Growing up, we all loved Cabbage Rolls in tomato sauce, prepared just like Stuffed Hungarian Peppers. We were able to smother the bread with sour cream and mop up the juices and cabbage pieces. My dad preferred a more smokey bacon flavour. In order to please everyone, mom prepared it both ways. On one occasion, she came up with a brilliant compromise; she combined both sets of ingredients - partially tomato juice and partially smoked bacon and sauerkraut. We loved it and she continued to prepare it this way since that time.
½ lb each of ground pork, beef & veal
1 cup long grain rice
*(Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice)
1 med–lrg head green cabbage
1 large onion
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp hot paprika
1 - 28 oz jar Sauerkraut
1 - 28 oz can tomato juice
2 cups water (more if req)
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp bacon fat
½ lb piece smoked pork rib, bacon, pork hock or ham bone
1 pt sour cream
1 loaf Hungarian Crusty White Bread
Stuffing/Filling: Grate and sauté onion slightly in a small amount of bacon fat. Add paprika, stir and allow flavours to bloom. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine; onions, meat and rice and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasoning. *(Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice stays whole and just aldente -lovely. Soak in 1 cup luke-warm water and rinse, no need to cook.)
Cabbage Leaves: Core centre of cabbage in a cone shape down and into the cabbage so leaves will pull away easily.
Rolling Technique: Take 1 leaf at a time and place on a cutting board or in your left hand. (ruffled edge away from you) Place an ice-cream scoop or 2 tbsp seasoned meat/rice mixture on the centre. Roll lengthwise starting at the cored flat end ½ way and then fold left leafy side over middle (like a Burrito). Continue rolling and then when completely rolled, tuck right leafy loose end inside with index finger. (Not too much pressure, or you will tear the cabbage and then the stuffing will leak and protrude out during cooking.)
Roux- Rantas: Heat bacon fat and add flour and paprika. Sauté slightly then, add water and stir until you get a smooth consistency. You may have to pour off some of the liquid into a small saucepan and cream the thickener from there. Add roux back into cabbage pot. Do not stir rolls; just shake the pot so that the sauce penetrates in between the rolls. Remove from heat. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a large serving dish.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with fresh Hungarian bread and generous servings of sour cream.
Yield - 24-28 cabbage rolls.
Note: Delicious the next day as flavours meld. Freezes well for 3-6 months. Mom says that red cabbage is never used for cabbage rolls, otherwise – both are fair game in most other stir-fry type dishes.
Soured Cabbage Version: Try soured cabbage (sold fresh out of the barrel at delis or sealed in a plastic bag at the grocer). Leaves are more pliable, but you should rinse thoroughly before using and taste-test as it may be quite tangy for some palates. Also, omit the 28 oz sauerkraut from the recipe - you can cut up left over cabbage leaves to line the pot. This is a bit more pricey, but faster and very delicious!
To view the picturesque version of this procedure - follow the link below. (Photos and Demo by Evangeline Mackell of Design in Bloom) DESIGN IN BLOOM
CABBAGE ROLLS YouTube Video
For More Amazing Truly Authentic Hungarian Heritage recipes -visit our website. Helen' s Hungarian Heritage Recipes
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