Stuffed cabbage is a dish that's popular all over the world, especially in Central and Eastern European countries. The ingredients for the filling and the sauce rolls are being cooked in, varies from region to region, as well as the kind of cabbage used. As a matter of fact, the Southeastern European cuisines favor pickled cabbage over fresh. As for the filling, ground meat is normally a main ingredient along with rice and other grains, while mushrooms, vegetables and seafood are the most common in Asia.
But let's leave those details for some other time. In this post I will share with you the Stuffed Cabbage recipe that has been in my family since forever, and I'm glad it's still the favorite one.
Its preparation is time consuming, but there are a couple of good things whatsoever. It's a fairly generous recipe, and therefore great for a crowd. Also, if it happens that you have some extra pieces left, you can simply freeze it and use it within the next couple of months, not fearing that it will change its flavor.
For this recipe I'm using pickled cabbage in 99% of the cases, simply because I like the flavor better. But if you're short of sour cabbage, you can use fresh one instead. I'll explain how to do it in Directions section.
I will soon share with you a recipe on how to make your own pickled cabbage, so stay tuned!
This is what you'll need to make 12-15 rolls:
- First, prepare the filling. Finely chop the onions and cook them in the oil over medium fire until soft. Then, add meat, some salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until meat loses its pink color. Then, stir in rice, parsley and paprika, add some more salt and pepper if needed and remove from fire.
Note that you can use some other kind of meat as well.
- Meanwhile, prepare the leaves. If using pickled cabbage, all you need to is to remove the hard parts with a sharp knife, so that leaves can roll easily without cracking. You can half the leaves if they're too big. This is how it looks like...
3. Now, put 1-1,5 tablespoon of filling onto the bottom of each leaf. Fold the leaf from the left and from the right. Then overlap the bottom and start rolling, making a tight roll.
Take a look at the photos below...
4. Arrange the rolls into a deep pot, leaving no space between them to prevent them from falling apart.
If making some bigger quantity, you can arrange the rolls in several layers. But in this case, I suggest you to cover each layer with cabbage leaves before arranging the next one, as shown on the photo below. This will ease your work when taking the rolls out.
Cover the pot and bring it to boiling over high fire. Then, reduce to medium low and simmer for an hour.
Serve warm, with your favorite bread. I would recommend sour cream as a great complement.
Enjoy and bon appétit!