This recipe brings an old family favorite into the 21st century. Savoy cabbage becomes a wrapper for a fragrant mix of beef, pork, herbs, and nutty brown rice. The bundles, which meld with a spicy tomato sauce, are easy to make: The cabbage leaves are boiled briefly until tender and pliable, and then folded around the filling.

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Ingredients

For the Stuffed Cabbage
For the Tomato Sauce (makes 3 cups)

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make the tomato sauce: Pulse tomatoes with juice in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt. Let cool completely.

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  • Make the stuffed cabbage: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cabbage head, and cook until outer leaves are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Peel outer layer of leaves, and drain. Return remaining cabbage to water, and repeat until all leaves are cooked and removed. Pat each leaf dry with a kitchen towel. Select 12 large light-green leaves. Reserve remaining leaves for another use.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using 2 forks, gently stir together beef, pork, rice, onion, parsley, paprika, and 1 tablespoon salt.

  • Working with 1 leaf at a time, trim thick part of rib with a paring knife, leaving leaf intact. Arrange about 1/2 cup filling (less for smaller leaves) in center of each leaf. Fold stem end of cabbage over filling. Fold in sides of cabbage. Carefully roll cabbage over to form a package, overlapping ends to seal. Transfer each, seam side down, to a large, shallow baking dish.

  • Spread sauce over stuffed cabbage leaves. Cover with parchment-lined foil, and bake until cooked through and cabbage is tender, about 1 hour.

Cook's Notes

The tomato sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Reviews (2)

42 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 19
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: Unrated
02/10/2011
Excellent Cabbage Rolls! I tried it with white rice once, but the brown rice is definitely better. I think it freezes nicely and makes for a convenient weeknight meal. I also use this tomato sauce in other recipes.
Rating: Unrated
03/17/2010
My husband and I both LOVE this dish! Excellent entree for family or friends, reheats well. Very tasty and flavorful. Didn't change a thing!