Cabbage Rolls 101

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posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 10:56 PM
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Cabbage Rolls, 75 to 100 total count.......

I was on the phone with my mom and we got around to talking about cabbage rolls somehow.
I got to bragging about mine because I make them often, so I promised to send mom the recipe. I figured I'd write it up here to share it with everyone and send my mom the link or text file.
I've never written this one down before because it all comes from my head, so I made a batch yesterday and wrote it all down as I went along. and they turned out great.....
(there I go bragging again)


This recipe is a fair bit of work, but with two people working together it can really go a lot faster in the prep. stages. If your working alone, plan to spend about 7-8 hours from start to finish, when the last pan is coming out of the oven. unless you have a big oven and large pans.....
I bake about 24 large rolls at a time in high sided roasting pans, so it works out to about 4 batches when I bake them due to the size of my pans and oven.

Let's Get Cooking......


List Of Ingredients For The Filling

1. MEATS
12 Lbs. Lean Ground Beef
3 Lbs. Ground Pork
1 Lb. Smoked Bacon

2. VEGGIES
2 Large Ripe Tomatoes
2 Medium Onions
2 Medium Green Peppers
8 Cloves Of Garlic (or more...) BAMMM!!!!!

2 Jalapino Peppers

3. SPICES
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Oregano or Italian Seasoning
2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper

4. OTHER
1/2 Gal. Pasta Sauce
3 Cups Rice
1 Lb. Grated Parmesan Cheese

That's everything that you need for the filling, but you will also need:

3 Large Heads of Savoy Cabbage
1 1/2 Gal. Pasta Sauce
1 1/2 Lbs. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Gal. Water


Pointers On Ingredients

Cabbage - I use the largest heads of savoy (the crinkly cabbage) that I can find because it softens well in hot water and gets a leathery texture that is easy to roll. Some cabbage gets fragile when cooked, so it's more difficult to roll without falling apart or cracking. But with care you can cook, separate, cut and roll the leaves of any cabbage you desire. (even red varieties)

Pasta Sauce - This is open for debate.... Sometimes I make my own sauce or just grab a few big cans off the supermarket shelf. I've used "President's Choice", "Bravo", "No Name" etc.....
But I always use a sauce with no meat in it.

Meats - Because no fats are removed from the meat, it's important that you use a lean ground beef so that the end product isn't too greasy. A lean ground pork is best as well.
The pound of bacon must be smoked, this is an integral part of the flavour.
WARNING!!!!!! Keep all meat chilled though every step of this recipe. Uncooked meat will grow bacteria very fast at room temperature. SO KEEP IT COLD, ALWAYS.........
AND AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION BETWEEN CUTTING SURFACES, YOUR HANDS, FOOD, UTENSILS, ETC....... WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY.


Cheese - Fresh is best when you grate it yourself but Kraft is just fine. I find that the price is not too bad if I buy 1 or 2 of the biggest containers that the store has to offer. I don't recommend going cheap on the cheese. The more expensive "name brands" make all the difference, and some of the "no name" brands don't even taste like Parmesan.
Mixing in a few cups of strong chedder is also a nice addition when melted on the top.
Feel free to experiment with many cheeses.....

Rice - Never use a starchy rice that gets sticky or soft...... Or any type of pre-cooked or instant rice. Not Ever... A nice white rice that cooks up firm normally is what your looking for. I use a polished white rice with a medium grain length.

Hot Peppers - This is up to you.... I like my cabbage rolls to bite back but will leave that open for you to decide. What I've put down in this recipe won't do much more than add an important part to the flavour. Don't be shy about the Jalapinos or cayanne, the cooking process tones them down a bit, so always feel free to add more, I do.....

Garlic - Always try to use fresh garlic that you crush through a press because that's the best. In a pinch you can use the stuff from a jar or garlic powder, but get the garlic in there. Just don't use "Garlic Salt" unless your a salt addict or you remove the salt from the spice section above. (the pasta sauce has salt included)


PRE-PREP YOUR CABBAGE

Pare out the core of each head of cabbage to about 2 inches and remove the stem and outermost leaves that have any damage from insects or handling and rinse well under warm water to clean off any residue. Keep as many large leaves as you can, even if they come loose. You'll need them all....
Submerse the entire head in hot water in a large pot, cover, place on stove and bring to boil. As the pot comes to a boil start removing the outer leaves as they get soft and pliable. Stack them onto a plate to cool down to room temperature. Keep doing this until you have removed all the larger and useable leaves. (you may need to shove a large fork into the core and separate more of the core as you work your way down to the heart) But don't over-cook the cabbage or it won't be possible to roll.
Once the leaves are cool enough to handle you can start making a "V" cut in each leaf to remove the bottom two inches of the tough part of the stem and stack these leaves on plates so that they can be covered and refridgerated. (this can be done up to two or three days in advance because they keep very well)


