Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meme's Stuffed Cabbage

This is my Meme's (Grandma's) recipe she has been making for YEARS!!!!!  It's a lot of work to make Stuffed Cabbage, so she's since stopped making them!  In turn, it has motivated ME to make these! ; )  I'm SOOOOO glad I decided to try these in the Slow Cooker!  What a success!  These turned out perfectly!

I had my mom and Step-Dad over for dinner last night and my step dad had seconds.....maybe even thirds!  My mom really enjoyed them.  I hope they reminded her of her mom's! :)  My daughter.....well, she tried them.....and that's about as far as it went!  LOL  At least she tried!

What I love most about this recipe is how the lemon brings out the flavors of the fresh tomatoes inside each cabbage roll and the cabbage takes on a "sweetness!"  They are so yummy!

Now, just a word of caution.  This is a recipe to make when you have a bit of time (and patience.)  It takes time to make cabbage rolls.   I promise it's well worth it, but it's not worth the frustration if you don't have the time.  Don't do that to yourself!  :)

Here is the amazing recipe WITH Step-by-Step instructions and pictures for you!

Meme's Stuffed Cabbage

Ingredients:
1 head of Green Cabbage
Filling:
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup Uncooked rice (I used brown because I had just enough to use up!)
1 large onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

First, brown the ground beef with the onions.  Once it is cooked, combine all the remaining "filling" ingredients in a big bowl.  It will be beautiful and colorful like this!
Next, peel off the outer layers of the head of cabbage that are dirty.  Cut the stem off as best you can.
Either parboil or steam your head of cabbage.  I chose to steam it in a steamer.
As the head steams or parboils, peel off the outer layer of leaves very carefully as they become soft enough.  Usually you can get 2-3 off at a time.  Just place the head back into the pot and let it steam or parboil a little longer each time until the leaves become too small to stuff.

Once all you have all your leaves, you will need to thin the vein in each leaf.  Turn the leaf with the "bumpy side" up on your cutting board.  
Next, starting at the thin part of the vein, run the tip of your knife very carefully toward the thickest part, thinning the vein so it makes the leaf more pliable.
Once all the leaves' veins are thinned, it's time to stuff them.  Place the leaf so that the leaf curves upward, like a cup.  Place about 3-4 Tbsp. of filling into the leaf (depending on the size of the leaf, use your judgement.  It may hold more of less!)  
Next, fold the horizontal (left and right) ends in first.  
Then, fold the top over toward the bottom.
Lastly, fold the bottom up toward the top to complete your beautiful little cabbage package!
You're going to make layers in the bottom of your slow cooker of TIGHTLY packed cabbage rolls.  
Layer 1
Layer 2
Layer 3
The very last thing you need to do is cover these with water.  I poured in about 2 1/2 cups in my 3 Quart Slow Cooker.  It worked perfectly!  You don't want your Cabbage Rolls "floating" so don't overfill with water!

Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

And VOILA!!!  After all of that, you have a WELL-DESERVED, DELICIOUS meal!!!!  Enjoy!
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63 comments:

  1. I can't wait to try these!! :) Thanks Hope!

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    1. These were horrible, had to dumb them, too much lemon juice!!!

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    2. Sorry you didn't like them. Everyone's tastes are different. We make these all the time and have never had any complaints. Better luck next time!

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  2. And I can't wait for you to try them! :)
    -Hope

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  3. Awesome!! Made these yesterday, they came out great! I bought 2 heads of cabbage, just in case I totally screwed it up. They came out awesome, we topped it with Lemon Juice when serving.

    It was taking me so long to thin out the vein, I'm a little knife phobic. So instead I draped the leaves over a drinking glass and used a potato peeler to really get them thin. It really helped get the rest of the leaf out of the way.

    Making Meatball Stew today, the house smells wonderful.

