“Old Fashioned Stuffed Cabbage Rolls” is a classic, heartwarming dish reminiscent of a bygone era, often associated with Eastern European cuisine. The dish features tender cabbage leaves, carefully wrapped around a savory, moist filling. This filling is typically a hearty blend of ground meat, which could be beef, pork, or a mix, combined with a variety of seasonings to add depth and flavor. Integral to this mixture are elements like rice or another grain, which contributes to the filling’s texture and helps bind the ingredients together.
The preparation of the cabbage itself is a meticulous process. The leaves are gently detached and softened, usually by bluing or steaming, to make them pliable enough for rolling without tearing. The filling is then spooned onto each leaf, and the cabbage is rolled into a neat package, ensuring the filling is securely encased.
These rolls are then arranged in a cooking vessel, often layered with additional ingredients that complement the flavors of the filling. A key aspect of this dish is the sauce. The cabbage rolls are typically bathed in a rich, flavorful sauce that varies by recipe but often includes tomatoes or a creamy base, imbuing the rolls with moisture and a robust flavor as they cook.
Cooking methods for stuffed cabbage rolls can vary, but they are usually baked or simmered, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully. The result is a comforting, flavorful dish, where the tender cabbage and the savory filling combine to create a harmonious balance of textures and tastes.
Often served as a main course, these cabbage rolls are a staple at family gatherings and special occasions, evoking nostalgia and a sense of tradition. They are usually accompanied by simple, rustic sides such as mashed potatoes or a light salad, allowing the rich flavors of the rolls to take center stage. This dish is not just food; it’s a culinary journey to the past, encapsulating the essence of home cooking and the warmth of a family kitchen.
- 1 medium head cabbage (3 pounds)
- 1/2 pound uncooked ground beef
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or dill weed
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
HOW TO MAKE OLD FASHIONED STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS
Cook cabbage in boiling water just until outer leaves pull away easily from head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls. In a small bowl, combine the beef,1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, dill and cayenne; mix well.
Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Place about 1/4 cup meat mixture on a cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides. Beginning from the cut end, roll up. Repeat.
Slice the remaining cabbage; place in a Dutch oven. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over sliced cabbage. Combine the tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce; pour over the rolls. Cover and bake at 350° until cabbage rolls are tender, 1-1/2 hours