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What is your faorite recipe for stuffed cabbage?

My Nana used to make the best: a ground beef and rice mixture, a kind of tomatoey sauce. How abouy you?

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  1. My family likes it so much I make two versions.

    First is a sweet, jewish version with beef, rice and raisins in the sauce with the tomatos.

    The version I like better is a mexican style with both beef and sausage in the filling with the rice and chipotle peppers in the sauce. This version is also just as good or better when stuffed into peppers instead of cabbage.

    1. My favorite is beef, rice, tomato sauce,
      and the seasoning is a bit of cumin and allspice. A recipe from a now-gone Salt Lake City restaurant. Quite nice!

      1. I love stuffed cabbage, too, and I miss my Bubbie's "halishkes." I'm often in the mood for them and I usually make a lazy version - cabbage and meatballs.

        In a large Dutch oven, combine 1 jar (0.75 quart/litre to 1 quart/litre) of sauerkraut, 2 sliced onions, 1 can jellied cranberry sauce, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 2 cups of tomato juice, 1 cup of water, and 1 head of green cabbage, chopped. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

        Mix 2 lbs of lean ground beef with 2 eggs, about 1/3 cup of matzo meal (or bread crumbs), chopped fresh garlic (or garlic powder), salt and pepper, and about 1/4 cup of ice water. Shape into 1-inch meatballs and add to pot. Cover pot and cook at a simmer for 60 to 80 minutes, or until cabbage is cooked to desired texture.

        I've been making this recipe for years (I adapted it from a Hadassah cookbook recipe); it's loved by adults and kids alike, and it's a great way to get kids to eat cabbage, since all kids love meatballs, right?

        2 Replies
        1. re: FlavoursGal

          I heard mention recently about a cabbage roll dish with a different sort of sauce -- a lemon/cream sauce rather than the tomato version. Anyone know of one? I'm not so keen on the combination of tomatoes and cabbage, but a lemon sauce sounds lovely and rather bavarian/scandanavian.

          1. re: kimpossible1138

            Actually, it sounds more Greek to me! They often sauce their dolmathes (Grape leaves stuffed with rice) with a lemon cream sauce.

        2. My mother used to make stuffed cabbage using a ground beef and rice mixture,not sure what spices but she would mix tomato sauce and sour cream for the sauce.Delicious!!

          1. I used to love the Stuffed Cabbage at JUNIORS, made with beef and rice in a sweet and sour sauce with carrots and raisins. It was all caramelized and scrumptious. Unfortunately, with their change in clientele, they took it off the menu.

            The family next door to us growing up was Jewish, and the Grandmother made the most delicious Stuffed Cabbage I ever tasted. It was a multi-day production using the same ingredients as JUNIORS, but much, much better. I remember her using something called "sour salt". I wish I had the presence of mind to ask for the recipe, but I was only 10.

            Any recipes would be greatly appreciated.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Fleur

              "Sour salt" is another name for citric acid. It can be found in the Kosher section of supermarkets.

              1. re: Fleur

                Juniors is a famous restaurant/deli in Brooklyn. They have the best kosher soul food you can find anywhere. They are especially famous for their cheesecake, and you can find that recipe, I believe, in Epicurious, as well as other sites. It's killer....

                I haven't eaten there in well over 30 years, but I still recall it as being overwhelming, portion sizes huge, and just really great food. I don't know about the clientele changing, but it's not in the best neighborhood of Brooklyn, so that wouldn't surprise me at all.

              2. I am not so much into this dish but once in a while I like to make the version that Marion Cunningham published in Lost Suppers. I'm sure I saw it in an article that is no longer available online where Patricia Unterman used turkey instead of beef. This is one way that ground turkey will be more successful, because of the slow moist cooking. This version has a bit of a sweet and sour sauce.

                I can't remember if I ever made Martha Stewarts's grandmothers recipe for Golabki, but it sure looked great when she and her mom made it on her show once.

                What is JUNIORS? Is it so famous we are just supposed to recognize it no matter where we've lived. Like LINDYS?

                1. My nana made stuffed cabbage using only rice and tomotoes. She had this incredible cream sauce that went over it on your plate that was to die for. I love the cream sauce over green beans or chicken- it is a cardiologists delight- heavy cream, sour cream and butter with onions! Yikes I hear my arteries clogging as we speak!