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    1. Karen BrodfuehrerJuly 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Someone told me this trick for making Stuffed Cabbage. Put the cabbage in your freezer for a couple of days (uncooked). Two days before you want to make them, take the cabbage out of freezer and keep on counter. When you go to roll them the leaves are soft and roll up so easy and there is no need to cook them before filling them and rolling them up - then put in a casserole dish, cover and bake!!! Just a hint how I do it. Karen

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  4. I am SO proud of you Andrea!!!! Way to be inventive! Great idea using the potato peeler!

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  5. I wonder if you could use chopped mushrooms in place of the ground beef to make it vegan? It sounds yummy. I'll let you know if I try it.

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Misty

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  6. I also love to make stuffed cabbage in the slow cooker....If you are really lazy I make it by layering the uncooked shredded cabbage, bacon and I form balls from the filling and cover it in tomato sauce.

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  7. Misty, that would be awesome!!! Do let me know if you tried it! Sorry I'm just seeing this!

    Anonymous, That's a great idea!

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    1. I also cover mine with a tomato sauce but will try your idea next time. Heather

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  8. Mmmmm... making these tomorrow night can't wait :)

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    1. Glad you're giving them a try! They are so tasty!

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  9. My Polish aunt always made golumpkies (as she called them), and they were a memorable feast everytime. She would use 1/2 pork and 1/2 beef. Bet you could use turkey for a healthier version. One difference though, she put just the meat and rice mixture inside the roll and put diced tomatoes or tomato sauce on top. I have used her same version and cooked them in a crockpot. Deeeelish! I'll make your version and see how different tasting they come out (if at all). Glad to see others enjoy this treat. Many folks have never heard of this succulent dish!

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    1. You know, my sister married a Polish man and they make the polish version you describe. My husband's family also makes that version, which I discovered about 3 years ago! I'll try that version too some day!

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    2. My grandparents are Polish and I pretty much do the same except I use peeled crushed tomatoes as I like a lot of gravy with the cabbage. I use pork, veal and beef to make it moister and I also put some sauerkraut in. You don't know it's there but does that make it so moist. Will have to try this one soon.
      P.S. I too freeze the cabbage. It's so much easier that way.

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  10. What mskes this "work" is the cooking of the cabbage. Instead of steaming, pop the cabbage in the freezer until frozen solid. Put in the fridge until thawed then fill and roll as usual.

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    1. I will definitely try that next time Martie!!! Thank you1

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    2. I have always done this freezing method, which saves the whole cooking process of the cabbage. But let me make a suggestion, prior to freezing make cuts around the core of the cabbage then freeze. When ready to use put frozen head of cabbage in sink of hot tap water as the cabbage thaws the leaves will come off easily due to the cuts you made ahead of time and it then makes for a quicker thaw instead of waiting to be able to cut into the head once thawed. The cabbage is ready to roll at this point with no cooking!

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  11. I use spanish rice. I layer the cabbage, then the meat & rice, then cabbage again, etc. etc. I top it with tomato soup. Tastes like the real thing!!

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  12. You can also use an envelope or two of onion soup mix to give the meat a kick

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  13. I have made these for years, My mom always made them at home. but we use cooked rice and raw hamburber and onion mixed together with a bit of canned tomatoes,salt and pepper. put in pressure cooker, cover in rest of canned tomatoes and some water. Will try my recipe and put in slow cooker.

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    1. I"ve never used a pressure cooker, but I know a lot of people who love them! It's so neat to hear about all the different family traditions!

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  14. If you want an easier shortcut with cabbage , put your cabbage in a paper bag and place it in a microwave for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes take out and run under cool water so you can handle it. Cut off the leaves until you are down to the ones that can't be bent then place it back in the bag and continue microwaving for another 5 or until all th leaves are pliable. You will be amazed at how much time you save cooking the cabbage.It's so much easier.

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    1. That's a great tip! Thank you! Any time saved is awesome!

