Basic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are a delicious take on an Old Comfort Food that has a well-seasoned ground beef, ground pork, rice, onions, and herbs all bundled in a perfectly cooked cabbage leaf and buried in a rich tomato-wine herb sauce with extra cabbage.
Historically it’s been said, many of the Cabbage Roll recipes were brought to the United States by immigrants from Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Historically cabbage rolls had roots in the Middle East as well as Eastern Europe. Some Jewish historians have noted that Stuffed Cabbage rolls were also considered to be part of Jewish food tradition as early as 1500 years ago.
Cabbage rolls are fairly simple, just a little time-consuming in the beginning. The first time I ever made Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, I was 19, it seemed so intimidating because I had to roll the cabbage rolls for the very first time. Now, these babies are done in a blink of an eye since I know what I am doing. I always suggest to make them on a day off if you have never made them and this will be your first time. Also, don’t stress they are really not hard to make and once you get that first cabbage roll done, it’s going to get easier with each one.
Below you will find my recipe for my basic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with simple to follow instructions, tips, and tricks, and easy to find ingredients you can purchase right at your local market.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 and 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- Dash of Kosher salt
- 1-2 heads of cabbages, cored
- salted water
- 1- 28-ounce can of Tomato crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 of a cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of dried Italian herbs
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
- pinch of kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 pound of lean ground beef
- 1/2 of a pound ground pork
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 whole cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions for Cabbage Rolls
- In a medium saucepan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 and 1/4 cups of vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then add 1 cup of rice and a dash of kosher salt. Stir rice well let the rice boil 5 minutes uncovered. Place a tight-fitting lid on the rice and turn the burner to lowest setting, till water is absorbed about 10-12 minutes. Turn off heat, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large stockpot filled with boiling salted water, (the stockpot should contain enough water to completely cover the head of cabbage. Do not overfill the pot) place cored cabbage, as the outer leaves cook, remove larger leaves one at a time with long metal tongs, place on plate till ready to use. (Coarsely chop the center cabbage and reserve for later)
- In a large saucepan combine 1 large can or 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes, 1/4 cup dry red wine, 1/4 cup of chicken stock, minced garlic, dried Italian herbs, finely chopped parsley, sugar, and kosher salt. Cook on low heat for about 30 minutes before adding reserved chopped cabbage, stir and remove from heat.
- Once the rice has completely cooled mix the cooked rice, ground beef, ground sausage, finely chopped onions, minced garlic, 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, Italian herbs, chopped dill, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Mix ingredients thoroughly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Cut away a portion of the center vein of cabbage, place even amounts of filling about 3 tablespoons on each cabbage leaf toward the center bottom, just above the removed part
- Roll the leaf around the filling, by beginning from the cut end of the leaf, roll each leaf up and over the filling, tucking the leaf underneath itself tightly. Tuck the ends underneath and fold the open ends of each leaf underneath them to prevent the roll from unraveling. Place in oven safe glass casserole dish or Dutch oven seam side down. Place a good amount of tomato sauce over, and cover tightly.
- Bake tightly covered, in 350-degree oven 40-45 minutes.
- Serve when ready.
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