This stuffed cabbage recipe is easy once all the pieces are together. The raisins and apples add a fruity spin to the sweet and sour sauce. I froze the cabbage overnight and then defrosted it in a microwave. Recipe below.
1 large head cabbage
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. uncooked rice
1 T. oil
1 medium onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
3 T. oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 35-oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 T. cornstarch (or flour)
1/4 c. lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
2 T. tomato paste
1 c. brown sugar (or honey)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 c. raisins (optional)
Prepare cabbage by either boiling or freezing method: Cut out hard core of cabbage.
Then, either freeze (and defrost) the cabbage or boil for 3 to 5 minutes. (You could even – gasp – microwave the head of cabbage.) The goal is to make the cabbage leaves soft and pliable. Check leaves for bugs.
To make filling, combine all ingredients for in a bowl and mix well. Hold 1 cabbage leaf at a time and, using it like a burrito or a wonton, place it in front of you. (If your leaf is still tough, you can trim the outer central vein to make it thinner.)
Put about 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center bottom of the leaf. Fold the left and right side over the filling and roll the cabbage from the bottom to close. Place the cabbages in your cooking pan (9×13 tins are easy) seam side down.
Make sauce: Heat oil in 2-quart pot, and sauté onions. Stir lemon juice into the cornstarch, making sure all lumps are dissolved. Stir into the rest of the sauce ingredients, and add the mixture to the pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture on top of the cabbage rolls slowly (so it doesn’t splash out).
Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Bake for 2 hours, adding more water if necessary. Yields about 18 cabbage rolls.