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  15. I grew up in Polish-Hungarian neighborhood. So my Irish mother learn to make stuffed cabbage with a similiar meat mixture as yours, but with addition of whole(squished)tomatoes and sauer kraut under the rolls and topped with the to-small cabbage leaves on top. My husband has a problem with to much acid(in the stomach), but for some reason unbeknown to us he is able to eat this dish with no problems. It is Delicious made this way. And I am going to try the freezer method with the cabbage head and also making it in the slow cooker.

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    1. THank you for sharing your story! I'm really enjoying hearing everyone's family traditions!

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  16. I have most of these ingredients in my pantry and freezer, and I can cook it in my crock pot. I'm looking forward to making and eating my first Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.

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  17. I make a bed of saurkraut that I've sauteed with chopped fried bacon and onions and place cabbage rolls on that. Instead of tomato soup, I use beef broth and cook in slow cooker. Wonderful flavor!

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  18. I'm half Ukrainian and my grammie made her holubsti with cooked barley, onion and ground beef. I add garlic and salt. I've always used the blanching method and then cut out a triangular piece of core. I fold the core ends over first, then the top, then the weakest side and finally the stronger side. I learned to put a layer of the core pieces and inner leaves on the bottom and use the outer leaves for a cover on top to prevent burning. I would bake them in my dutch oven for an hour after adding beef broth. It's a lengthy process. I'm going to have to try some of these ideas: steaming or microwaving or freezing the cabbage and thinning the stem. Using the crock pot is cheaper, but slower than the oven, but it won't heat up the kitchen so it's summer friendly. Okay, now I want some. I'll have to write them into next week's grocery list.

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  19. These look delicious. The way I make stuffed cabbage and the recipe is called Pigs in a Poke, is to make a meatloaf mixture. Boil the head of cabbage until the leaves are pliable, then make meatballs out of the meatloaf mixture and wrap a cabbage leaf around the meatball. Place in a casserole, then pour a can of tomato sauce on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Takes very little time. Once could add tomato pieces into the meatloaf mixture also.

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    1. That's a great idea! I think I'm going to make them like that the next time.....more of a Polish style I'm thinking!

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  20. I am Egyptian and we all cook stuffed cabbage in a similar way but it is smaller in size and we add cumin in the boiling water -in Egypt every family enjoys eating Mahshy kronb ( stuffed cabbage)

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    1. Thank you for sharing this, Hania! That's very interesting. Never thought to do that!

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  21. I have a question: Does the rice go uncooked when mixing with the beef? In such case, does it cook well enough inside the mixture? Thanks!

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    1. yes, the rice goes in uncooked and it cooks beautifully!

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  22. Love these: I am an Old Chef’ and have owned 5 Restaurants and have made these for years. Something I do a little different is:
    I add: 1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and I chop up a small sweet red Pepper AND a couple of Jap Peppers, a clove or two of Garlic chopped, in place of the Garlic Powder, and I use about ½ Chicken Stock with the Water. And yes you can use ½ pork or use all mushrooms it you want to keep it Vegan.

    Chef’ Bob Lippincott
    East Texas USA

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    1. Great Suggestions, Chef! THanks for taking the time to post!

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  23. I bought a head of cabbage to make Grandma's cabbage rolls. I also do the rice with raw meat and onion and a little garlic (goes in everything). Parcook the cabbage and roll em up. Mix a tad bit of sugar with tomato sauce (lessens the acidity), pour over rolls and cook in the oven. Although I have always loved this method I am now going to try your slow-cooker method. My daughter is also excited to try "my teachers" recipe..... maybe she will actually eat now :) Thanks for so many awesome recipes, cant wait to try them.

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    1. After I put them all in the pan I pour tomato sauce and diced tomatoes all over the top and add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and thinly sliced onions on top.. And bake,I will try the crock pot next time I make them tho..

