Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stuffed Cabbage

55.  I remember dinner as a child, eating delicious home cooked meals.  One of my most favorite was Stuffed Cabbage.  We called them "Halupki".  My mother would make a large pot filled to the brim with these savory cabbage rolls.  I especially loved the chunks of cabbage, which were too small to stuff with meat, cooked in the same pot along with the "Halupki".   Cabbage rolls are very similar to stuffed grape leaves.  Some cooks put sauerkraut on the bottom of the pot, others use corned beef instead of ground beef.  

My mother had wonderful technique in making these delightful  rolls and she would say, "You never need to use a toothpick or string to hold these together, if you roll them correctly."  And she was right.   The cabbage I used the other day was so large, so I saved 10 large leaves.  My recipe is a combination of my mothers recipe and my own additions.

Last week I spotted Stuffed Cabbage, on another blog.  It's the "French" way of cooking Stuffed Cabbage.  It was great to read and watch the video...but the French cook very differently than the Polish or Slavs.  You can see it on "Tongue in Cheeks" blog.  

I made a small pot of Stuffed Cabbage and here is my recipe.

Stuffed Cabbage

1 large head of cabbage, cored
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the entire head of cabbage to the water.  As the cabbage begins to soften, work the cabbage leaves off very gently being careful not to tear the leaves.  Place immediately in a cold water bath.
After leaves are done begin to make your sauce base.

2 Tblsp olive oil
2 large cans crushed tomato
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp oregano and/or basil

Pour olive oil into large 6-8 quart pot.  Heat and add onion and garlic cooking till clear, about 3 minutes.  Add the tomato and spices.  Bring to a boil and simmer.

To prepare the meat filling:

2 lbs ground beef
2 cups long grain rice
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
½ tsp paprika
1 to 2 eggs

Mix all together in bowl.  To make the cabbage roll place approximately ¼ to ⅓ cup meat into bottom of cabbage leaf.
Bring bottom of leaf up and over the meat...
then, taking the right side of the leaf, fold it inward to the left.
Take the top of the leaf and fold it down, completely covering the meat
and previous fold of leaf.
Last, take the remaining edge of leaf and tuck it into the inside of the roll, being careful not to tear the leaf.
Place the completed roll into the simmering sauce prepared.
Once you are done with all the leaves and meat, add any extra meat into the pot in shape of mini meatballs, or extra cabbage that was too small to make into rolls.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat down to a slow simmer, cover the pot and cook for up to 1 ½ hours.  This tenderizes the meat and completes the cooking of the rice.
I make a pot of rice on the side for serving.

They turned out so good!  You can make tiny ones for appetizer or for a buffet by cutting the leaves in half and using the same wrapping process.

There you have it...Polish Halupki!

"We do not remember days;
we remember moments."
 ~ C. Pavese


tongue in cheek said...

They look delicious! The tomato sauce is a welcomed idea.

L~ said...
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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I place the entire head of raw cabbage in the freezer and freeze it for a few hours or overnight. Allow it to thaw at room temperature and the leaves will easily come apart. No boiling is necessary.

Love your blog!
Ruth, PA


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