PREP YOUR FILLING

In a very large bowl or pan:
Slice, chop, dice, etc..... all your veggies from section 2. (small chunks)
Add all the spices from section 3.
Chop the smoked bacon very small (uncooked), and add all other meat from section 1.
Add the rice, pasta sauce and cheese from section 4.

Wash your hands again and prepare to get them dirty.
Get into the mix with your hands and blend the whole mess together. Work it for several minutes so that everything is well blended and all ingredients are well distributed into the mix, right down to the bottom and around the edges.
It can get a bit messy with all the sauce in the mix, but you need a nice firm mix that you can grab and squeeze a fistful and it will hold together when you put it down, but still be a bit sloppy. (keep as cold as possible at all times)


PREP YOUR PASTA SAUCE

Mix 1 1/2 Gallons of pasta sauce with at least 1/2 Gallon of water to dilute.
About 60% sauce and 40% water seems to work for me because the rice picks up a lot of moisture. You may need to play with this a bit to get it right for you.


ROLLING INTO PANS

Cover the bottom of a deep baking pan with 1 inch of diluted pasta sauce.
Place one leaf onto a plate or counter-top with the inside of the leaf facing up.
Grab one good fistful of filling, squeeze to shape and place at top of "V" cut on leaf.
Fold left and right bottom flaps of leaf over the filling and roll over once.
Fold in the sides of the cabbage leaf and roll it up.
Place the flap side down into the pan and continue until the pan is tightly filled without squeezing the individual rolls too much.
Pour enough pasta sauce into the pan to cover the cabbage and sprinkle the top with lots of cheese.
Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid or cover tightly with tin foil.
pans can be kept in the fridge for a day, but I recommend cooking immediatly...


COOKING CABBAGE ROLLS

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Place pans into oven on centre rack.
Bake for 1/2 hour and reduce heat to 250 F. for 1 1/2 more hours.
Remove from oven and let stand 20 min. without removing cover.
Serve immediatly with hot sauce and sour cream (14%) or portion into containers to freeze.
(they re-heat sooooo well, they are almost better after freezing)
Just make sure the rolls are covered in sauce for freezing so that the cabbage won't get freezer burn. A little time in the microwave will give you a fast and hearty meal any time you want.



I'll do a re-read of this recipe to make sure I didn't forget anything, but it works for me and everyone likes the result.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please post them.
If you have any other recipes for cabbage rolls, please post them. I'm always looking for ideas.


This is my own recipe and I give permission to anyone to reproduce, copy, change or publish etc.... as you see fit. Have a party with it. (I mean that, have a party, it's a big recipe...)


Hi Mom........ forgive my spelling and syntax, I never did learn that.

ALL HAIL THE MOTHERS OF THIS WORLD, MINE'S THE BEST


[edit on 2/11/2005 by anxietydisorder]




posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 11:54 PM
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I had these for lunch today, but that's because I know the cook.

They really are good. But I added some extra spicey Buffalo Wing Sauce on mine for extra Bammmm!!!!!!!!!!!


It hurt a bit, but it's all good.

I'm surprised his recipe didn't get any responses. I thought cabbage rolls where a common item on most European menus, and a staple in some countries?

Give them a try, they are tasty.



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 02:41 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to post that recipe. I love cabbage rolls and I noticed some variations in how I make mine, like the addition of the pound of bacon (great idea), and how you prep. your pasta sauce.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 02:16 PM
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I might have to try this recipe.



posted on Dec, 17 2005 @ 05:48 PM
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You can play around with this recipe a lot, and you can always eliminate or substitute some of the ingredients.

You can replace the beef with venison and use smoked wild boar for the pork.
That puts a whole new twist on cabbage rolls.

Let me know if you try the recipe...............

EDIT: spelling

[edit on 17/12/2005 by anxietydisorder]



posted on May, 31 2010 @ 01:24 AM
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Cooked them and put some in the freezer. Dinner was good, the pan we ate was awesome.
We put in lots of cheese, plus more cheese.

And the more garlic the better.




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