This Czech dish was a favorite of my family for holiday occasions. Both of my Grandmothers made a version.
- 12 cabbage leaves
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in a 1/4 cup of water (optional, see #8 in directions below)
- 1 pound of ground beef (alternative: 1/2 lb ground beef, 1/2 lb ground pork)
- 3/4 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Drop the cabbage leaves into boiling salted water: cover and let boil for 3 minutes to soften. Remove and drain well.
- Combine the ingredients for the filling and mix well.
- Place a portion of filling in the center of each of the cabbage leaves.
- Fold each leaf like a burrito and place in a baking dish.
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the cabbage rolls.
- Bake, covered for 45 minutes.
- Optional: To thicken the sauce, remove the cabbage rolls, set aside, and transfer the sauce to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir until thickened.
How Not to Screw It Up
- Do not overcook the cabbage leaves when you boil them. The intent is merely to soften them so they fold.
- I recommend using the 80% lean ground beef (not the leaner stuff that is 90 or 93%). The leaner ground beef tends to get a bit dry during the baking process. Alternatively, you can do a ground mixture of 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork. The pork doesn’t seem to dry out as fast.
- Don’t overstuff your rolls. One pound of ground meat mixture should stuff 12 cabbage leaves. If it doesn’t you’ve gotten greedy and overstuffed.
- If you find the sauce a little sweet, you can reduce or eliminate the sugar the next time. Or, add some salt to this batch.