Friday, April 23, 2010

In Which There Is Stuffed Cabbage

I love stuffed cabbage. It's a great all in one dish and has lots of wonderful flavors and textures going on. It also always makes me think of my grandmother, because it is a specialty of hers. However, my grandmother makes a sweet version and the members of the Marzipan household prefer a tangy one. It's a little time consuming, but not at all bad if you break it down into steps. The rice, sauce, and cabbage can be prepared the day before. I like to make extra rice to serve on the side because the sauce is so delicious.

Stuffed Cabbage

1 Savoy cabbage, leaves stripped off
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound very lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Tangy Tomato Sauce

a 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably Italian flavored)
1 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the cabbage leaves and cook, until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the leaves into a colander in the sink and run under cold running water. Set aside.

In a large bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment) place the meat, rice, yogurt/sour cream, pepper, and 2 teaspoons salt and mix together very well.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, about 7 minutes. Stir in the paprika and allspice and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes more. Add the onion mixture to the beef mixture and mix until well combined. Season with pepper to taste.

Lay the cabbage leaves on a work surface and blot dry with paper towels. Now take a look at the back side of your leaves. See that thick ridge at the base of the leaf? Trim it nice and flat with a very sharp knife. This way your leaves will lay flat on your work surface and not split. Just make sure you trim the ridge, not slice a hole in the leaf.

Starting with the largest leaves, place about 1/2 cup of the beef mixture in the bottom center of each leaf. (You should have enough for 10 very generously filled rolls.) Roll the bottom of the leaf over the beef mixture, fold in the sides, and continue rolling forward until completely closed. Repeat with the remaining leaves. If you need, you can make little patches with smaller leaves if the big ones tear.

Arrange the rolls seam side-down in a 9-x 13- x 2- inch baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, broth, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and season with pepper to taste. Fish out the bay leaves, then pour over the cabbage rolls and cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

Remove the foil from the baking dish and continue cooking until lightly browned and cooked through, about another 30 minutes.

Cut open and devour.

AlmondGirl approved!


  1. I've never had these, but they sound delicious. I think I'll ask Kitty to make them for me!

  2. These look really good. I have never had them, but will make them soon.