This recipe is based on one from my Bubbie, my dads mom. She used to make this when we'd visit our grandparents in Florida. I'm not sure of her exact recipe, not sure she even knew an exact recipe. I just remember she would add whatever fruit she had in the house and it always turned out delicious. I've changed it slightly, using dried fruit and fresh ginger, but it's still that good comfort food I remember my Bubbie making.
(makes about 20 pieces)
1 head of cabbage
1 lb ground meat (I use 1/2 lb turkey and 1/2 lb beef)
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 29oz cans plain tomato puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp fresh ground ginger
1 cup dried fruit - chopped
1 cup Verners Ginger ale or apple juice
salt and pepper
- Steam Cabbage head whole. Peel leaves but keep whole so they can cool. If leaves are very large or have hard cores, cut in half or to remove core.
- Cook rice per package instructions
- Saute onion in large skillet with olive oil until softened but not browned
- Add meat and brown, adding salt and pepper to taste
- Once meat and rice are both cooked, combine a in large bowl and allow to cool
- Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce in to bottom of 5 qt stock pot
- Place a leaf of steamed cabbage flat on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 - 1/3 cup rice and meat mixture on to cabbage leaf about 1/2" from edge. Fold leaf over to form wrap around meat and rice mixture. Put cabbage roll in the bottom of the stock pot. Continue with remaining meat and cabbage leaves until you run out. Should be about 20 rolls depending on size of cabbage head.
- Mix remaining tomato sauce, brown sugar, chopped fruit, ginger, and ginger ale or apple juice. Pour mixture over cabbage rolls. If rolls are not covered in liquid, add more ginger ale until cabbage rolls are covered.
- Cover pot with lid and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. This can also be done in the over using a large cake pan covered in foil cooked at 250 degrees. The longer the rolls cook the softer the cabbage will be.
- Serve hot with bread for soaking up the sauce. Stuffed Cabbage is even better the second or third day!
Another alternative for when you just don't have time to let it cook for hours -
Steam cabbage till soft, then cut in to 3/4"x2" pieces (or about that). Mix all ingredients (ground meat and rice already cooked) in to a 5 quart stock pot at once. Make sure there is plenty of liquid! Add extra to make sure everything is covered. Cook on a low simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Serve as a stew with bread for dipping.