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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage-Cabbage Rolls-Голубец-Holubtsi - Diane C Kosowicz

Ok, you asked for it. Here is the way Baba taught me do make Stuffed Cabbage. This is not an easy or neat undertaking. You will make a mess or you're not doing it right!

First what you need: 
  • 1. Ground beef, pork and veal. You can buy this already packaged, but I buy mine separately. I can't give you an exact amount, I don't measure, but the ratio is about 1/2 ground beef, 1/4 ground pork and 1/4 ground veal. For me it's two handfuls beef, one handful pork, one handful veal. They are very generous handfuls. Mix together
  • 2. A blob of shkvartkies (bacon grease). My blob was about 2 1/2 tablespoons.
  • 3. A medium onion, chopped fine
  • 4. 1/4 stick unsalted butter 
  • 5. 4 small cans or two large cans Campbell's tomato soup
  • 8. 1 cup dry Carolina Long Grain rice
  • 9. A large head of green cabbage 
  • 10. Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 11. Water
Tools: Heavy frying pan, Large deep baking pot WITH A LID (I now use an electric Nesco Roaster), a large stock pot (big enough to heat water to cover the large head of cabbage), a 2 qt sauce pot, a carving fork to hold the cabbage in the water, a very large bowl to mix meat, another bowl for the cabbage leaves, a sharp knife, tongs and a tablespoon.
Prep: Cook rice with 1 3/4 cup water until water is gone in 2 qt pot. Add cooked rice to the large bowl. Put pot of water in stock pot, enough to cover cabbage head on stove on medium heat. Put shkvartkies and butter in the frying pan on low heat to melt, when melted add onions and saute until just translucent. Add contents of fry pan to rice in bowl. Add meat mixture to bowl, Add two cans (or one large can) of tomato soup to bowl (just soup, NO WATER). Add salt and pepper (can't give amounts, you have to play). Mix all together until very well blended. Set aside.

Water in stock pot should be hot by now; you want to keep this just under boiling. Stick the carving fork into the cabbage at the core and put it into the hot water. You want to blanch the cabbage leaves. This will also soften them up making it easier to stuff them. Use the knife to cut away the leaves, and the tongs to remove them from the hot water into the bowl. They should just have a slight change of color when they're ready to put into bowl. When you have cut away all the leaves big enough to stuff, cut off the ones remaining to line the bottom of the baking pot. The first few leaves (big ones) should be kept for covering stuffed ones. Cover the bottom of the baking pot with the smallest leaves. Save the water. Turn oven on to 350 now to preheat.

My Baba and Mom made stuffed cabbages that were all the same size. Here is where I differ. Mine are whatever size they are, period. So, take one cabbage leaf at a time and stuff just enough meat mixture in so that you can roll it and push in the sides to have a roll with closed ends. Arrange the stuffed leaves neatly in the baking pot until all the meat mixture has been used. You can stack the rolls.

Put the remaining 2 cans of tomato soup into the empty mixture bowl. Add just enough water from the pot you used to blanch cabbage leaves to cover the cabbage rolls in the baking pot. Mix soup and hot water well and scrape sides of bowl well. Carefully pour this over the cabbage rolls. Cover the rolls with the large reserved leaves. Put the lid on pot and place into oven. After 20 minutes reduce heat to 325. Bake at 325 for 1 hr 45 minutes, reduce to 250 and bake for 20 minutes more. Done.

Serve carefully as the rolls will disintegrate if you just dig. (This made Baba VERY angry!) Unused portion can be refrigerated and reheated. To reheat you can heat in oven or on stove top. Microwave is NOT recommended

1 comment:

  1. Nice Recipe. My Mother was Hungarian so I grew up with this. I do add garlic to mine and sauerkraut. I guess that is more the Hungarian way. They also flavored it with spareribs on the bottom of the pot.I am making these today and freezing them for Thanksgiving day.