Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. When the water comes to a boil, fill a large bowl with ice water.
Cut out as much of the core as you can from the bottom of the cabbage, then drop the whole, cored head into the boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes.
Once the leaves separate and are pliable, immediately remove and drop the blanched leaves that separated (or whole head if all the leaves did not separate) in the ice water.
Once cooled down, remove and pat the leaves dry. Repeat with any leaves still attached to the head that aren't pliable, if necessary.
[Alternatively, If you've got time on your hands, you can freeze the wrapped head of cabbage for two days then defrost. The leaves will peel off easily and be soft enough to roll.Here's some other ideas from readers, although I have yet to try them so I cannot confirm that they work. 1. Place the cabbage in the microwave for 6 minutes. The core will slip right out and the leaves will be perfect for rolling. 2. Take a knife and shave down the vein on each cabbage leaf, but they still need to be softened to roll, so you'd still have to blanch them (extra work), so I'm not sold on this one. 3. You can also throw the whole head in the boiling water without coring it. The leaves just won't separate on their own, but are still easy to peel off.]
Set aside about 16 of the largest leaves for stuffing and rolling, then chop some of the remaining leaves to make 1 cup of chopped cabbage and reserve.
Mix the ground beef with the eggs, grated onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and rice. (If you use cooked rice, you can test the seasoning of the meat mixture to your liking by frying up or microwaving a piece of it and tasting, if desired).
Divide this mixture into sixteen 2-ounce balls. Using moistened hands, form the balls into cylinders. Place a cylinder of filling near the bottom of a cabbage leaf (if the vein in the leaf is really thick, shave it down with a knife before placing the beef on it, being careful not to cut through the leaf itself.).
Begin to roll it up, folding both sides over the filling, and finish rolling to enclose the filling, like an eggroll. Continue, filling and rolling all the cabbage leaves.
Place them, seam side down, on a tray or baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a heavy, nonreactive saucepan. Sauté the second onion until soft and golden. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, then add the reserved chopped cabbage and sauté briefly.
Add the tomato sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.
Increase the heat until it comes to a boil, then lower it and simmer for 5 minutes. Add raisins now, if using.
Line of the bottom of a 13 x 9 roasting pan or glass dish with a layer of sauce. Place cabbage rolls, seam side down, on top of sauce. Top cabbage rolls with remaining sauce then cover the whole pan with tin foil.
Bake for 2 hours in a preheated 350F oven.
* You can cook the rice prior to adding it to the meat mixture, if desired (just follow the rice manufacturer's directions), but raw rice is how my grandmother made it, and the rice has always cooked through perfectly for me.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 (1070g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1|
|Calories from Fat: 1435 (66%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 159.4g||213 %|
|Saturated Fat 67.8g||339 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 65.5g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 4.9g|
|Cholesterol 677.9mg||209 %|
|Sodium 843.4mg||29 %|
|Potassium 3005.3mg||79 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 7.2g||2 %|
|Dietary Fiber 1.7g||7 %|
|Sugars, other 5.4g|
|Protein 170.4g||243 %|
Powered by: USDA Nutrition Database
Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 2187
Get detailed nutrition information, including item-by-item nutrition insights, so you can see where the calories, carbs, fat, sodium and more come from.
There are no reviews yet. Be the first!