Stuffed Cabbage, Sweet and Sour

Yield: 36 pieces
Preparation Time: 2:00


The Sauce (makes 1 gallon)

The Filling

Final Seasonings

  1. Choose a cabbage that looks wider than round for good sized leaves. Freeze for two days to soften leaves, Fully thaw which takes a day. Save any coarse outer leaves for the cooking of the stuffed cabbage. Core the thawed cabbage, and disassemble it, leaf by leaf, until you get to a core a little larger than a tennis ball. Cut the central thick stem part from each leaf. Cut the large leaves (about 1/2 the cabbage) into two pieces. These pieces will measure about 4x7 or 5x8 inches. Chop all the core and stem pieces into small dice, and put them in the pot you are going to use to make the sauce: Put the rice you are going to use for the filling on to cook now. (1 cup rice + 1 1/2 cups water = 2-1/2 cups cooked rice for filling). Cool the rice when it is done.
  2. The Sauce. Into the pot with the cabbage stem and cores, add all the listed ingredients, bring to a boil , and simmer while you are making filling and stuffing the cabbage.
  3. The Filling: Mix the water and bread crumbs and mix all ingredients for the filling together.
  4. Stuff the cabbage: Lay the cabbage leaf out with the stem end nearest you. (Round part at the top)Assuming that the piece of cabbage is about 4-5 inches wide, and 7-8 inches long, put a 2 1/2—3 oz portion of the meat filling at the end near you. It should be roughly shaped like a broomstick (cylindrical). Lift the stem end of the leaf (nearest you) over the meat, and roll it up like a rug. Hold the cylinder of cabbage and meat in you left hand with you thumb up and pointing away from you. This puts the cabbage roll end at right angles to the table. with your right forefinger, push the loose cabbage back inside of the roll to seal the top. Turn the roll over and seal the other end in the same way. You now have a cabbage roll that is tight and sealed at both ends, Put it on a tray, seam down, Repeat until you are all out of filling or leaves. This should make about 36 2-1/2 oz pieces. If there is meat left over, make it into meatballs. If there is cabbage left, chop it up and put it on the bottom of the pan. If you have any meatballs, add them, or break them up into the sauce.
  5. Cook the stuffed cabbage. If you do not have a pot or baking pan large enough to hold everything, do it in 2 pans.

    Stove top: Put the coarse leaves on the bottom of the pot. Put a 1 inch layer of the sauce down. Make a layer of the stuffed cabbage. Put another layer of sauce. Put a layer of stuffed cabbage. Repeat until all the stuffed cabbage rolls are used up. Cover with remaining sauce. Cook on a slow fire, until done, about 1-1/2 hours. While it is cooking, take care that the bottom does not burn. It should just simmer.

    Oven: Set oven 300 F. As above, but the coarse leaves go on top of the stuffed cabbage. They may burn, which is why they are there. Remove and discard when done. Bake the stuffed cabbage about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until done, If the leaves begin to burn, dampen them with sauce or water. The sauce should not boil hard. If it does, lower heat.

  6. The seasoning: This is where YOU have to be the chef! First season with salt, then pepper, It may only need a little salt. Then add vinegar, 1 tbl at a time to make it sour enough. Taste after each one. It won't need too much as the sauerkraut is there for that, In the old country, they used to make whole cabbages sour for this. It was a vital source of Vitamin C. Now add sugar to make it sweet. Brown sugar is good to use, as it darkens the sauce. You won't need much as the raisins sweeten it, as do the dried apricots. You can use any dried fruits you like. A few dried morrella cherries give a wonderful taste.

Note: If you make up portions of 2 pieces and some sauce, and freeze them in baggies as I do, you can have this any time you want. If you find that you have about a quart of sauce left over, as I did, then you can make "Unstuffed Cabbage." Make some meat balls, half cook them in the oven, and finish them in the sauce, When you eat it, it will taste just like stuffed cabbage!

If the sauce isn't thick enough for you, reduce it before you season it, or bind with a little cornstarch and water. The oven method seems to reduce the sauce more.

Suggested Wine: Wine does not go with Sweet and Sour dishes.

Notes: On one of my first jobs, we had to make about 5000 pieces of miniature (2 oz max) stuffed cabbage a week. I used to stand and make these all day.


Steve's #23 Winter Vegetables Recipes

Stuffed Cabbage, Sweet and Sour
Duck Bigos
Steamed Napa Cabbage with Shiitake Mushrooms and Tree Ears
Red Cabbage, Sweet and Sour
Baked Candied Butternut Squash
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts Glace
Root Vegetables Glazed
Pumpkin Meringue Pie
Pumpkin Pie

©1997, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.

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