I never grew up eating the kind of food that interests me so much now. My nanny would make goulash from time to time, but Eastern European food was not something we ate regularly. As I've gotten older, I've developed an interest in so many different types of foods. Sometimes my cooking experiments work and sometimes they don't, but this was a delicious one. Plus, it's getting to be winter and this is a perfect cold weather food.
I tried to find a good recipe for stuffed cabbage and I think I found a pretty decent one. I based my recipe on this one which was the perfect balance of savory and sweet. It had the word "Grandma" in the post title. How can you really go wrong with something like that?
- 1 head green or savory cabbage
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp toasted fennel seed
- 1/2 cup raw long grain rice
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 15oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 diced onion
- 2 Tbsp vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- Core the whole head of cabbage and drop into a large pot of boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes until leaves are pliable. Remove leaves from the cabbage and place in ice water. Continue boiling the cabbage head if necessary.
- Mix together beef, egg, 1/2 onion, garlic, salt, pepper, fennel, crushed red pepper and rice in a large bowl. This is your filling.
- Set aside the largest leaves (about a dozen or so) and remove the hard core with a knife. Place a small amount of filling in the center of the leaves and roll them up, placing them seam side down on a baking sheet. Repeat until all filling is used. Chop 1 cup of remaining smaller leaves.
- In a separate pan, sautee 1 onion and 1 clove of garlic in olive oil. Add chopped cabbage, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and raisins, simmering for 5 minutes.
- Spoon sauce into the bottom of a glass baking dish. Place cabbage rolls on the sauce and top with remaining sauce. Cover the whole pan with foil and cook for 2 hours at 350 degrees. Serve with mashed potatoes.