About 40 or 45 years ago I was a guest at a wedding reception. It was a buffet meal and the only item I remember are the cabbage rolls, the taste of which is still very fresh in my memory even after all these years!
I remember the flavour explosion in my mouth when I took my first bite, recognizing that the flavour was in the cabbage.
I tried to find the chef who could give me the recipe but I had no success .
Last week I was reading about a company in Saskatchewan that makes sour cabbage heads and I wondered ..."what would it taste like if I used the sour cabbage leaves for my cabbage rolls?"
I found the sour cabbage heads at Safeway and made my cabbage rolls.
I will never use green cabbage again.
Not only is there the 'taste' advantage but making the cabbage rolls is sooo easy. No need to freeze or boil to soften the cabbage leaves. They peel off easily and perfectly and are soft and supple.
So this post is not so much to share a recipe but to share this sour cabbage 'tip' for those of you who would enjoy the extra zip in the cabbage.
I know we have several cabbage roll recipes on our blog and those who grew up eating cabbage rolls have their favourite family recipe but just in case you want/need another I will include my version here, which is gluten free.
Cabbage Rolls (Holubschi)
**NOTE - if using the sour cabbage - peel off the leaves and immerse them in a large bowl of cool water - you need to wash off the salt brine so cabbage rolls are not too salty.
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- (optional) a few strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 2 cups sprouted brown rice (cooked) - or regular cooked rice
- 1 lg finely chopped onion
- 2 tbsp of parsley
- salt and pepper to taste (if using sour cabbage leaves add very little extra salt)
- 1 - 14 oz tin of tomato sauce
- 1 - 8 oz tin of tomato paste
- Mix thoroughly meat, rice, onion, parsley, salt and pepper
- Place a scoop of meat mixture onto a cabbage leaf that has been cut in two or three pieces depending on size of cabbage head and size of leaves, and the hard stem part cut out -- fold up bottom of leaf over meat , fold in sides and roll it over the top part of leaf making a nice firm wrap around the filling ... place last folded side facing down in baking dish that is at least 2" deep. (my dish is 11 x 14")
- When your dish is full of cosily placed rolls - one layer only - then blend together the tomato sauce and tomato paste with enough water to completely cover the cabbage rolls. Cover dish with tin foil or a lid if dish has one.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 2 or 3 hours.
- These freeze well before or after baking.
Tip -- Even when I make a large dish of cabbage rolls I usually have some meat left over and the small leaves of the cabbage head. An easy way to use that up is to cover the bottom of a baking dish with cabbage leaves, spread the meat filling and then another layer of cabbage leaves... cover with tomato sauce/paste/water - cover tightly and freeze until needed. Remove from freezer, thaw and bake.