I love stuffed cabbage rolls and so does my husband. This recipe takes time, so when I make them, I usually do a double batch and freeze them for another time. They are worth the time and will certainly keep the family coming back for more.
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 large cabbage
1 med. onion, divided (1/2 chopped and 1/2 minced)
2 – 14 oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (24 oz.) jars Sockarooni pasta sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt, divided *
1 tsp. pepper, divided
Pepper to taste
1 ½ cups cooked white rice
Lemon wedges, optional
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the core and the outer loose leaves from the cabbage, then place the cabbage head in the pot of boiling water. Turn heat to med-low and cook for 2 minutes, or until leaves are soft and easy to separate. Remove softened leaves and set aside.
Add Sockarooni, chopped onion, diced tomatoes, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. and pepper to a saucepot and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste your sauce and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
In a medium size bowl, mix the beef, pork, ½ mixed onion, 1 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. salt, pepper, and cooked rice. ** (Fry a little of the meat mixture and do a taste test. Adjust seasoning if needed.)
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Pour about a cup of the tomato sauce mixture on the bottom of a 13 x 9 in. baking dish. Next, place one cabbage leaf on your clean workstation, cut the tough part on the bottom of the leaf off. I usually do a v shaped cut. Spoon about 2 to 3 ounces of the meat mixture onto the cabbage leaf and form a long meat log. Fold the sides of the toward the middle, then roll from the bottom to the top. Place cabbage roll, seam side down, into baking dish and continue until the meat mixture is used.
Cover the cabbage rolls with remaining sauce and bake for 55 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. ***
*Salt is a tricky ingredient. It is used in tons of recipes but use too much and game over. I always start with a small amount and adjust as needed. When I make my meat mixture, I fry a little bit for a taste test. I hope you do the same, It’s the easiest way to know if your mixture is to your liking and the best time to adjust if needed.
**A lot of stuffed cabbage recipes call for uncooked rice, but I have found that the rice doesn’t always cook properly.
***I love to squeeze a little lemon on my cabbage rolls, but it’s not necessary.
If you freeze a batch for later, defrost in refrigerator and bake as directed above.