar or more lime juice for the sweet-sour taste you prefer. Set sauce aside.
4. To make filling: In a large bowl, mix ground beef, grated onion, eggs, rice, if using, matzoh meal, 2 1/2 tsps. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, mixing thoroughly. Don't over mix or the meat will become tough.
5. To assemble the rolls: Place about 1/2 cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little package.
6. Spoon a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish or Dutch oven. Chop any remaining cabbage leaves and place over the sauce.
7. Arrange cabbage rolls, seam-side down, on top of the chopped cabbage leaves in as many layers as necessary. Pour remaining sauce over stuffed cabbage. Bring to a boil on the stove top, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until filling is cooked and cabbage is tender.