by Gloria Kobrin, Kosher Cook.com
This is my Grandmother's Stuffed Cabbage recipe. My Grandmother died when I was 6 and I've been making her cabbage for 40 years in her memory. My Mother's housekeeper (for 60 years) made it for us and showed me how to do it. I do make my own gingersnaps. The cookies give the cabbage rolls a fabulous sweet and spicy taste that is incomparable.
Prep time: peeling cabbages – 60 minutes, chopped meat –15 minutes / assembly – 60 minutes / cooking cabbage rolls – 90 minutes / baking cabbage rolls-– 120-150 minutes.
3 medium green cabbages
4 pounds chopped steak*
3 cups non–dairy bread crumbs
3 eggs, slightly beaten
5 large onions
1 cup water
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 large beefsteak tomatoes
1 box dark brown sugar
12 ounces non-dairy gingersnaps
3 large lemons
6 quart soup pot
Large stainless steel roaster with cover
2 large stainless steel roasting pans
I recommend preparing this recipe over two days. I often make the cabbage rolls and cook them the first day. I then remove the cooked cabbage rolls from the liquid and arrange them in a baking pan. After they have cooled, I cover them and refrigerate them overnight. I cool and chill the cooking liquid separately. The next day, I remove any fat that has risen to the top of the cooking liquid and bring the remaining liquid to a boil and finish the recipe. It’s still a lot of work but it feels more manageable when you do it this way.
Remove ragged outer leaves from cabbages. Cut one inch off stems and cut a deep X into each of them. Put one cabbage head, stem down, into soup pot. Add water to pot until it is 3/4 full. Bring water to a boil. Boil cabbage about 20 minutes. Carefully remove cabbage from boiling water and place in colander. Rinse well with cold water. Separate as many leaves as will easily peel off. Return cabbage to boiling water for another 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water and peel off more leaves. Repeat one or two more times or until most of the leaves have been separated from the cabbage. Reserve remaining cabbage to scatter over the cabbage rolls. Repeat this process with the other two cabbages. Drain all the cabbage leaves very well.
While cabbages are boiling, peel and chop 2 onions finely. Peel and slice the other three onions. Set aside.
Mix chopped meat with chopped onions, eggs, pepper, breadcrumbs and water.
Arrange sliced onions on the bottom of roaster.
Forming cabbage rolls: Place one cabbage leaf on a flat surface - the stem facing away from you. Take a small amount of chopped meat mixture and form a lightly packed log shape with your hands. Place the meat log about one inch away from the beginning of the cabbage leaf. Roll the edge of the leaf over the meat and continue rolling, tucking in the sides of the cabbage leaf until you have reached the stem. Repeat this process until all the meat has been rolled. Arrange cabbage rolls in concentric circles in roaster. Do not fill roaster more than two inches from the top. Divide recipe between two pans if you have to.
Slice tomatoes and place over the cabbage rolls. Chop any remaining pieces of cabbage and scatter those over cabbage rolls as well. Fill the roaster with enough water to skim the surface of the cabbage rolls. Bring water to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer cabbage rolls about 1 1/2 hours. Turn the cover a bit askew over the roaster if the gravy begins to spill over the top. While cabbage rolls are simmering, crush ginger snaps.
When cabbage rolls are done, remove them from the roaster and place them in a single layer in baking pans.
Preheat oven to: 350 F.
Add ground gingersnaps, lemon juice and brown sugar to gravy. Adjust seasoning to taste. Add more brown sugar or lemon juice as needed.
Ladle gravy over cabbage rolls. Reserve any leftover gravy in a separate container. Bake stuffed cabbage for two hours or more, basting constantly until gravy has thickened and the stuffed cabbage is slightly glazed. Serve hot.
Yield: 48 cabbage rolls
To freeze: Cool stuffed cabbage completely before freezing. Defrost for several hours before reheating.
*Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Yield: 12 Cabbage Rolls – Parve
I use the vegetarian meat that comes in a log to make vegetarian stuffed cabbage. I mix 14 ounces of veggie meat with about 1 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium onion) and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Neither eggs nor breadcrumbs are needed. (Some veggie meat substitutes are drier than others. In that case, add one beaten egg to 12-14 ounces of veggie meat if needed.)
Follow the direction above for rolling the cabbage. Scatter sliced onions and chopped cabbage pieces on the bottom of a roaster or Dutch oven. Arrange veggie cabbage rolls on top. Cover rolls with sliced tomatoes. Add enough veggie beef stock or water to barely cover the cabbage rolls. Bring liquid to a boil, cover and then simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove cabbage rolls from gravy and place in a single layer in a baking pan. Add four or five ounces of ground ginger snaps, 2/3 cup dark brown sugar and the juice of one large lemon to gravy. Stir well. Taste. Adjust seasoning and then ladle gravy over vegetarian cabbage rolls.
Bake cabbage rolls according to directions above. The vegetarian stuffed cabbage should also be completely cooled before freezing.
Recipes: Meat or Vegetarian, Stuffed Cabbage, Kosher