Stuffed cabbages with tomato sauce

  • For the cabbage rolls
  • 8 large Savoy cabbage leaves
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 70ml sour cream
  • 230g cooked converted rice
  • 800g beef mince
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1/3 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • For the tomato sauce
  • Salt, as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 450g whole, peeled tinned tomatoes (with puree) roughly chopped
  • 250ml chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
For the cabbage rolls:

1) 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 refresh under cold running water. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, place the beef, rice, sour cream, and 2 teaspoons salt.

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

4) Lay the cabbage leaves on a work surface and blot dry with paper towels. Slice off the ridged part of the thick rib at the bottom each leaf, creating a level surface over the leaves. Place about 1/2 cup of the beef mixture in the bottom center of each roll. Roll the bottom of a leaf over the beef mixture, fold in the sides, and continue rolling forward until completely closed. Repeat with the remaining leafs. Arrange the rolls seam side-down in a 23x33x5cm oval gratin dish.

5) Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.

For the tomato sauce:

1) In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, broth, salt, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and season with pepper to taste. Pour over the cabbage rolls and cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour.

2) Remove the foil from the baking dish and continue cooking, basting occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes more. Serve in the gratin dish.

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