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  24. Just came across this! Awesome! i use my slow cooker for a lot of things, just didn't think of using the slow cooker! I think i would use tomato juice instead of tomato sauce. Never cared for the sauce..i try using juice or tomato soup in place of the sauce. Then you get a "gravy" for the smashed potatoes! yummy!
    can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's all about making it work for you and your family! I think these are great ideas! Come back and let me know when you make these!

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  25. years ago a friend of mine did the rice ,garlic andsauted onion then rolled them up cooked them in oven in butter. she was ukaranian. very tasty.

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  26. made mine for years but my mother used pork instead of beef and added garlic, onion, rice and allspice... then put sauerkraut cabbage rolls and more sauerkraut a little beer if you like or chicken stock..delicious

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  27. I do an easier version with about the same ingredients. I shred the cabbage, brown hamburger and onion, add tomato sauce and bake at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes in a 350 oven. I am sure it would work in the crockpot too. I have just never tried it. I have also put some rice in it too.

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  28. Covering them with a can of tomato soup with a can of water would be much better than just water.

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  29. How would you cook these in a pressure cooker?

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  30. I have made these all of my life, but I make a spaghetti sauce and pour over them and then bake them.

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  31. My gram would use ground meat onion, garlic powder salt pepper, fry up bacon in bottom of pot with onions, then layer rolls on top with ketchup and small leaves, and a couple pats of butter here and there but never tomatos, the bacon and ketchup when cooked gave the stuffed cabbage a great taste and a thin sauce that was tangy but not too sweet...they were delicious with rye bread

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  32. My Grandma was from Austria and we called her recipe "rice" rolls, as there was more rice than meat. She made the meat 1/2 pork,1/2 beef and used dry rice, chopped onions and seasonings. She used the cabbage the same way, steamed with the stem trimmed thinly, but I think the rolling was different. She put the rice/meat mixture on the bottom(stem end) and rolled it over(towards the leaf end)but tucked both sides to the centre and then kept rolling until the end of the cabbage leaf making sure to place the roll down on the leaf end. Cooked with tomato juice and saurkraut and even bacon rind(we used to live on the farm and did our own slaughtering and curing)on top of the stove. Definately labour intensive but oh so worth it for our holiday dinners! These ideas of shortening the process makes me hungry to try a batch for this years holidays! Thanks so much, I bet most people don't even know what bacon rind is....

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  33. I loved glumpies my mom made they all the time like every other weekend She used to make 2 big pot's but she put potatoes and tomato sauce in with the glumpies and cook. They were a big hit

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  34. I substitute ground turkey for the hamburger and to pare down that tough fibrous spine in the middle of the leaf I drape it over an instant coffee jar and I use a peeler that is shaped like a wishbone and make a couple of passes down the spine and it works great, I then toss the peelings out in the yard, nuttin' goes to waste 'round here. Bon Appetite ....Adios n' Hasta La Bye Bye! L.D. (Jus a dumb Ol' truck driver in duh kitchen)

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  35. In addition to the tip on peeling that tough Ol' spine in the middle of the leaf along with the ground turkey I add shredded carrots, onion, minced garlic and I'm to lazy to shred potatoes so I use frozen hashbrown patties. Pop in the crockpot and cover with chicken broth and let 'er simmer on high for 'bout 3 to 4 hours. L.D. Keep in mind I'm just a dumb Ol' trucker driver so quit yur gigglin gurls.

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  36. I make mine similar to all but after wrapping I brown in my pressure cooker minus the rack.
    When all browned I remove, add rack back in, and stack cabbage rolls in cooker. Then I
    sprinkle them with brown sugar and add 1/2 cup of water. Start cooker and when pressure is
    reached cook for 10 minutes, Soooo yummy this way.

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  37. We always make about
    25 -30 then put two in a qt. bag then put 2-4 bags in big freezer bag, they sure freeze nice and always taste better months late.

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  38. I make mine mine by freezing the cabbage whole, once frozen the leaves peel off even better than par boiling them, never pre cook the ground beef, come out just fine.

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  39. Quinoa instead of rice is a great alternative.

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