This is a recipe handed down from generation to generation in my family. I have changed it for my family but it is still almost the exact same recipe my great-grandmother used. Do you have a dish like this in your family?
This is the dish we make for holidays in our house. It is the dish that reminds me of being at my grandmother’s house and the special holiday gatherings with our entire family. When the weather is cool this is the dish that warms our hearts and souls. We all have that dish that reminds us of childhood and home this is it for my family.
If you look back over the last week or so of my posts you will see a theme of comfort food and simple dishes. School ends on Friday and we are in the last push to get work turned in and studying for finals, a dance recital this weekend and a billion little pieces of things that hanging on to get done. So, with the cooler temperatures, it was only in the 50s yesterday, casseroles and comfort food are the foods of the week.
This is dish is even better the second day when all the flavors have been allowed to soak through the dish but we usually have to eat a cabbage roll or two when they come out of the oven because they smell so good!
I have learned that many regions of the world have a similar dish that has their areas spices or sauces on it. Some have tomato sauce poured over the top instead of sauerkraut. One I have seen has cinnamon, cloves and all spice added to the meat with no sauerkraut on top.
We all love this dish and look forward to the two or three times a year we make them!
German Style Cabbage Rolls
- 3 lbs. ground meat (I use ground white meat turkey or ground beef – originally the recipe was 1 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1 1/2 lb. ground pork)
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- salt (not grinder but regular table salt)
- Ground black pepper (again, not grinder but regular black ground pepper)
- 2 large jars of sauerkraut or two large bags
- 1 extra-large head of green cabbage
- Core the green cabbage and place in a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water 1″ more than the cabbage. Liberally salt the water with 1/3 cup or so of salt. Slowly cook cabbage over medium heat for 25-30 minutes until outer leaves of the cabbage are tender.
- Mix meat, cooked rice, chopped onion, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Drain the cabbage and slowly peel off each individual leaf to keep them whole.
- Place 1/2 of one jar of the sauerkraut in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Spread it out to cover the bottom.
- Form 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into a ball. Carefully place in the center of one cabbage leaf and wrap the remaining leaf around the meat mixture to completely cover.
- Place in pan on top of sauerkraut, seam side down.
- Continue until all of the meat mixture is used. You may need a smaller second pan if your first one is full.
- Pour remainder of sauerkraut over the pan (including the juice) and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check that meat mixture is completely cooked through. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with extra salt and pepper to taste.