Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


These rolls have several names in different languages in the Eastern European world. They’re known as golapki, golumpki, and halupki, which translate to “little doves,” as they resemble little doves with wings tucked under. I’m from northeast Ohio, and we call stuffed cabbage rolls “pigs in a blanket.” Finding out that most people think “pigs in a blanket” are tiny hotdogs wrapped in crescent roll dough was confusing to say the least! The smell of cabbage rolls baking in the oven takes me right back to my baba’s house on Christmas Eve. Cabbage, sauerkraut, pierogi, and kolachi were just some of the dishes we shared on this special night. My sister and I still fight over those extra leaves of cabbage placed around the edges of the pan. They’re sweet and tender, having been stewed in the tomato sauce for a couple of hours. Keep them for yourself if you can!

Heat oven to 325°F.

Cabbage: Remove large outer dark green leaves and set aside. Core cabbage head and place in large sauce pan or stock pot. Fill pot half way with water, cover, and bring to a boil. The goal is to parboil the cabbage leaves so that they are pliable and able to be peeled off of the head. As the cabbage head boils, begin to peel off leaves using tongs. Place the cabbage leaves on a baking sheet to cool before use.

Filling: Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Form filling into oblong balls weighing 4 oz. each. Place filling balls on a baking sheet or plate while the cabbage leaves cool.

Sauce: combine all ingredients in a bowl. Scoop 2 cups of the sauce to coat the bottom of a deep casserole pan or dutch oven. Set aside remaining sauce to top rolls once they’re prepared. Using a paring knife, shave off the spine of the cabbage leaves until spine is flush with the leaves. Place filling ball at the spine end of each cabbage leaf, fold edges of the leaf in, and then roll up. Place each stuffed cabbage leaf in the baking dish seam-side down. Continue until all filling has been used. Pour remaining sauce over the stuffed cabbage rolls. Line the edges of the dish with the large green leaves that were removed from the head of cabbage before parboiling. This will prevent the rolls from sticking to the edge of the dish and from burning.

Bake cabbage rolls for 2.5 to 3 hours at 325°F. Makes approximately 10 cabbage rolls.

1 lb ground chuck
2 large eggs beaten
1 lb ground pork
2 tsp salt
1 c parboiled white rice
1 tsp black pepper
1⁄2 c diced yellow onion

6 c crushed tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 large or 2 medium heads of green cabbage

Phillip RanlyComment