                  1. Paupiettes de foie gras au choux..cabbage stuffed with foie gras. not light but fabulous.

                    1. I will give you my Grandma Gertrude's rolled cabbage recipe - it is absolutely perfect. This is exactly what Jewish stuffed cabbage should taste like.
                      You have to steam the cabbage several times as you pull off the pliable outer leaves and expose those too stiff to roll.
                      Cut a small "V" out of the stem end to make rolling easier.
                      You will make the rolls and put them aside, using the onion and extra cabbage & trimmings in the bottom of the big pot, fill with the rolls seam side down, packed tightly, then pour the sauce over and weight down with a plate, then cover & simmer for about 45 minutes.

                      2 pounds ground chuck (I use half ground turkey)
                      3 pound cabbage, or 2 smaller ones
                      mix chopped meat with 3/4 cup water
                      1/2C+ raw long grain white rice
                      2 eggs

                      1 large onion chopped
                      sugar to taste - should have a nice sweet sour taste
                      1 large can V8 juice
                      1 cup waterjuice of 1 lemon
                      s & p

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: niki rothman

                        This is almost my grandmothers recipe - with some slight variations - my family likes a thicker sauce - instead of V8 juice/water I use one can of tomato paste - there is enought water in the onions and cabbage leaves for the sauce - also instead of the juice of the lemon I use Sour Salt (citric acid) and brown sugar -

                        starting on a medium heat put the chopped onions on the bottom of the pot and start layering you cabbage rolls - as it starts to cook you will notice liquid in the bottom of the pan - start to cover the cabbage -

                        1. re: weinstein5

                          I would urge you to try it one time with V8 and lemon juice - the flavor may well be more complex or subtle. If you eat it you would never guess it was V8 - it's a thin sauce but very rich tasting.

                          1. re: niki rothman

                            I know - I do use V* for my sweet and sour cabbage soup - and you are right it does add a nice subtle flavor - I will have to try but I do like my sauce thick thoughfor my rolled meat and cabbage -

                            1. re: weinstein5

                              When you add in the chopped onion and chopped extra cabbage you will find the sauce is substantial. I like the consistency of the sauce because I like to slice my own portion up before eating so it can soak up plenty of sauce.

                      2. Madhur Jaffrey's fabulous potato-stuffed cabbage, an Indian vegetarian version. I grew up on the meat and rice version, which is also delicious, but the Indian one is stunningly good. It is as much (or more?) onion as potato, with heavenly spices. The recipe is in Introduction to Indian Cooking.

                        1. here's a good one using barley instead of rice, a variation on the sweet-sour ones:

                          put about 4 tablespoons of brown sugar in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, and spoon 1 can or package drained sauerkraut over, to make a thin layer. Cover with 1 small can of tomato sauce.

                          Mix 1 lb lean ground beef with 1 cup cooked barley and 1/2 c chopped onion and 1 egg. Season with 1/2 tsp allspice and 1 clove garlic mashed with 1 tsp salt. Stuff cabbage leaves as usual, and place atop the sauce in the dish. Drizzle 1 additional can of tomato sauce over the top. Cover tightly and bake at 350 for 1 hour or so. Serve with some good quality sour cream if desired.

                          1. Stuffed Cabbage in Troo Style by Tamasin Day-Lewis is nothing short of amazing - it's in one (or even two) of her books and fortunately available online - once i stuffed it with duck and mushrooms - perfect!

                            1. I learned cabbage rolls from my Grandmother. She used a whole sour cabbage (should be available at any Polish market).

                              Begin by rendering a pound of diced bacon and save the fat.

                              Cook 4 cups of white rice, let cool. Add bacon, enough fat to flavor the rice and white pepper to taste (you won't need salt-there is enough in the bacon).

                              Roll enough rice and bacon mixture in a half cabbage leaf (that way you don't use the core) using spring roll technique. Continue until you have a small roaster full. Top with any store bought plain tomato sauce and bake in the roaster, lined and covered with tin foil, at 375 degrees until steaming hot. This will feed a dozen hungry people as a side or pot luck dish.

                              The flavor that combination that results from the sour cabbage and tomato sweetness is just awesome.