my grandma and her sisters made the BEST polish stuffed cabbage. she would always make it in huge batches so that we could eat some right then and there... and then freeze some for later. I unfortunately was never able to get my hands on a recipe as, just like any true grandma, she didn't use recipes. I have been trying to recreate the dish to taste just like hers for quite some time now, and this here is the final draft. I know a lot of people will make their own tomato sauce or just use canned tomatoes but don't do that! I'm telling you that the canned condense tomato soup is the key ingredient. I use some stuffed in the actual rolls and then lots and lots more on top.
what is stuffed cabbage? a mixture of rice, ground meat and onions stuffed and rolled into cooked cabbage leaves. it is the ultimate comfort dish. also, don't be intimidated by the process! it is really quite simple once you get the hand of it... and once you do, you won't stop making them.
grandma's stuffed cabbage
yields: 6 servings/12 rolls prep time:30 minutes cook time: 2 hours
12 cabbage leaves (2 heads of cabbage)
1 lb. pork/beef/veal mixture*
1 cup cooked white rice
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cans of condensed tomato soup, divided
Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare a lightly greased 9x13 glass baking dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the head of cabbage and cook until the leaves are tender.
*you will want to turn the cabbage while cooking so that all of the leaves are submerged.
Remove the cabbage from the water and let cool. Repeat with the second head of cabbage.
In a large bowl, combine the meat, cooked rice, onion, garlic, beaten egg, salt, pepper and ¼ cup of the condensed tomato soup.
Spread ½ cup of the soup mixture evenly across the bottom of the baking dish.
Gently remove the leaves from the head of the cabbage until you have 12 large leaves.
Using a paring knife, remove the bottom half of the tough core – this will make it easier to roll.
Spoon ¼ cup of the meat and rice mixture into the center of the cabbage leaf, pull the two sides of the leaf to the center and roll.
Repeat with all 12 leaves.
Place each roll seam-side down into the baking dish.
Spread ½ cup of the soup mixture over the tops of the cabbage rolls.
Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 2 hours.
Serve immediately with the remaining soup mixture to spoon on top.
*you can find this pork/veal/beef combo already pre-mixed and portioned into 1 lb. at the grocery store with the rest of the ground meat – it is typically referred to as ‘meatloaf meat’